Having an unregistered cooperative society must have caused you a lot of harm and you might have sought for ways on how to register your newly established cooperative society in Nigeria. Who would want to have things done with an unregistered cooperative society when you believe that it might be a fraudulent one. We as Nigerians have gone through a lot and I believe our eyes are opened.
A (registered) cooperative society is “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”.
Registering a cooperative society in Nigeria isn’t an easy one and you’d have to make available some information’s to ease the process. These includes:
- Proposed name of the society.
- Proposed location of the society.
- Objectives of the society.
- Membership rules (terms of admission, entrance fees, etc).
- By-laws of the society.
Some documents would be required from you at the register before processing your request and they include:
- A certificate of a copy of resolution passed at the first meeting of the group with the Province Cooperative Officer (PCO).
- Feasibility study report.
- Four copies of proposed by-laws of the society.
- Letter of intent (to join the society) from prospective members.
You would be required to pay a fee of N10,000 and after a two – three months would be given a letter of recognition to use as a license for three (3) years, after which you would be given a certificate of registration which can only be cancelled if your society wants to cease to exist or if the society acts contrary to any rule that has license cancellation as its penalty.
Before going through the stress of the list above you need to know if the society you’re about registering is even eligible and according to Nigerian Civil Registration laws, the cooperative society seeking registration must have the following:
- At least twenty members.
- Board members should be eighteen (21) years and above.
- A member must be at least fifteen (18) years of age.
- Every board member must be in an occupation relevant to the primary society.
- A member must be capable of paying fees and buying shares.
Asides from the above listed points, other tips that could aid in the registration of cooperative societies includes:
- No society can be registered with a name that is identical or resembles a name which a person or an association already registered.
- “Bank” cannot form part of the name except in a case that the principal objective of the society is to give out grants/loans to other registered societies. This society would be referred to as “Central Financing Society”.
- The society to seeking registration must have the word “Cooperative” as part of its name.
- The society must have a meeting to select its executive before applying for registration.
- The society must appoint a District Cooperative Officer (DCO) and a Provincial Cooperative Officer (PCO).
- The society must operate in the area where most (or if possible, all) of its members reside.