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This research project is a very crucial study designed to shows Co-operative Societies in the development of Economic of Akwa Ibom state. The bureau of co-operative development in the state came to existence on the 10th day of June 1999 controlled by qualified and competent personnel. To solve the research problem both primary and secondary data were collected. The research instrument used in collecting the data was questionnaires and oral interview. The respondent comprised of the personnel and members of the societies. In organizing and present presenting data collected, tables, frequencies and percentages were used.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
According to Okonkwo (1984), described the co-operative society as a voluntary association of free and independent persons, for the betterment of their economic conditions this definition emphasized three important words; these are voluntary and there is no compulsion of any type to force one to become a member of a co-operative without the person’s witness to become a member. The member who forced co-operatives are free to? Or not
The organization is primarily on economic motive. The definition also stressed the economic nature of the association through, it contradicts with other business associations such as public liability company, partnership business and social clubs. Bade (1960) saw co-operative society as an association of persons with the same economic problem and who voluntarily associate on the basis of equal right and obliteration and endeavor to solve those problems mainly conduction of their own risk, an undertaking to weal they transpired one of many of the economic functions, that correspond to the needs, and utilizing this undertaking for their common natural benefits.
Also Walter (1960) says that co-operative societies involve the application of philosophy of brotherhood to the economy.
Finally Ajenuro (1975) maintained that co-operative pool this resources together with a view to make project or simples thus, a group or two hundred farmers may join themselves together into a co-operative society in order to pursue their farming business more efficiently and thus enhance their economic benefits. The co-operatives movements can be regarded as an invention of necessity, origination from the evils of industrial revolution of late 18th and 19th centuries in England among the working class societies. The condition of workers in Britain was very poor. To solve their economic problems the works resulted to form the various types of co-operative societies that were directly were beneficial to their members. The most success of the first co-operative society was formed in 1844 at Rochdale, England called the ROCHDALE EQUITABLE PIONNERS SOCIETY and it has twenty eight members. From the impact and benefit employed by the members. Various kinds of these organizations started to emerge with varying names but with the common objectives of self help and self-reliance.
Due to the problems cited above the researcher deemed it necessary and to study how these societies has helped towards the economic development of Nigeria.
The aim of these societies was to free the members from exploitation and produce something that yield money to take care of their needs that led them to producing and operating a co-operative shop where they sell or transact business.
Among the co-operative societies today are the customer co-operative marketing co-operatives thrift and credit co-operatives, their continued existence and contribution to their members in particular and economy in general call for mention in this circumstance.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The introduction and formation of co-operative in Nigeria has viewed as an important tool for the development of the nation. The problems to be solved in this research work are centered on.
The general low income per head of most people in the rural areas of Nigeria economy today is a pre-requisite for group action and effort for self-help and self-reliance among themselves. This is the first and most important reason that account for the captain of co-operative movement.
Secondly the under privileged appear not to give co-operative movement its pride or place in the economic setting their concept and attitude towards co-operative societies appear not to be help in the growth and development of co-operative movement.
Another stinking factor triggered of this researcher work is the fact our people appear not to understand the role of co-operative societies in economic development.
More so, it is the non-chalant attitude of most people to embracing the idea of the co-operative societies as at one of the viable instruments for the economic development in our country. It is therefore on the foregoing promise that this research work becomes necessary in the first instance.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The role of co-operative societies in economic development cannot be over embarrassed. However a lot of problems abound of which this research work aims to solve objectively.
The purpose of the study includes:
1. To find out the lasting solution to the low income per head associated with most developing countries through the understanding of co- operative movement.
2. To examine the views of our people for their non- chalant attitude towards co-operatives societies by unlashing the various benefits accruing from this movement as it affects economic development.
3. To identify its usefulness as a reference point to their understanding of co-operatives societies as an instrument for self-help and self reliance.
4. To identify the problems associated with co- operatives societies in economic development of Nigeria.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The societies of this study/project work was to cover Akwa Ibom State co-operative Bureau staff of co-operative thrift and credit society, ltd, Akwa Ibom State co-operative Bureau.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The study was conducted under the time limit of the researcher academic programme that the researcher faced.
The financial status of the researcher limited the scope of respondents used for the study.
Furthermore, our library posed another limitation as text books, journals and articles on co-operatives societies and economic development were lacking, hence they are the key variable for the study. This affected the researcher.
The exigency of duties among the respondents posed another limitation as the researcher found difficult to call them together on one occasion.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To guide this study, four research questions and four hypotheses were formulated as below and in table 1.6 respectively
To what extent does the existence of co-operative societies help in solving the problems of Low-income per head with most developing countries?
To what extent is the usefulness of co-operative societies serve as a reference point for the self-help and self-reliance?
To what extent has government gone to curb problems associated with co-operatives societies as regard in economic development?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS (NULL)
In the course of the study four (4) hypothesis were tested include:
H01: There are no significant benefits to Low-income per-head as the regards the existence of the co-operatives societies.
H02: There is no significance evidence to prove that some people have non-chalant Attitude towards co-operative societies.
H03: There is no usefulness of co-operatives societies in serving as reference point for self-help and self-reliance.
H04: There is no identified problem associated with co-operative societies towards economic development.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
A work of this nature is not without significance or relevance to some people group, countries and organization alike.
It is on these premises therefore that the researchers outline the significance of the study as follows:
This study will provide growth for the rural dwellers and the less- privileged group seeking to improve their living standard through self help and self-reliance efforts such as co-operation societies.
It is significance to any country in the guest to improve her economic development through co-operative movement.
This research will serve as a reference point to many itching to establish co-operative societies or embark on research towards improving co-operative movement in our society.
The society at large will benefit from various activities on projects carried out by most cooperative societies.
Government will find the existence useful as cooperative societies encourage economic Development.
The study will assist in identifying various problem associated with associated with co-operative societies.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms and concept are used and applied in this research as defined:
A role in the context of this research is taken to mean a cooperative task or duty in economic development.
This is the process by which communities, Local government areas with how per capital national income may increase their production of goods and services, employment, level of demand so as to raised their standard of living.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This chapter reviews literature relating to the theme and sub-themes of the study. Major ideas of this section are grouped and presented under the following sub-heading:
Historical background of the cooperative society. Aims of Akwa Ibom state Bureau and staff cooperative Thrift and credit society. Organization and sources of fund to cooperative societies. Role of cooperative societies in economic development of Nigeria.
Summary of literature review.
2.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY
Co-operative society is a association of persons who have voluntarily joined to achieves a common aim and through self-help, self-reliance and democratically controlled organization had its origin in Europe (international labour organization conference, 1966).
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