The aim of this study is to examine the role of cooperative societies in economic development of Lagos state, Nigeria and to investigate into their origin, history, formation and development. Also to be examined is their impact in our rural communities, especially in the grass root, urban and national development. It has been argued that commercial financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies could play greater roles in the advancement of rural development than the cooperative societies. The study is of the view that as many as these societies may be in form, formation and groups, with their various tags, aims and objectives, government should aid and encourage these organizations to enable them stand and perform effectively since they are all contributive factors in the economic development and growth of Lagos Mainland Local Government area of Lagos state Nigeria.
- Background of the study
The genesis of cooperative societies in Nigeria cannot be complete without credence to the pioneering efforts of great men such as C. F. Strickland, Major F. G. Haig. Captain W. J. W. Chessman, Captain A. G. C. Stainforth, Chief Akinpelu Obiasesan, O. Bateye, J. U. Eka (MBE), Chief A. A. Laditan and R. M. Leslie – the first registrar of cooperative societies in the Eastern region of Nigeria (Odey, 2019). It is interesting to note that after thirty years and more, the benefits and progress of corporations have tremendously affected all the facets and segments of the Nigerian society and economy. Nigeria is an agro-based economy, and it is only natural that agricultural cooperatives should precede any other type of business enterprise in the country. Anytime cooperatives are being mentioned, it starts and ends with Agro allied and agricultural produce. The Agricultural Department with its headquarters in Ibadan organized the Western Region Cocoa Farmers into a group through which better planting and processing methods were taught. In the year 1936, these groups were taken over by the newly formed Cooperative Division of the Agricultural Department for the purpose of organized marketing. In the same year, for the same reason, some other groups engaged in the production of palm produce in Eastern Nigeria were also taken over by cooperatives. The first Thrift and Loan Society was organized by the Abeokuta Catholic Teachers, and the first Thrift and Credit Societies also came into existence during the same period. By the end of 1943, there were already 180 registered cooperative societies, and by the end of the first ten years of inception, cooperative societies had taken firm roots in the country (Odedoku, 2016). In Lagos State, the number of registered Cooperative Societies has grown from one hundred and eight (108) from 1967 to well over fifteen thousand (15,000) with a net asset of N70, 731,066,384.90k (Seventy billion, seven hundred and thirty-one million, sixty-six thousand, three hundred and eighty-four naira and ninety kobo) according to the mid-year report of the Cooperative Department for year 2016. Aside this impressive financial profile, the Cooperative Movement in Lagos has been consistently supporting the state government’s policies and programmes in the areas of public transportation, job creation, housing and infrastructure provision.
In reciprocating these contributions, the state government has continued to provide the enabling environment for profitable investment of cooperative funds. The Cooperative Arbitration Panel and other advisory units of government have also been providing succor and financial security to the Cooperative Movement in this regard. One of the major reasons why the State Government established the State Cooperative College at Oko-Oba, Agege is to encourage the act of cooperation and increase the knowledge and skill of cooperative toward reducing fraud and conflict within Cooperative Societies in Lagos State. The College has trained over 5,516 cooperators in the last four year. Incidentally, cooperative despite its old age is not very popular in Nigeria. Only recently worker cooperatives started gaining ground among working class citizens, most of who find it difficult to save part of their salaries/wages for the rainy day. Hitherto, cooperative societies were thought to be associations meant only for farmers, small traders and other very low-income earners. This explains why quite a number of cooperative farmers are found, particularly in southern Nigeria.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Though lots of people have heard about cooperatives, it is just a few that are actually exploring the enormous opportunities they present. Even governments at all levels are yet to really comprehended how useful cooperative societies can be, particularly in stamping out poverty and improving welfare of the citizens. When wholly utilized, cooperatives can boost job creation as well as national productivity. The problem is that many people do not know much about cooperative, its mechanisms and role in economic development, and how it is considered in the world as a Third Force, an alternative and countervailing power to both big business and big government.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one main objective which is further divided into general and specific objective. The general objective is to examine the role of cooperative societies in economic development of Lagos state with emphasis on Lagos mainland local government area. The specific objectives are;
- To examine the role of cooperative society in economic development of Lagos Mainland local government area
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between cooperative society and economic development in Lagos mainland LGA
- To examine the effect of cooperative society on the growth of agriculture in the study area
- To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Does cooperative society play any role on the economic development of Lagos Mainland local government area?
- Is there any significant relationship between cooperative society and economic development in Lagos mainland LGA?
- Is there any effect of cooperative society on the growth of agriculture in the study area?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher
H0: there is no significant relationship between cooperative society and economic development in Lagos mainland LGA
H1: there is a significant relationship between cooperative society and economic development in Lagos mainland LGA
H0: Cooperative society does not have effect on the growth of agriculture in the study area
H2: Cooperative society does have an effect on the growth of agriculture in the study area
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of cooperative society in the study area as the findings will be of great importance to the development of cooperative society and the economic development of Lagos mainland LGA of Lagos state. The study will also be of importance to the members of cooperative society in Nigeria as the findings of the study will help popularized and enhanced the development of corporative society. The study will also be of importance to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the findings of this study will serve as a pathfinder to further studies. Finally the study will be of significance to student, teachers, lecturers, academia’s and the general public as the study will add to the pool of existing literature and also contribute to knowledge on the subject matter.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the role of cooperative societies in economic development of Lagos state with emphasis on Lagos mainland LGA. But in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study which was beyond the researcher’s control;
AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
- OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Role: A role is a set of connected behaviors, rights, obligations, beliefs, and norms as conceptualized by people in a social situation.
Cooperative: A cooperative is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise”.
Society: A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
Economic development: is the growth of the standard of living of a nation people from a low-income (poor) economy to a high-income (rich) economy. When the local quality of life is improved, there is more economic development.
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.