Co-Operative And Poverty Alleviation in Nigeria


Here the researcher will review past related literature as well as advance inputs. It is believed that co-operative societies had their origin in Europe before it spreads to other parts of the world like Nigeria.

According to Onuoha (1998:6) Modern co-operative movement began in England and successful co-operative was established in 1888 called Rochdal Society of equitable pioneers. The society was registered under friendly society in October 28, 1884. It was organized in the Lay-day of the industrial resolution, 1750 – 1850 when factory owners or capitalist exploited workers bitterly in other to maximize their profit. The anti-social effects of the industrial revolution resulted in wide spread poverty and destitution described as “Panperism”. Many depended on charity while others died of malnutrition, disease and striation. The purpose of the formation of Rochdale Society by 28 flannel wearers is to alleviate the suffering of the members with a plan to establishing a consumer shop for sale of quality goods and services consequently they organize the power of government for betterment of the country.

Lazlo (1982:20). He was moved by the poverty of the urban working class population, during teaching for interdependence and self-reliance. He said that the global problems grown alarmingly because of the wide spread of economic malaise with inflation and mass unemployment, accumulated national indeptness which cripples development and led to poverty and suffering of people. Therefore introduced the idea of “people bank”.

From the above literature review, the research has talked more on the co-operative society and few on poverty alleviation. The question is on what basis is co-operative society solving a problem of poverty?

However, the researcher’s theme of work, will prove how co-operative societies could be used as a tool of contribution in Enugu state.


Poverty means to be poor, it is state whereby little or no money, food, shelter and epidemic strut a nation or a given society. Ozochi (2000:16) states that people are engulfed in the vicious circles of poverty. The people have limited or lower incomes, lower income encourages lower savings, which in turn results in low investment and this eventually culminate in low productivity. The low productivity returns to lower income as the circle is completed, an income lower than initial income is multiplied. This motivated him to quote Adam Smith word which states that “No society can surely be flourishing and happy of which by far greater part o the numbers are poor and miserable. Poverty is syndrome that can strike both the developed and the underdeveloped nations. The 1970s witnessed a remarkable charge in public and private perception about the ultimate nature of economic activity. In both rich and poor, disillusionment grew about the relentless pursuit growth as the principle economic objective of the society.

In the developed countries, the major emphasis seemed to shift away from growth towards more concern for the quality of life. This concern was manifested principally in the environmental movement. There was out cry against the onslaught of industrial growth and the consequent population of air water and land, the destruction of natural resources and the destruction of many natural bandits.

Also Read: The Effect of Poverty on Educational Development of Citizens

Due to these natural hazards that be fall the society rates of natural and urban unemployment and underemployment were in the increase. The distribution of income between the rich and the poor seemed to get worse with encompassing year.

In Nigeria for instance for instance, most of the crisis either ethnic, political religious are braved by poverty. Criminal activities such as armed robbery, corruption and bribery, sealing advance fee (419) etc.


From the concept of poverty, shows how the magnitude of absolute poverty results from a combination of low per capital income, the lower the number of absolute poverty. But higher levels of per capital income and no guarantee of lower level of poverty.

Before we can formulate effective policies and programmes to reduce poverty and its source, we need some specific knowledge of who are the poverty group and their economic characteristics.

According to Iwemah (2000:6) states that the fact of poverty is not new. What is new the suspicion that economic growth by itself may not solve has shows that alternative policies can be used to combat poverty but not withstanding, it is not sufficient simply to focus on raising growth rates of G.N.P. in the expectation or hope that this national income growth will tackle down to improve standard of living for the very poor on the contrary, direct attacks on poverty by means of poverty focused policies and plans appear to be more effective both in the short and longer runs. But one cannot reduce poverty directly without detailed knowledge of its location, extent and characteristics. Perhaps, the most valid generalization about the poor is that they are disproportionately located in the rural areas, and that they are primarily engaged in agricultural and associated activities.

The question is, how can we reduce poverty? Poverty can be reduced by initiating poverty alleviation programmes. It is a policy or plan established to solve the problems of the yearning masses.


As it was stated before, that exclusive reliance on the natural force of economic growth significantly to reduce the extent of absolute poverty in many states which would probably be insufficient. This issue of poverty has depicted great mark of aftermath on the face of most Enugus. These effects ranging from one problem to another. The problems of Enugu is lack of money to spend as the rippling pangs of poverty in threatening to consume all.

To cover this threat, led many people astray that are into dubious and incriminating activities in order to earn a living. These include ritual killings, bribery and corruption, advance fee fraud (419), over dependence on the nation’s goods, oil, neglect on agricultural productions, armed robbery, drug trafficking, prostitution, child abuse, public assault, lack of social amenities, unemployment, diversion of public fund into private purse which have killed past attempts to alleviate poverty.

Today, the effects of poverty can be emphasized as it has crippled the entire society. Day in, day out, the higher institution of learning are graduating students and throwing them into the labour market. What is the hope of these graduates?

According to Eruin (1984:110) states that no development human or otherwise is possible in depleted poisoned or dying environment. To this end, it is essential that we take into account and apply the fundamental tenets proposed because no development is meaningful or sustainable unless it is based on adequate human development.

As we can see, poverty has generated the above mentioned circumstances that has affected man and the entire nation.


One of the major attractions of co-operative society especially undeveloping countries is a potential for social and enhancement of the well being of the populace. For this reason, many government have developed established resource to the encouragement and development of co-operative. From proper investigation, the government is an instrument of social change and development which benefits the entire populace thereby contributing to the improvement of standard of living of the people.

Different ways co-operative societies can be used to reduce poverty are as follows:

  1. Through agricultural and rural development.
  2. Mobilization of Rural savings.
  3. Improving fund distribution channel
  4. Transfer of agricultural innovation
  5. Employment generation
  6. Control of inflation
  7. Increase food supply
  8. Provision of educational services.

Co-operative societies can use these means to alleviate poverty, example, through agricultural sector employment programme which is designed to provide self employment for school leavers and graduates interested in agriculture are given the relevant training and orientation and provided with land and loans to start farming ventures. Co-operative can use NERFUND programmes to provide loan for the under privileged people and the interest rate will be low to compare of bank.

Co-operative can also use NDE programme to employ different strategies which involves training and retraining of unskilled youths promoting entrepreneurship development programmes and providing facilities to generate employment opportunities. They use PBN to encourage rural saving and controlling of inflationary period in the country.

Co-operative can equally work with NAFDAC but ensuring that all goods produced are properly checked and confirmed valid for human consumption before distributing to people to avoid sell of adulterated goods.

Co-operative also educate people on how to pool their resources together in order to achieve good benefits or turnover, they also educate on their civic and legal right of human existence. All these are the works of co-operative society towards poverty alleviation.


According to Prof S. Chukwu (1990:p97) frankly speaking, there can hardly be a co-operative movement unless there is a wide spread economics interest which is a wide spread economic interest which it can defend or promote. This is just the reason for the present grouping of the various types of co-operative societies in their various groups and federation operating across the globe. These grouping of co-operative institution which is govern not by abstract logic but practical necessities and therefore referred to any formal classification as follows:

  1. Agricultural co-operative:

These are societies which entrance is open to all classes of people earning livelihood on the land from the farmer who rents of access to the peasant family which work his own holding with.


This is a society for wages and salary earners, who desire to retain or acquire control over their own enterprise and saw under a management responsible to themselves.


There are societies for whose livelihood is gained by offshore or deep sea fishing. They are the counterparts of agric co-operative.


These are co-operative whose main aim is to build or acquire their own houses, so that they can collectively determining results and purchase process.


As noted in the whole world, co-operative society is a group of persons linked together by an economic interest common to all members of the group, which is to promote the common interest by joint action solidarity and mutual assistance.

According to the Nigerian Co-operative decree (1993:p.6) defines a co-operative as a “voluntary association of individuals united by common bond, who have come together to pursue their economic goals for their own benefits”


Co-operative societies provides agricultural and oral rural development. This is  achieved through agricultural sector employment programme which is designed to provide self employment for school leaver and graduates interested in agriculture are given the relevant training and orientation and provided with land and loans to start farming ventures.

Co-operative also provide for the under privileged people and the interest rate will be low to compare that of bank.

Co-operative provides employment through National Directorate of Employment (NDE). This involves the training and retraining of unskilled youths promoting entrepreneurship programme and providing credit facilities. They use PBN to extend credit facilities to the privileged citizen and to reduce rural –urban migration. They also use PBN to encourage rural savings and controlling of inflationary period in the country.

Co-operative can equally with UNICEF to carter for the health of the people in the country to avoid high rate of death or to prevent disease.

They can also work with NAFDAC by ensuring that all goods produce are properly check and confirmed valid for human consumption before distributing it to people to avoid to avoid selling of adulterated goods.

Co-operative also educate people on how to pool their resources together in other to achieve good benefits or turnover, they also educate them on their civic and legal rights of human existence.

All these are importance of co-operative society.

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