Climbing out of Poverty: The role of Co-operative Societies in Lagos, Nigeria. Taibat Lawanson and Basirat Oyalowo Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of Urban and Regional Planning (ICURP 2014), 13th-15th October, 2014. University of Lagos, Akoka. Theme: Urban Agenda for Africa: Realities, Challenges and Potentials. Convened by the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. University of Lagos, Akoka.
INTRODUCTION • The Human Development Report (2012) rates Nigeria as the 23rd poorest country in the world, • With 64.4% of the population living below the United Nations Poverty line of US$1.25 per day. • Lagos: over 100 identified informal settlements and 200 slum settlements • About 65% surviving from the informal economy • Estimated to become Africa’s largest city by 2015(UN-Habitat, 2011), the strategic positioning of Lagos, coupled with the intensity of poverty has consequences for Africa’s economic and social development.
INTRODUCTION • A coping strategy for the urban poor is participation in informality, both economic and social. • Takes many forms: such as money lenders, estate owners, grain millers, smallholder farmers and self-help groups; social welfare schemes such as those run by employers, friends and neighbors; and mutual aid entities, such as cooperative credit and thrift societies and rotating saving and credit associations • The informal microfinance system is particularly beneficial for informal economic activities. • An avenue through which both the borderline and absolute poor can access loans to become self employed and probably escape poverty
Co-operatives and Poverty Alleviation • Fapojuwon, Alarima and Abiona (2012) examined the contribution of co-operative organizations to poverty alleviation • . Mudi-Okorodudu (2007) concluded otherwise, in an inductive study of the effectiveness of co-operative societies as poverty alleviation channels and cooperatives cannot effectively lift the participants under study above poverty, although it could assist them to ‘manage’ poverty. • . EFInA (2010) conducted a study into the structure of co-operatives in three states in Nigeria. The study employed a qualitative methodology with the use of in-depth interviews of co-ordinating agencies and focus-group discussions for members of primary co-operatives. They found that the depth of co-operatives varied from state to state.
Co-operatives and Housing • Housing is a capital intensive venture, generally constituting the most significant piece of asset of a family and costing up to 8 times the average household income. • EFInA (2010) estimates that as at 2010, there were 82,460 co-operative groups with over 1.4 million members in 605 local government areas in Nigeria. However, there is little systematic data available on these co-operatives and their participation in the direct provision of housing for their members.
This study… • A desk-study of co-operative societies in Lagos State was carried out to ascertain the predominant typology of co-operative societies and the gender structure of these societies. • Six co-operative area offices : (Apapa, Alimisho, Epe, Badagary, Ikeja and Ibeju-Lekki )were selected on the basis of geographical location from the 18 area offices present in Lagos State. • These area offices were subjected to in-depth analysis to establish both their structure and the activities. • A total of 655 co-operatives of the 1,141 co-operatives registered in Lagos form the sample size of this aspect of the study. • The entire sample population was derived from an –on-line directory of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. activities.
This Study… Household Survey • Household heads residing in 31 identified low-income communities in Lagos metropolis. • Low-income settlements with the highest populations were selected in each local government area. • A survey was undertaken of residential buildings with more than ten households per building in these communities. This came to 2 109 buildings across the study area, and this was adopted as the sample frame.
This Study… Household Survey • A sample size of 25 per cent (527 households) was selected, after which proportional sampling of 17 households per community was done. • Data collection was by the administration of structured questionnaires
Findings... Desk-Study • Structure of Co-operatives in Lagos State: 3 apex societies, 18 area offices, 1141 primary co-operative societies. • The overall co-ordination of co-operatives in the state lies with the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. • Co-operative Types. • Epe has the highest number of co-operatives at 202, whilst Badagry has the least, at 24. • Predominance of multipurpose societies (C.A.M.S) in Apapa, Badagry, Epe and Ibeju-Lekki. • Also, apart from Epe, all other area offices had a predominance of co-operatives based in the paid employment sector, registered as staff co-operatives. • Epe however has the highest proportion of agricultural production co-operatives at 30%; and by extension, the highest number of co-operative societies drawing its membership from the non-salaried sector. • This is not surprising given the extent of urbanization of the area compared with the others.
Findings Housing • Only Ibeju-Lekki has registered housing co-operatives constituting 10% of the 61 registered co-operatives in the area. • The predominance of Co-operative Thrift and Credit Societies (C.T.C.S) and Multipurpose societies Gender Dynamics • Gender dynamics are notable. A few co-operatives are registered as Woman co-operatives, notably in Epe and Ibeju-Lekki areas. • Women farmer’s co-operatives in Ibeju-Lekki also has male membership. • In percentages, Alimosho has the highest proportion of female members at 65%; and Epe and Badagary had more female members than males. This could be an indication of the lower proportion of women in the salaried employment sector in the state.
Findings… Household Survey Housing Typology: • Most respondents (60.9%) lived in buildings where they shared facilities with at least seven other families; 5.5% of respondents lived in buildings of more than 13 households. • Other household characteristics revealed by the study include the fact that over 60% of the respondents were migrants to Lagos. • The sample consisted of 53.78 per cent male and 46.2 per cent female respondents • The results indicated that the population was economically active, as more than 80% of respondents were aged between 16 and 45. • Furthermore, about 73% of the population were literate, according to UNESCO standards, as they possessed a minimum of secondary school education.
Findings… Household Survey • HOUSEHOLD INCOME AND ASSETS: • Informal enterprises • access to other income flows – mainly income from abroad (2.7%) • thrift/cooperative collaborations (47.5%) • With regard to the possession of assets, more than 50%of respondents returned positive responses related to ownership of house and land, although in most cases the properties were family owned and located in their native villages. • The terms and conditions of the rotating credit schemes and the cooperative society loans were agreeable and less burdensome than those of formal credit institutions
Conclusion • Co-operative Societies indicated as a means of poverty alleviation • Low participation of co-operatives generally in housing finance and development • Increasing potential for co-operatives in housing finance and development