Become part of the cooperative family!
In forming a Co-operative Society, the following processes should be followed:
- Invite potential members to discuss the felt-needs for which a Co-operative could be formed.
- Discuss the above outcome at a General Meeting and decide whether or not to go ahead.
- Hold an exploratory meeting with the potential members and choose a steering committee member.
- Confirm felt needs by the result of voting to decide whether or not to carry on.
- Visit the Co-operative Officer – in – charge (Ministry of Community Development and Co-operatives or Ogun State Co-operative Federation Limited (OGSCOFED) Secretariat, Asero, Abeokuta) of the Zone and inform him/her of your decision.
- Set – up a small group to liaise with the Co-operative Officer to develop the Society By-Law and other necessary documents for the registration of the Co-operative.
- Call meeting of members and other potential members to review and adopt the proposed By-Laws.
- Elect a Protem Committee.
- Submit Application for registration through your Zonal Co-operative Officer.
- Procure all the relevant Books and Records.
- Convene the first meeting of the Committee and assign responsibilities to implement the business plan developed.
- Conduct a membership drive and
- Commit the members to subscribe in the share capital of the proposed Co-operative.
Duties, Rights and Privileged of Co-operative Members
Duties:– In cooperative setting, there’s duties, rights and privilege for members. Also, English dictionary defines duty as something that you feel, you have to do because it is your moral/legal responsibility.
Right :– is also defined as something you’ve right to do legally, it can be in term of position, true/correct/normal/good.
Privileges means right/advantages most people do not have, it can also mean, opportunity to do thing that makes you proud or have information known to you only and few people.
1 What is Co-operative?
- The cooperative model has been adapted to numerous and varied businesses. In 1942 Ivah Emelianoff, a respected cooperative scholar remarked that “the diversity of cooperatives is kaleidoscopic and their variability is literally infinite” As a consequence of this diversity, no universally accepted definition of a cooperative exists.
- The ICA definition recognizes the essential element of cooperatives membership is voluntary. Coercion is the antithesis of cooperation. Persons compelled to act contrary to their wishes are not truly cooperating. True cooperation with others arises from a belief in mutual help. It can’t be dictated. In authentic cooperatives, person join voluntarily and have the freedom to quit the cooperative at anytime.
- Another widely accepted cooperative definition is the one adopted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1987: a cooperative is a user-owned, user-controlled business that distributes benefits on the basis of use. This definition captures what are generally considered the two primary cooperative principles: user ownership, user control, and proportional distribution of benefits. See More
2 Why Co-operating?
- People who organize and belong to cooperatives do so for a variety of economic, social and even political reasons. Cooperating with others has often proven to be a satisfactory way of achieving one’s own objectives while at the same time assisting others in achieving theirs. Let us have a brief knowledge about the duties/ rights/ priviledges of coop members.
3 A person shall be qualified for membership of a primary society if
- He has attained the age of eighteen years, except that in the case of a school cooperative society, the age limit shall not apply.
- He is resident or in occupation of land within the registered society’s area of operation as described in the bye – laws, except that in the case of credit society, the ownership or occupation of land within the area of operation of the society by the members shall not apply.
4 Rights and liabilities of members
- A member of a registered society shall not exercise the rights of a member unless he has made such payment to the society in respect of membership or has acquired such interest in the society, as may be prescribed in the byelaws of the society.
- Except with the prior consent of the registered society concerned, no person shall be a member of more than one registered society whose primary objective is to grant loans to its members
- A member of a registered society shall be entitled to have one vote only as a member in the conduct of the affairs of the society, provided that
- In the case of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote and
- In the case of a society of which a registered society is a member, that society may have such voting power as is provided for in its bye – laws
- No member, other than a registered society, shall hold more than one-fifth of the share capital of a society.
5 Rights of Cooperative on the member
- Right to terminate or expel a member from the society
- Right of recovery of debt due to the society from the estate of a deceased member.
- To suspend any member officer for a criminal offence or repeated future to perform duties.
- To summon meetings of members.
6 Obligations of Members to the Co-operatives
- To settle all dues to the Society such as entrance fees, shares, savings, loan interest and loan refund etc
- To declare assets/liabilities outside the society when granted admission to the society.
- Must not be a member of the same society whose objectives are the same
- Must be a legal person of good character
- Past members are liable for the debts of the society for a period of two years reckoned from the date they cease to be members.
- The estate of deceased members is liable for debts of the society for the period of two years from the date of the member’s death.
7 Right of Members on the Cooperative
- To enjoy the right of being considered a member
- To be voted for and to vote for others on the basis of one man, one vote
- To have the right to serve on the Management Committee
- To partake in all the services provided by the Cooperative
- To enjoy the right to be educated by the society
- To attend AGM, to receive and examine the stewardship account of the Management Committee of the society.
- Has the right in conjunction with other members to summon an emergency ordinary general meeting to discuss issue of urgent matter and
- Member shall not exercise membership right until due payment are made
8. Obligations of a Cooperative to the member
- To promote social and economic interest of members
- To provide essential services to the taste of members
- To admit qualified members on application
- To summon all members to all types of meetings
- To hold AGM and declare dividends to members
- To educate and provide information on the activities of the society to members
- To participate actively in Secondary and Apex Cooperative Organisations.
- To protect the assets of members and to invest in judicious manner.
9. Benefits of a Cooperative to members
- To improve the standard of living of members
- To assist members in time of their needs
- To declare ‘dividend’ for members’ patronage
- Protect members from exploiters, usurers etc.
- To assist grassroot members to participate in large business
- Encourages active participation at meetings etc
- Promote thrift, savings and investment to bequeathed to the next of kin or death
Conclusion:– A cooperative owned business needs to ensure its rules reflect and allow their cooperative governance intentions be tested against the Seven (7) International Co-operative Alliance Principle (ICA).
Lastly, know your society’s rules before doing business with them, learn your local/cooperative laws know the laws, do not be intimidated, by doing this, you will be more qualified to be call Cooperative Member.