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Enugu, Nigeria
Enugu State

Co-operative As An Instrument For Poverty Alleviation

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This research study is designed to show or/and evaluate how co-operative societies can be used to alleviate poverty in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State. According to H. Calvert, co-operative society is defined as a form of organization where-in people voluntarily associate, together as human beings, on a basis of equality, for the promotion of the economic interest of themselves. Co-operative society is also seen as a voluntary association of individuals combined to achieve an improvement in their social and economic conditions, the common ownership and democratic management and control of the enterprise remains theirs.

In Umuahia North L.G.A of Abia State, there are many co-operative societies but for the benefit of this study some societies were selected.

Two sources of data namely primary and secondary data were used. Questionnaire were also used as a research instruments to supplement information while the hypothesis testing was conducted using chi-square (x)2.

Poverty hinders the growth and development of our country in the following ways;

-              Insufficient capital

-              Low per capital income

-              Corrupt officials

-              Poor economics of scale etc.

On the basis of the above findings and conclusion the following recommendations were made to eradicate and improve or/and make greater percentage of Nigerians live above poverty line through adopting the following strategies; - FADAMA – This programmed aims at establishing irrigation to provide vegetables in country all year round. _ NDE – This is aimed at creating job opportunity by training interested individuals on different skills. With the following programmes, co-operative society with the help of government can immensely eradicate poverty in Nigeria.


Title Page                                                                                        i

Approval Page                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                       iii

Acknowledgement                                                                          iv

Abstract                                                                                           v-vi

Table of Contents                                                                           vii


1.0       Introduction         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        1

1.1    Background of the Study     -        -        -        -        -        2

1.2    Statement of Problem           -        -        -        -        -        -        5

1.3    Objectives of the Study        -        -        -        -        -        6

1.4    Research question      -        -        -        -        -        -        7

1.5    Statement of hypothesis -    -        -        -        -        -        7

1.6    Significance of the Study     -        -        -        -        -        8

1.7    Scope of the Study     -        -        -        -        -        -        9

1.8    Limitation of the Study          -        -        -        -        -        -        9

1.9    Definition of Terms      -        -        -        -        -        -        10


2.0       Review of Related Literature         -        -        -        -        12

2.1    Introduction and Definition of Poverty    -        -        -        18

2.2    How to Reduce Poverty       -        -        -        -        -        19

2.3    The Effects of Poverty         -        -        -        -        -        -        25

2.4    Government and Non-governmental Organization

Involvement in Poverty Alleviation         -        -        -        -        26

2.5       How Co-operative can be used to reduce and/or

Eliminate Poverty        -        -        -        -        -        -        29


3.0       Research Methodology        -        -        -        -        -        32

3.1    Introduction         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        32

3.2    Research Design        -        -        -        -        -        -        32

3.3    Population of the study        -        -        -        -        -        -        33

3.4    Sampling Design         -        -        -        -        -        -        34

3.4    Sources of Data          -        -        -        -        -        -        -        36

3.5    Procedure for Processing Data (Chi-square)-        -        38


4.0       Data Presentation and Analysis   -        -        -        -        40

4.1    Introduction         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        40

4.2    Presentation and Data analysis-   -        -        -        -        40

4.3    Test of Hypothesis      -        -        -        -        -        -        48


5.0       Summary of Findings, Recommendation and Conclusion        52

5.1    Summary of Findings -        -        -        -        -        -        52

5.2    Conclusion         -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        53

5.3    Recommendation        -        -        -        -        -        -        55

          Bibliography       -        -        -        -        -        -        -        57

          Appendix   -        -        -        -        -        -        -        -        59





The challenges of poverty at the margins ,in most of the developing world which Nigeria is included is a contemporary challenge and is captured in the millennium development goals.

Is poverty really visible? The answer is “NO”. what is visible rather is its destructive foot prints which is in its venomous effects. One cannot see it in itself but one can see and feel its impacts, its trails, its challenges. Hence, one wonders imaginatively where poverty is? Is it in the Local Government Area? Is it in the states? Is it in the country? Does it like the word dwelling among men and women? Is it the manifestation of evil or evil itself? Objective assessment of this canker worm (poverty) reveals that it is for a nation that accepts it.

There are different types of poverty, namely relative poverty and absolute poverty?

Relative poverty is reflected in normal living standards of the people where income of individuals are been compared.

Absolute poverty is measured not only by low income but by malnutrition, poor health condition, clothing, shealter, active unemployment and lack of education.

Therefore, this challenges of poverty has lead to the establishment of cooperative society since despite the rise of the philosophy of market forces in a globalizing world, there appears to be no alternative to numerous small producers living at the fringe of life.


The background of this research work states clearly how cooperative can be used as an instrument for poverty Alleviation in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State.

This could however be understood when we define cooperative as an autonomous, voluntary membership and variable capital whose members can pull their resources on the bases of self help, solidarity, mutual assistance and self reliance, to form a democratically managed and controlled business enterprise in which the members actively participate and whose basic objective is the promotion of the socio-economic interest through solution of at least one socio-economic problem of those members by directly providing them with goods, capital and services or employment in the members dwelling capacity either owner customers or owner employees in auxiliary and productive cooperative society.

However, people pool themselves and their resources together as a result of inability to solve their problem single handed due to poverty, this ugly trend has eaten deep into the blood stream of the people and poses the major threat of the economic well being of the people of Umuahia North Local Government Area. To redress this ugly trend which militates against the economic development of the society and which has been the suffering of the common man, adequate measure and policy should be put in place.

In view of the government effort to alleviate poverty several programmes and measures has been put in place to better the lives of the masses, such programmes are National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank (NACEDB), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), FADAMA, Family Economic Advancement Programme(FEAP) etc.

The government had also identified cooperatives as a channel through which programmes could be implemented to alleviate poverty and the means through government incentives and aids would get to the grass root level and proper result achieved.

At this point, this research work tends to review the role of cooperative as an instrument for poverty alleviation.

Many advanced societies (countries) have embraced cooperative as a form of business enterprise while others are embracing it at fast rate. This is based on the relief that the organization has a lot to offer to the growth of the economy in order to achieve poverty alleviation and to enhance the standard of living of their people. Historically, cooperative hade developed in response to some difficult situation to which a group of people were subjected vis visa the rest of the society.

Consequently, the under privileged people have gathered to protect themselves by providing those things that they could not obtain from any other source through joint action. The general low income of most people in the rural area is a pre requisite for their group action of establishing viable enterprise, cooperative movement is seen by the government as an instrument that is capable of supplementing government efforts in raising development capital and thereby assisting the growth of the economics.


Poverty is the continuous widening or increasing state of wants. It also explains the inability to provide for sustenance for basic necessities of life. This reveals those problems the under developed or poor countries suffer from such as under nutrition, poor health, little or no literacy, in sanitary condition, little political voice, lack of capital, meager living on small and marginal farms or in dilapidated urban slums, low technology, unemployment, population explosion, ethnic crisis, dependency on foreign goods and backward economy (Charles Kemjika Agoba 2006, pg 212 and 213). All these are the effects of the vicious circle of poverty which are







Obviously, the concept of poverty has been so venomous that the smells are perceived in any area or nation it visits. These smells are the aspects of poverty, which limit and blight the lives of many millions of people in the world and with special attraction to Nigerians.


The general objective of this study is to assess the role of cooperatives in poverty alleviation. The specific objectives include the following:

i.             To determine and show the extent to which cooperative have helped to alleviate poverty in Umuahia North.

ii.            To show the relationship between the government and non governmental organizations (NGO’s) especially cooperative society towards poverty alleviation.

iii.           To show how poverty could be alleviated through cooperatives.

iv.          To find out whether cooperatives can provide rural employment and improve the income of the rural population.

v.           To make policy recommendations based on the findings.




1.      Is cooperative society a good instrument for poverty alleviation?

2.      Is there any relationship between the government and non-governmental organization especially cooperative towards the eradication of poverty?


1.      H0     -        Cooperative society is not a good instrument for                   poverty alleviation.

          HI          -        Cooperative is a good instrument for poverty                   alleviation.

2.      H0         -        There is no significant relationship between the                   government and non-governmental organization                   especially cooperative towards the eradications of                   poverty.

          HI          -        There is significant relationship between the                   government and non-governmental organization                   especially cooperative towards the eradications of                   poverty.



At the completion of this research work, if bold steps are taken on the research findings that is if the actions are been implemented, the researcher is optimistic that this research work is going to be of great importance to the entire Umuahia North and the whole cooperative societies will have a better chance or will stand a better chance of receiving loan and attracting government attention on installing infrastructures.

To the members of cooperatives societies, this research work is going to be of great importance because they are going to be on the safer side of bargain for discounts in the inputs markets and ensure steady supply of inputs.

The researcher and the research institution will as well benefit from this study because the study will expose the researcher to many literatures in this field of study. At the same time the researcher’s institution will be made proud of successful completion of this study.

Then, the society at large will benefit from this as it will alleviate poverty of the nation through cooperative development.



This research work cooperative as an instrument for poverty alleviation is based on how cooperative society can be used to alleviate poverty in Umuahia North L.G.A of Abia State. Some cooperative societies and government programmed in Umuahia North L.G.A were visited. Oral questions were given to officers and members of the visited societies. Questionnaires were also distributed to them. Through the answers supplied by the respondents, the researcher of this work believed that cooperative society, if given the best needed and appropriate support from the government will be the best instrument to alleviate poverty in Umuahia North and the country at large.


In the process of producing this research work, so many obstacles were encountered like:

i.             Insufficient and inadequacy of data

ii.            Non cooperative attitude of some officials visited

iii.           Inadequate source of materials

iv.          Insufficient finance

v.           High cost of transportation

vi.          It was not easy to contact some of the needed officials of Umuahia North Cooperative Society and NGO’s Visited.


1.      POVERTY: Is a situation of moral, intellectual and material defectiveness. Charles Kemjika Agoha (2006).

2.      CO-OPERATIVE: According to Samuel C. Chukwu, cooperative are institutions within whose framework cooperation or joint activities by people take place in a formalized long-term, deliberated and to a great extent, specific form in the social and especially economic spheres of human endeavours.

3.      NAPEP:  National Poverty Eradication Programmes

4.      NACEDB: Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank.

5.      NDE: National Directorate of Employment

6.      FADAMA: Is an Hausa language and not an Acronym meaning swampy area where crops can be cultivated especially vegetables and legume throughout the whole season of the year.

7.      VICIOUS CIRCLE: Is a circular constellation of forces which acts and reacts upon one another in a manner that perpetuate poverty in poor nations.

8.      HYPOTHESES:  Are educated guesses at what the outcome of the study may be

9.      ALLEVIATION:  To make something easy.


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