Nigeria: Cooperatives are doing wonders from business to marriage

The Nigerian Youth Cooperative Network has achieved much over the last 12 months. Our achievements show in our success stories that are shared by members.

The Nigerian Youth Cooperative Network has achieved much over the last 12 months. Our achievements show in our success stories that are shared by members.

For example, some members have received loans to meet up their needs. We have provided start-up capital for a member to set up a printing press, finances for members to buy clothing and textiles materials and to help set up a fish farming business.

We have provided finance to pay members' house/apartment rents, finish building their own house and buy cars to aid their mobility. Some members are even given loans to meet and improve their social status, such as through a wedding ceremony, a child naming ceremony and even some through socializing with co-op members — who met their spouse who they later married. Cooperatives are doing great wonders in Nigeria.

We have also provided a loan facility for members who want to pay school fees for their children and their own education, more so we also sponsor members to cooperative workshop/seminars/trainings home and abroad, we invite guest speakers to do in-house trainings on some youth career path, health talk, HIV/AIDS, marital affairs for singles and married to improve relationships and leadership skills among members.

Activities in the community have also created more awareness among young people about climate change/environmental issues and cooperatives as an alternative business enterprise that put people first and meet the aspirations of the youth. We organized a ‘clean up our environs’ program by picking all dirt out from the streets and make it cleaner.

During 2012, we want to cooperative business coming up and making progress by empowering more women and youth, also to seek more collaboration with NGOs , CSOs, CBOs, and international donors, and developmental agencies to come assist us technically and financially to be able to achieve our aims.

Our cooperative is the first organized youth cooperative Movement in Nigeria and what we do basically for now is more of organizing, developing and managing youth cooperatives; we represent them and coordinate affairs nationally. The structure covers all 36 state and Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. We have a Board of Trustees (BoT) comprising of the President, two Deputy Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. We have Executive Directors assisting the President as supporting officers and each state coordinator who are also national officers serving in the central working committee.

This year we plan to organize an International Youth Cooperative Conference where we can expose our youth cooperators to other international youth cooperators and cooperatives to share practical examples that will help develop our cooperative networks. We also want to do more of lobbying and advocate to the major stakeholders in the cooperative movement in Nigeria to seek their support for the emerging youth cooperatives.

We plan to reach all the 36 states and cover all the six geo-political zones in Nigeria in order to increase membership by 80% at least and spread the gospel of cooperation as alternative to poverty alleviation. We plan to begin student housing cooperatives for our cooperative students suffering from lack of hostel accommodation in their various colleges and institutions. 

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