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This study was carried out to investigate the role of participatory communication in the operation and activities of Cooperative Societies in Kaduna Metropolis. The aim of the study is to view how sustainable empowerment and development is deliverable through participatory communication that enables the poor and low income earners to harness their human and natural resources effectively and engaged them into productive ventures through owners’ cooperatives. The study raised three objectives and three research questions that teased out the justification of the study. The modernasition theory was previewed and the bottom-top approach to development was conceptualized as relevant to the study. Literature on sustainable development, participatory approach, participatory communication, participatory learning and action (PLA), cooperative operations and other related literatures were reviewed. A survey method was employed by the study with a population of 3000 respondents and participants consisting members and non-members of cooperatives societies. The research method included cluster sampling technique, questionnaire, focus group discussion, participatory learning and action (PLA) games and exercises and participant observation. The major findings from the study among others showed that operations and activities of cooperatives are premised on dialogic or communication processes that are characterized by inclusion, equal partnership, transparency, sharing power, sharing responsibility, self sacrifice and investments which engenders self sustainable growth and development among members
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Nigeria over the years has been plagued by poverty, which made the country to be ranked
amongst the poorest in the world, despite its huge wealth of petroleum and natural resources. This sad
situation is comparable to the proverbial paradox of a hen that is lying hungry on a heap of guinea corn.
The present situation undoubtedly is that a substantial population of Nigeria is living below the poverty
Statistics on Nigeria’s poverty situation by the UNDP Human Development Report for the year
2011 is quite alarming. Latest report from the United Nations (2011) indicates that the Nigerian
government has failed to improve the well-being of majority of its population despite gain in democratic
transition. The report which examined progress on multiple social development scored Nigeria below
average in every aspect of the country’s surveyed Humanitarian Profile (HP) that includes health care,
adult literacy, malnutrition, water and sanitation, maternal mortality and disaster management – floods
and lead poisoning. Coming on the heel of Nigeria’s crucial general election, the HP report shows that
more than 90 millions Nigerians are “multi-dimensionally poor” – deprived of basic health, education
and living standards.
The UNDP (2011) ranked Nigeria 142 out of 169 countries on the United Nations Human
development index. On health, only 39 percent of the Nigerian population has access to improved
sanitation facilities. Breakdown in social infrastructure and health system, poor hygiene and la
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