The Effect Of Illiteracy On Co-Operative Societies In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Cooperative Societies In Mbaitolu L.G.A, Imo State)

Project and Seminar Material for Cooperative Economics and Management (CEM)

The Effect Of Illiteracy On Co-Operative Societies In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Cooperative Societies In Mbaitolu L.G.A, Imo State)


The purpose of this study is to examine and evaluate “The Effect of Illiteracy on Cooperative Organization in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State.” The research work covers all the registered Cooperative Societies in the area.

Two sources of data were used namely: The Primary and the Secondary data. Questionnaires were also used as research instruments to supplement information from the books and journals. Research questions were constructed to get feed back of the problems faced by the cooperative societies in the Local Government Area.

This work is divided into five chapters. The Background of the study, the Statement of Problems, Scope and Limitation of the study, Objectives of the study, Research Questions were treated in this work. Others include Significance of study and Limitation of the study and Definition of terms.

In Chapter Two, Literature review on past-related works will be discussed. In chapter three, the research is designed and methodology was discussed, including population of the study, sample size, sampling techniques, method of data collection, which will help give the result. In chapter four, presentation of data, analysis and interpretation of data was discussed. Finally, chapter five deals with the summary of the findings.

In the course of the study, the researcher aimed at assessing how illiteracy affects the performance of cooperative societies in the area, from the information given, the problem that seem to hinders cooperative business in the local government area are as follows: Lack of funds, lack of government support, inadequate cooperative education of members and lack of social /infrastructural facilities.

The study also proffered some recommendations to improve the performance of cooperative societies in the local government area.

Table Of Contents


  • Title page
  • Approval page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Hypothesis
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Meaning and Concepts of Illiteracy
  • 2.2 Problems of Illiteracy
  • 2.3 The problems on the Economy
  • 2.4 The Effects of Illiteracy
  • 2.5 Meaning and Concept of Cooperative Education and Training
  • 2.6 Importance of Cooperative Education and Training
  • 2.7 Objectives of Cooperatives Education in Nigeria
  • 2.8 Problems that Militate Against Effective Cooperative Education and Training
  • 2.9 Issues Calling for Cooperative Education
  • 2.10 Summary and Conclusion
  • References

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Geographical Area of the study
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques
  • 3.4 Instruments for Data Collection
  • 3.5 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.6 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary of Findings
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Education is central to development. It empowers people, strengthens nations and it is key to the attainment of the millennium development goals. Already, the world’s largest external financier of education, the world bank, is today more committed than ever to helping countries develop holistic education system aimed both at achieving education for all (EFA) and building dynamic knowledge societies that are keys completing global market through education for the knowledge of economy.

Illiteracy, in order words has been interpreted as the inability to read or write being illiterate can have a big effect on people’s lives. There are several problems that arise with illiterate people functioning in society. First, the costs of illiteracy are great burdens on large government as well as local areas. Secondly, there is the question of how people can survive in the literate world without being illiterate themselves. Thirdly, motivation for adult to become literate fluctuated in the past. This study centres on the effect of illiteracy on cooperative organization. The saying is true that when a man is not informed, he is deformed.

The failure of many cooperative in developing countries like Nigeria can be partly explained by the marked difference between their origin and that of agricultural cooperate movement in the industrialized countries, while the cooperative in the developed countries were formed from the principles of small membership. The root of the word “Cooperative” is a Latin verb “Operate” meaning to work and prefix “Co” meaning together along with people.

Also according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, the word Cooperative means working together to achieve a common purpose. Cooperation and cooperative society have been variously conceived of, and has been defined by different scholars and practitioners all over the world.

According to the directorate for Social Mobilization (MAMSER) cooperative is defined “as an association of person’s who have voluntarily joined a group to achieve a particular objectives, through the formation of democratically controlled organization to make equitable contributions to the capital required and accepting a fair share of risk and benefits of the undertaking in which members actively participate”.

People come together to form a cooperative society, because they cannot achieve their aims individually. These persons, who come to form the cooperative, occasionally have the same social and economic problems and having the interest of being a member of the cooperative society. A typical example of cooperative is the “ISUSU” or “ESUSU” type of association, where different indivudals contribute a certain amount of money, which is sometimes done weekly, or monthly base on the agreement of the members, when the money contributed accumulates, it will be given to any member of the association who is in need of money. This is an on going process and it is rational till all of them have received their own share, it is rotational in nature.

The definition of cooperative as stated earlier has been defined by many scholars and authors, but the most generally accepted is that of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) at its 1995 congress held in Manchester England. The Manchester congress defined cooperatives as “an autonomous association of persons United voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly, owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

In Nigeria today some states and local governments encourage cooperative education so as to eradicate illiteracy in cooperative organizations by organizing seminars, workshops etc. The high level of illiteracy is one major problem of cooperative management, in developed countries, the level of illiteracy is very low, compared to less developed countries, where illiteracy is at its paramount i.e. the population of these country are mostly illiterates or barely educated.

Mbaitolu Local Government Area is one of the local government areas that make up Imo State. It has 10 registered cooperative societies whose membership compositions are made up of both males and females. The various types of cooperative found in the local government are farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (MCS). Builders Cooperative Societies, Insurance Cooperative Societies, Artisans Cooperative Societies and Cooperative Palm Produce Societies (CPMS etc.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Illiteracy is a major obstacle to the growth and development of cooperative societies in Nigeria and Imo State in particular. Because of illiteracy among the cooperative officers and members the management of some of these cooperative societies have been inefficient. After the introduction of cooperative society with the aim of uplifting the standard of living of people, illiteracy stands as a problem and that is why cooperative has not been too successful in the local government Area. When the members and officers of cooperative organization are illiterates, they would not be able to understand and interpret the cooperative laws and byelaws.

Also, they will not know their rights and duties as members and officers/staff of the cooperative organization. Illiteracy on the side of the officers and staff of the cooperative will make them not to know the process of disbursing loans and conducting meetings for their societies. As a result, the cooperative organization will not experience growth and development. Even though cooperative societies in the local government area have in some areas experience growth and development, illiteracy could still be a barrier to the accomplishment of most of the cooperative societies aims and objective.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The major objective of the study is aimed at assessing the level of illiteracy among the members of cooperative societies in Mbaitolu Local Government of Imo State as well evaluating its effects on the activities of the societies.

The specific objectives:

  1. To identify the socio-economic characteristics of the members of the cooperative societies.
  2. To analyses the functions/activities of the societies in the L.G.A
  3. To examine the level of illiteracy among the members of the societies.
  4. To analyze and evaluate the effects of illiteracy on the activities of the societies.
  5. To identify and analyse the various problems emanting from illiteracy of the members.
  6. To make recommendations based on the findings of the study.

1.4 Hypothesis

  • H0: Illiteracy has no significant effect on cooperative society.
    H1: Illiteracy has significant effect on cooperative society.
  • H0: Illiteracy stands as a barrier, that is why cooperative societies has not been too successful in the local government.
    H1: Illiteracy do not stands as a barrier in the success of the cooperative society.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The important aspect of the study is its significant to the cooperative societies in Mbaitolu local government area, and those who in one way or the other would benefit from the recommendation made by the researcher in the nearest future. It is pertinent to state that various research works on cooperative emphasize mostly on cooperative education, management of cooperative, cooperative thrift and credit society. But this research covers the effects of illiteracy on cooperative organizations.

The significance or importance are as follows:

  1. It will give clear insight on the effects of illiterate cooperative organization in Mbaitolu LGA of Imo State.
  2. It will aid to critically assess how the cooperative society in Mbaitolu L.G.A performs and its activities.
  3. It will help the cooperative societies in Mbaitolu L.G.A know the cases of illiteracy and its effects on the organization.
  4. The research work will provide useful information to the cooperative organizations.
  5. It would equally be very useful to the various government levels, as it would aid in identifying the various areas where enabling legislations are necessary to encourage cooperative formation as well as fight the scourge known as illiteracy.

Finally, the result of the study will create room for further literature work on the same study.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The study covers the registered cooperative societies in the nine communities in Mbaitolu Local Government Area. Below are communities that make up the Mbaitolu Local Government Area, Afara, Orodo, Eziama, Ifakala, Umunouha, Ubomiri, Ogwa, Mbieri and Ogbaku.

1.7 Limitations Of The Study

The major constraints experienced in the course of this research work are as follows:

  1. Problem of data collection
  2. Problem of time factor
  3. Transportation problems
  4. Inconveniencies involved in trying to combine this project work with my class work, lectures and other personal problems
  5. Unavailability of finance required to carry out the study.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


It is a form of business organization, which involves the coming together of individual who have the same socio-economic problems, who then pool their resources together in order to help solve it (the problem).


This is the state of not knowing very much about a particular subject area or not having any knowledge about a certain thing.


Is the raising and using of money/fund by individuals, firms, and government or organizations for the day to day running and management of their business undertaking.


Is the pattern for combing the men and materials of a business to provide the most successful means for achieving the objective of the business.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary Of Findings, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary Of Findings

The study has evaluated the effects of illiteracy on cooperative organizations in Mbaitolu Local Government Area of Imo State. The research design adopted by the researcher was the field survey. After analyzing the data collection from the fieldwork, the following were the findings of the study.

  1. Cooperative business exists in Mbaitolu Local Government Area.
  2. The proportion of the female sex is more than the male sex. When it comes to membership size and management of cooperative societies in the local government area, that the male sex are not encourage to join or participate in the cooperative business.
  3. The management of cooperative is more or intrusion because from the study none of the managers/ presidents have certificate in cooperative studies.
  4. It was observe that illiteracy affects most of the cooperative societies in the Local Government Area which has lead to poor performance in the operations of the cooperative businesses.
  5. It was observed that cooperative members have the zeal to receive cooperative education, but they were not given the opportunity to have this cooperative education and training.
  6. Most of the cooperative societies in the Local Government Area do not embark on lucrative project, due to lack of cooperative education and inadequate funds.
  7. That cooperative members lack the necessary ability or rather are not knowledgeable enough to explore all the available opportunities that can make their cooperative business grow, i.e. how to operate a good cooperative and also the importance of being a cooperative member.
  8. The greater number of the members and management committee received informal cooperative education which is limited to some specific area, in terms of handling some technical situations, when the need arises.
  9. It was observed that cooperative societies operation in the Mbaitolu Local Government encounter a lot of problems, prominent among where are: Lack of education, lack of government support, lack of funds, managerial inefficiency, unreliability of members and lack of infrastructural facilities.
  10. The commonly found cooperative business in the Local Government Area is Farmers Multi-purpose Cooperative Society (FMCS) and Multi-purpose Cooperative Society (MCS).

5.2 Conclusion

The study has successfully evaluated or examines “The Effect of Illiteracy on Cooperative Organization in Mbaitolu Local Government Area”. The researcher discovered that cooperative illiteracy on members and local government area has made it very difficult for cooperative operation to be successfully transacted. It is purely tedious for members to understand the concept of cooperative, because some of them in the area see or regard cooperative as government organization, while others have it in their mind to join simply to obtain some immediate attainable benefit such as loans, farm inputs and farm implements etc. The study has also identified some problems militating against the success and survival of cooperative business as it affects the cooperative organization in the Local Government Area with a view to finding solutions to these problems. Government should encourage the cooperative business by supporting them financially, organizing seminars for them and also give cooperative members adequate cooperative education and training for an effective performance of cooperative organization in the Local Government Area.

Finally, recommendations have been made and if these recommendations are implemented by government at all levels and concerned indivudals, cooperative societies in Mbaitolu Local Government Area and their members would be better of, not only educationally, but also in all aspect of cooperative management.

5.3 Recommendation

Having known the effects of illiteracy in Mbaitolu Local Government Area and having identified the major constraints, the following recommendation will be necessary to ensure that illiteracy will be reduced in the society of the studied area:

  1. The Local Government and private indivudals should try to establish more cooperative schools/colleges in the area.
  2. The cooperative societies should be organizing regular seminars/workshop training for the members and at a low cost to enable more of the cooperative members to participate fully in the organization.
  3. The Local Government should assist in providing some social/infrastructural amenities in the cooperative which will aid in boasting the moral of the committee and members of the societies. It will also motivate them to embark on viable project.
  4. Cooperative staff and members in the Local Government Area should be given the avenue needed for formal cooperative education.
  5. Cooperative should refrain from looking up to government for assistance and be motivated in raising funds for themselves.
  6. They should map out strategies and measures to increase membership composition in the area.
  7. Informal cooperative education should not be given to cooperative members and committee because it will not give them the required ability to handle cooperative societies effectively.
  8. There should be cooperative movement in the local government area, and other governmental and non-governmental bodies should be encourage to enable members in the local government area have easy assess to cooperative education which they need for the enhancement of their productivity.
  9. Members of cooperative should always patronize their various cooperative businesses.
  10. Government at all level should support cooperative societies in the Local government area, there should be provision of infrastructural facilities i.e. good roads, electricity, health centers etc.
  11. There should be an extension officer who can put or direct the cooperative members in doing the appropriate things.

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