PRIMARY COOPERATIVE AND MEMBERS SOCIO-ECONOMIC WELLBEING
Background of the Study
In order to get a clear picture of the subject matter, it is imperative to the defined cooperation. ICA Statement on the cooperative defines cooperative as an autonomous association of persons economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
However, primary cooperation which is the subject matter is defined as a society that has as its object the promotion of the socio-economic interest of its members through a common enterprise managed in accordance with cooperative principles. A primary cooperative society must have at least ten individuals if it is an auxiliary cooperative and six persons if it is a productive or industrial cooperative. Each of these must-have qualified for membership (NCSA, 1993).
Primary cooperatives are basically established to meet member’s social-economic needs. The operations of primary societies permit the people who live in the same locality with the same goals and aspirations to go into synergy in order to actualize such goals collectively (Ijere, 1998). The prospect of primary cooperative in promoting member’s economic welfare cannot be overemphasis sequel to the economic benefits arising from membership of primary societies: primary cooperatives in this regard pursue a mutually beneficial, social and economic interest, provide goods and services to each other and the general public in the most cost-effective way, prevent exploitation of the weaker members of the society by bringing them together to help themselves, protect the rights of the people as producers and consumers of goods and services, and promote mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among the people of the community in which such primary cooperative is located.
The economic results of establishing primary societies arise out of the operation of a society that is jointly own through synergy and the gains of such enterprise is distributed in such manner as would avoid one member gaining at the expense of the others. Primary cooperatives have been recognized as a veritable instrument for the promotion of member economic welfare owing to its ability in mobilizing and organizing people of the same economic and social aspiration into a common enterprise or primary societies, therefore, becomes very appropriate and suitable for improving the economic welfare of people through a common and collective enterprise that is people-oriented (Okoh, 2003). The prospect of primary cooperative in promoting members' economic welfare cannot be overemphasis sequel to the economic benefits arising from being a member of such society. It is against this background that the researcher deemed the subject matter worthy of investigation.
Statement of the problem Primary cooperatives have the potentials to boost the economic capacity of their members by mobilizing savings and granting soft loans to its members, providing other services as well as investment opportunities for its members (Okoh, 2003).
But in spite of this laudable prospect of primary cooperative in promoting member welfare, membership of primary cooperatives in the area of study is low and insignificant, as such, doubt is expressed about the prospect of primary cooperative in promoting members welfare in the area understudy. This is so because if indeed primary cooperatives promote members welfare as opined by (Okoh, 2003) then why is the membership of primary cooperative low and insignificant and their impact vague and obscure in the study area? It is in this light that the subject matter of this research is seen as a problem worthy of investigation.