THE BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Although co-operation as a form of individual and societal behavior is intrinsic to human organization, the history of modern co-operative forms of organizing dates back to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries. The status of which was the 'first co-operative' is under some dispute, but various milestones in the history may be identified. In 1761, the Fenwick Weavers' Society was formed in Fenwick, East Ayrshire, Scotland to sell discounted oatmeal to local workers. Its services expanded to include assistance with savings and loans, emigration and education. In 1810, Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, from Newtown in mid-Wales, and his partners purchased New Lanark mill from Owen's father-in-law and proceeded to introduce better labor standards including discounted retail shops where profits were passed on to his employees. Owen left New Lanark to pursue other forms of co-operative organization and develop co-op ideas through writing and lecture. Co-operative communities were set up in Glasgow, Indiana and Hampshire, although ultimately unsuccessful. In 1828, William King set up a newspaper, The Cooperator, to promote Owen's thinking, having already set up a co-operative store in Brighton. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, founded in 1844, is usually considered the first successful co-operative enterprise, used as a model for modern co-ops, following the 'Rochdale Principles'. A group of 28 weavers and other artisans in Rochdale, England set up the society to open their own store selling food items they could not otherwise afford. Within ten years there were over 1,000 co-operative societies in the United Kingdom. Other events such as the founding of a friendly society by the Tolpuddle Martyrs in 1832 were key occasions in the creation of organized labor and consumer movements. From the report of the workshop held on 10th – 11th November 2008 during the 8 the ICA Africa regional assembly at the international conference centre, Abuja. Mr Tom Tar - The Executive Secretary of Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, In his introduction of the movement in Nigeria, said the Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (CFN) was formed in 1945 and got registered in 1967. He traced the background of cooperatives in Nigeria to the traditional savings and loans system. He added that following agitation by the Agege Cocoa planters Union in 1907, the study for establishment of formal cooperation was commissioned in 1934. This was followed by the enactment of cooperative legislation in 1935. The early move was in agriculture and latter shifted to marketing following the shift in the Nigerian economy from agriculture to crude oil. He gave the scope of cooperative activities in Nigeria as covering: On population, he said there are about 5million family members covering 20 million house holds. Total number of registered cooperative societies is about 50,000.
1.3 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant because it will produce data on cooperative movement in Nigeria that will be useful to: 1. federal ministry of labour and productivity
2. national union of local government employees
3. state civil service commission
4. federal civil service commission .
5. managers and top executives in organized private sector
6. united nation commission on employment
7. federal ministry of finance
8. Central bank of Nigeria
9. students carrying out a research work in this same issue.
Cooperative society is the organization of people for an improved agricultural production (Strickland, 1934). Historically in Nigeria, the orientation and growth of cooperatives in Nigeria was related to the development of agricultural export sector by the Colonial Masters who invited an expert in 1934 known as C.F. Strickland who served in...