AfricaCooperatives & CommunitiesDevelopmentWestern

Need a house? Try cooperative societies

Housing is one of the essential needs of man. But because the mortgage sub-sector is not virile, building a house can take a decade or two for some while for others, it could be longer. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE writes on how a cooperative society can assist not only individuals but also organisations to build their homes or estates.

A cooperative is an association of people to achieve a common goal through contributions.

One strategy deployed by the average Nigerian in becoming a landlord is through joining a credible cooperative society – thrift and credit.

The purposes of cooperatives are diverse. However, generally, they  tend to serve their members better.

Organisations have found it  convenient to encourage their members to form cooperative societies. Blue chip companies, such as Shell, Chevron, and Nigerian National Petroleum Corportation (NNPC), have cooperative societies.

Others are professionals groups, such as Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), and their counterparts in insurance, banks, higher institutions. They have thriving cooperatives, which own upscale estates, which in most cases, participants wouldn’t have been able to build individually and these dot the cities, especially new areas.

Prime Assets Housing Cooperative Society Managing Director  Mr. Gbadebo Adejana  said  cooperatives  create an umbrella for people.

He said it is more prominent in the informal sector where artisans and others join one for the sake of necessity, knowing that it  is the only way they can muster strength to  access credit to buy land.

After passing the hurdle of purchase and ownership of land  through the cooperative,  a member will thereafter, access more funds to start its development and pay at by instalments, he explained.

According to him, cooperative associations have the advantage of accessing loans and can bulk purchase building materials, such as cement, iron rods, paints, roofing sheets and locks and keys.

He added that manufacturers prefer to deal with cooperatives when the issue of credit arises.

On the objectives of his cooperative, he said it assists people to access funds to build their houses. Others are providing people the opportunity to buy properties and reconstruct them for their use, providing a 10-20 year micro-mortgage scheme for members, including real estate and other investment opportunities, for members.

Adejana continued: “For Prime Assets Housing Cooperative Society to deliver on their promises and better serve members,  we partner reputable individuals and organisations, particularly, micro-finance banks, developers, mortgage institutions, building material manufacturers, suppliers, professionals in the building industry and related government establishments and agencies.”

For   Festus Onibanjo, chairman, Fesdap  Properties, owners of  “Be a landlord today’  Cooperative Society, the core mandate of his cooperative is to provide a well-researched and negotiated clusters of landed properties  for his members can buy.

He said: “We also assist in developing them into mini-estates and providing other services as may be required. For example, access to mortgage facilities below the market  rate building materials, etc. We provide opportunities for members to borrow for growth in their business operations through their well-structured and professional managed thrift in association with participating micro-finance banks.”

A cooperative expert, Mr Salako Idris said companies should encourage their workers to form cooperative societies, adding that it not only remove financial burdens from them, but that it also enable the companies to concentrate on their mandate.

He said virile cooperative cooperatives provide members the platform to borrow money.

According to him, the country’s  housing gap cannot be bridged by the government only and that there was the need for private sector support, especially from the cooperative societies. ( Source / The Nation)

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