The Role of Cooperative Societies towards Development of Rural Communities



ABSTRACT: This study investigates the Role of Cooperative Societies towards Development of Rural Communities in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. The research designs employed in this study were descriptive design.  The population of the study comprises of the residents of Akwanga Local Government in Nasarawa State. The population size is 172,000. Oral interview were carried out, several book were consulted and also, finding of registered co-operative societies and number of their members were carried out. From the findings, it revealed that those areas with co-operative societies gain more government attention than those without co-operative societies. The study reveals that for a government to achieve all round development empowering co-operative societies should be given utmost attention.

The Role of Cooperative Societies towards Development of Rural Communities





Generally, a cooperative society is a business organization in which a group of individuals with common interests mutually agree to come together with the goal of promoting their economic activities, such as production, distribution or marketing of goods and services, and provision of other welfare benefits to their members (Anyaele 2003).

Matthews-Njoku et al. (2003) view the cooperative as an association of persons, usually of limited means, who voluntarily join together to achieve a common economic end through the formation of a democratically controlled business organization, making equitable contributions to the capital and accepting a fair share of risks and benefits. Over a 100 million jobs have been created by cooperatives around the world (Allahdadi 2011). The problem of developing the rural area has received the attention of many experts and researchers as well as the government.  This is because it constitutes a serious bottleneck to the socio-economic development of the country as well as the communities.  It is in the light of this, that I have decided to examine how rural areas would be developed with the help or assistance of co-operative societies using Akwanga local Government as the case study.

          Rural development according to Diejomoah (2003) is “The process of not only increasing the level of per capital income in the rural area but also the standard of living of the rural population measured by food and nutrition level, health, education, housing, recreation and security. Also Rural development according to UNO (1960) is “The process by which the effort of the people themselves are United with effort that of government authorities to improved the economic social and cultural conditions of the rural communities to integrate those community into life of the nation and to enable them contribute meaningful to national development.

     Therefore, Rural Development is an integration activity involving the Implementation of programmes of agriculture, health, education, home management, provision of infrastructure and other community facilities under the supervision of the government, its agencies and the local people.

          There is no gainsaying that Co-operative society is one of the principal agents of rural community’s development.  It is not only an avenue for job opportunities, but also as a training ground for the rural community’s dwellers and other society and economic benefits.  Hence, it is a strong factor in the nation’s economic development.

          Helms (2005) on the other hand defines co-operative society as an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to have a common end through the formation of a democratically controlled enterprise, making equitable contribution to the capital required and accepting a fair share of the risk and benefit of the undertaking in which the member activity participate.  On the other hand it could be seen as a voluntarily association of persons having mutual ownership in providing themselves some needed service on non-profit basis usually organized as a legal entity to accomplish objectives through joint participation of its members.

          As it is, the problem faced by the rural communities dwellers in Nigeria today is complex.  It is those in he rural communities areas who have to produce not only enough for their families but also for industries and urban population.   They also have to produce cash crops either for processing by local industries or for export.  Still they lack the basic necessities of life.

          Co-operative is a vital issue in every community in this world.  Place where it has been properly put into effective operation, its members have greatly achieve something from it.  Akwanga Local Government area is one of the area where co-operative societies have improved the live of its citizens.

          Hence assistance should be given to the rural communities people e.g. Akwanga people so as to enable them improve politically, economically, socially and otherwise through co-operative societies.

          This project therefore, intends to examine rural communities development, discuss or diagnose strategies adopted by coo-operative societies in developing rural communities areas.  Examine the problem areas if coo-operative societies and to provide recommendation or solution to the problem so far identified. 



There has been a problem of viable economic sectors in most rural communities in Nigeria, in which Akwanga Local Government Area is no exception. The rural communities in the local government area food security situation has been under threat owing to recurrent drought resulting from climate change, political polarisation or instability and the devastating effects of the HIV and/or AIDS and as well as covid-19 pandemic.

Perhaps, one of the greatest problem confronting Rural communities Development today is the lop sided and unbalanced development of their environment and how best to improve the living standard of the rural communities dwellers.  It is not in correct to state that the gross unbalance and inequalities in the level of development between the rural communities and urban areas of Nigeria is enormous taking Akwanga local government area for example. 

Inspite of all the orchestrated policies and programmes of successive government in Nigeria.  The problem of rural communities backwardness and under – development has remained unresolved.   This is evident in the persistence of agriculture stagnation, hunger, poverty, disease, unemployment, poor housing, under-employment, poor infrastructure facilities.  Most of our rural communities areas also suffer from inadequacy of social services, high birth rate and death rate, low life expectancy, malnutrition and Ignorance, lack of productive, technical and managerial skill to improve production.

          In the light of these problems, the researcher is therefore boarded and wants to probe into the activities of co-operative societies to know whether they are contributing towards the development of our rural communities areas with a particular focus on Akwanga Local government area of Nasarawa |State.

          The researcher also intends to investigate the impact of co-operative societies on rural communities development by identifying the above mentioned phenomenon and to know the prospect and problems encountered by co-operative so cities in their attempt to develop the rural communities dwellers.


          The broad objective of the study is to examine the contribution of co-operative societies to the development of Akwanga Local Government Area.

          The specific objectives are as follows:

  1. To identify or determine whether co-operatives societies have contributed to the development of rural communities areas in Akwanga Local government Area.
  2. To find out the financial problem areas affecting the contribution of co-operative societies to the development of Akwanga Local Government Area.
  3. To determine the impact of the strategies design and adopted by co-operative societies in rural communities development/
  4. Make recommendation on ways towards ensuring greater success of co-operative societies in future.

The Role of Cooperative Societies towards Development of Rural Communities


This study intends to achieve the following objectives.

  1. Help in educating the farmers and the entire rural communities dwellers on the importance of co-operative societies.
  2. Also at the end of the research work, the general public would have gained a lot of knowledge on the importance of co-operative societies.
  3. The study will also be significant to future researchers on the facts of rural communities areas.
  4. Also helps to discover, problems of co-operative societies and provide recommendation to the problem identified.


The following questions are to guide the researcher towards finding out the solutions related to the problems, objective and the question of research.

  1. Do co-operative societies play vital role in the development of rural communities areas?
  2. Do financial problem hinder the activities of co-operative societies.
  3. How helpful are government and financial institutions in enhancing the activities/ roles of co-operative societies?
  4. Do you think co-operative societies provide infrastructures towards the development of rural communities areas?
  5. Do you consider the training of c-operative personnel important towards enhancing their performance as an instrument of development?
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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.