The global economic recession has led to the emergence of different types of cooperatives in Nigeria with the motive of helping individuals to get financial support to attain the basic needs of life.
Economists have told us that human needs are insatiable. Immediately one need is satisfied, another takes its place, looking for satisfaction as well. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough funds to sometimes meet all these needs, especially if it’s a basic need.
Statistics have shown that the average Nigerian lives below one dollar per day which means people are thinking of just surviving and as an adaptability measure, people have learnt to pool their resources together to get them their desired needs at the time they want it.
However, the introduction of structure and proper organisation into these societies has seen the birth of different types of cooperatives. These Cooperatives are so unique because there are different types structured to meet the specific needs of their members, whether cash or goods.
Types Of Cooperatives And What They Do Are Highlighted Below.
The Thrift and Loans Society allows just regular savings and deposits of cash by members without any credit facilities. Here, a member cannot collect more than his savings. This is the traditional ‘Ajo’ done by our fathers even before the advent of banks.
It was a means of cutting down on their expenses and still having something to fall back on during hard times.
An off shoot of this society is the Thrift Savings but differs because it is a mini-bank that accepts deposits from both members and non-members. However, where these societies mentioned do not give loans, the Thrift and Credit Societies gives its members credit facilities.
Here, members are expected to make regular deposits and enjoy the credit facilities at will, oftentimes even twice the contributions made. Interest is sometimes collected on these loans but there is ease of payment because it is spread out over a period of one or two years depending on the amount.
Craftsmen such as mechanics, tailors, vulcanizers, hairdressers, photographers etc. also have their own cooperative called the Artisans and Informal Cooperatives.
The backbone of the economic survival of this cooperative is thrifts and credit operations and they render a number of services to their members in the area of supply of materials and/or spare parts.
Also, the Consumer Cooperative which is other types of Cooperative makes essential goods and services available to members at affordable prices especially during scarcity of such goods.
Members are expected to subscribe to a common fund to source for and buy goods at factory gate prices so as to enjoy the benefits of bulk purchases.
Another Cooperative Society is the Cooperative Multipurpose Society whose objectives varies and is multidimensional. They can be tagged ‘jack of all trade’ and their primary motive is to put their scarce and available resources into series of investment portfolios and make profit and/or dividends.
Farmers also have not been left out as they come together to form The Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Society which deals with cash and arable cropping, animal husbandry, fish farming and all types of agricultural production.
Their major objective is to provide succour and alleviate the suffering of member farmers by making available these crops at very reasonable rates.
Although fish farming is now the focus of an elitist group in the country because deep sea fishing can now be done due to the introduction of modern fishing technology and fast moving boats hence increased productivity and profit.
The Fishermen types of cooperatives still exits. It is organized by marginalized fishermen in localities whose products are marketed either as fresh or processed products and they procure nets and gears for members at reasonable prices and distribute among them.
Other types of cooperatives such as health, education, insurance, transport and of course housing Cooperatives exists. An example of a housing cooperative in Nigeria is Prime Assets Housing Cooperative Multi-purpose Society Limited (www.primecooperative.org) where members can purchase lands, build houses and invest profitably in real estate business and other profitable investments.
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