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How to Register a Cooperative Society in Nigeria – Procedure

Are you searching for how to register a cooperative society in Lagos, Abuja, Kano or any other state in Nigeria? If yes, then there are some important details you should know about the requirements and procedure for how to register a cooperative societies in Nigeria as outlined in this article. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about how to register a cooperative society in Nigeria.

What is a Cooperative Society?

A cooperative society, is an association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs through a jointly owned and controlled business. A Cooperative society may involve individuals or businesses, other cooperatives and/or non-profit organizations.

Background & Objectives of a Cooperative Society

A cooperative society is an organization owned and run by its members who are willing to work together for their common social, economic, and cultural benefit. It operates on democratic principles of one member, one vote.

Cooperative society membership is voluntary and those of legal age can join upon payment of a membership fee. The capital belongs to members as individuals, not as shareholders.

The business of a cooperative society is conducted according to co-operative principles based on self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Members usually have equal voting rights regardless of how much they invest or how many services they use; each member has only one vote regardless of how much money they put into it or what share they receive from it.

Types of Cooperative Societies

Cooperative societies are generally classified into three distinct types. These are: consumer cooperative society, worker cooperative society and producer cooperative society.

Consumer cooperatives society ( Minimum of 20 members): Also known as retail cooperatives, it’s business owned by its members of about 20 persons who receive dividends based on their patronage. It operate on a model where people buy goods and services together for mutual benefit; examples include food co-ops, credit unions, housing co-ops, health care co-ops, Saving and credit cooperative, microfinance cooperative society, etc.

Worker cooperatives society ( Minimum of 20 members) ; Also known as producer or industrial cooperatives, it operate on a model where workers come together and agree to voluntary financial contribution for mutual benefit. e.g Multi-purpose cooperative society or General cooperative society.

Producer cooperative society ( Minimum of 50 members) ; Here members Engages in producing goods or services for its members who will reap profits based on how much they have contributed either financially or with work to produce these goods or services. e.g Agricultural cooperative society

Characteristics of a Cooperative of Society

A Cooperative society are democratic organizations controlled by its members. It’s member-owned, not shareholder-owned.  The members share risks and rewards, profits and losses. A Cooperative society business is operated for members mutual benefit and generally not for profit. The income of a cooperative society is used to provide goods or services for its members rather than to distribute dividends among investors or owners.

Benefits of a Cooperative society

A Cooperative society is a membership based organization where members pool their resources together to achieve a common objective. Cooperatives exist for multiple different reasons, but generally for socio-economic benefit, and their objective is to create an equitable and democratic system of trade.

There are many benefits associated with being a member of a cooperative society. The most important benefit of a cooperative society is that it allows members to take control over how they run their business, as opposed to working under someone else’s terms.

It also allows people who would otherwise not be able to start up a business on their own due to lack of capital or other resources (such as land) have access to those things through joining a cooperative.

Other benefits of a cooperative society include creating local jobs and reducing inequality in a community by providing equal opportunities for all.

A cooperative society allow producers to sell directly to consumers rather than having to go through intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers. This can save money for both parties involved in transactions between them, which means more profit for producers and lower prices for consumers.

A cooperative society tend to focus on environmental sustainability because it is beneficial for everyone involved. In order to do so cooperatives often work together with one another across borders which creates greater efficiency among them than if each one was acting independently of one another.

Requirement for Registering a Cooperative Society In Nigeria

How to register a cooperative society in Nigeria is quite simple and easy. Below are the requirements for the registration of a cooperative society in Nigeria;

Provide the Name of the Proposed Cooperative society.

Provide the location and address of the proposed cooperative society.

List the Objectives of the cooperative society.

Provide Membership rules (terms of admission, entrance fees, etc).of the proposed cooperative society.

Provide 4 copies of the By-laws of the proposed cooperative society.

Provide a copy of the certificate of resolution passed at the inaugural meeting of members with the Province Cooperative Officer (PCO).

Provide a copy of a Feasibility study report.

Provide a Letter of intent from prospective members of the cooperative society.

Procedure for the Registration of a Cooperative Society In Nigeria

Step 1. Begin the registration process by formally applying for the registration and paying the approved fee for registering a cooperative society to the Director of Cooperatives in the ministry of commerce and Industry in any of the 36 states of Nigeria and if you are in Abuja you can address it to the Office of National Civil Registration. at the federal ministry of Justice.;

Step 2. Officials of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative shall inspect the premises of the proposed cooperative society.

Step 3 .The minimum number of members must not be exceeded depending on the category of the cooperative society you are applying for.

Step 4. Officials of the ministry will issue a form to the cooperative society members to fill in their details and to be returned and also a name search is made to ascertain the availability.

Step 5. Upon confirmation of availability, a stamp and logo with the name of the cooperatives society and other documents should also be submitted for verification and approval.

Step 6. After completion of verification, if the Director of Cooperative society in the ministry is satisfied, he will then issue a letter of recognition. This recognition letter gives the cooperative members approval to operate as a cooperative society for 3years.

Step 7. After approval has been given to the cooperative society to operate officially, then a certificate of Registration with a certified copy of the by-laws governing the cooperative society will be issued after 3years.

Contact Addresses of Where To Register a Cooperative Society in Nigeria.

  1. Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative,  

Contact Address: Block 8, The Secretariat, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos



 2. Office of the National Civil Registration 

Contact Address: Sokode Crescent by Michael Okpara street, Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja. Tel: 09-5230667-9

3.  Abuja High Court of Justice Federal Capital Territory

Contact Address: Off Michael Okpara street, Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja. Tel: 09-5234988-9

4. Federal Ministry of Justice Federal Capital Territory

Contact Address : New Federal Secretariat Complex, 10th Floor, Wing IB (1001-1009), Block 1, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja. Tel: 09-5234988-9

5 Contact the cooperative society department in the ministry of commerce and industry in other states of Nigeria If you are outside Lagos and Abuja.