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Nigeria - Register a Co-operative Society

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1.Coordinate people to form up a cooperative society. The start-up cooperative members must be at least enough to form a Society Board in a full cooperative;

  • they should therefore not be less than five people;

2.Thereafter, applicants should write a letter to the Province Cooperative Officer (PCO) requesting to be registered as a pre-cooperative society indicating their intention to do so;

3.The members should then arrange for meeting that must be chaired by the Provincial Cooperative Officer (DCO).

  • The meeting is set in order for cooperative members to elect a Formation Board with a Chairman and a Secretary;

4.After election, the Formation Board should decide on the type of society to be formed, prepare by-laws for the society and assess founder members level of business;

  • look in to the future and estimate number of future members and levels of business to be done by the society in future;
  • carryout a feasibility study and prepare feasibility report;
  • record details of founder members, their share capital and contributions
  • also record details of prospective members, their probable share capital and contributions.
  • at commencement, the formation board should begin to keep accounts to allow periodic assessment of the groups activities; and
  • must appoint a delegate in charge of representing the group in all civil matters

5.When above are completed, members of a group must make an application to the Registrars representative in the area where the society shall operate.

  • The Registrars representative may be the District Cooperative Officer at District level or the Assistant Registrar at Regional level.

6.The submitted documents shall then be assessed;

7.After assessment, if the registrar is satisfied, he / she issues a letter of recognition which will all the group to operate as a per-cooperative society for three (3) years.

8.During the given three (3) years members of the formed pre-cooperative society must be working hard to fulfill the conditions required to become a full cooperative society.

  • When all requirements are fulfilled at the end of the three years, the society shall then be registered as a full cooperative society however, if at the end of the three (3) years the pre-cooperative society has not fulfilled the conditions, the letter of recognition will be cancelled.

9.Upon full registration, the registration then issues a Registration Certificate and a Certified Copy of By- laws

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Required Documents[edit]

  • A certified copy of a resolution passed at the first meeting of the group with the PCO.
  • Four copies of the proposed by-laws of the society.
  • Four copies of the feasibility statement.
  • Feasibility study report

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]


New Fed. Secretariat Complex

10th Floor, Federal Secretariat, Wing lB (1001-1099),

Block One, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja Tel: 09-5235194.


Off Michael Okpara St.

Zone 5, Wuse, Abuja

Tel: 09-5234988-9


Sokode Crescent by Michael

Okpara Street, Zone 5,

Wuse, Abuja

Tel: 09-5230667-9


Towards Berger Junction

(Near ELF Petrol Station),

Plot 2105, Herbert Macaulay

Way, Wuse, Zone 6, Abuja

Tel: 09-2344476; 2344478

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1. Different cooperative societies have different requirements as listed below:-

  • An Agricultural Society must have no less than fifty (50) members
  • A Savings and Credit Cooperative Society at least twenty (20) members
  • People with Specialized Skills at least ten (10) members
  • Other types of Cooperative Society at least ten (10) members

2.In order for a group to be registered as cooperative society, members must fulfill the following:-

  • A member must be at least fifteen (15) years of age;
  • Board members should be eighteen (18) years of age;
  • Every member must have a common need with other members of the society;
  • A member must be in an occupation relevant to the primary society;
  • A member must be capable of paying fees and buying shares


You should pay a registration fee of N 10.000 to register a cooperative society.


1.Letter of recognition (pre-cooperative society three (3) years

2.Certificate of registration no validity period but can be cancelled if the society acts contrary to the cooperative society act.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Ninety (90) days

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

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1. The cooperative society must meet the minimum number of members;

2.Members must meet age and all other requirements;

3.Be ready to always prepare accounts within three months after the end of each financial year;

4.A board member who has failed to perform may be disqualified and may not be re-elected for a period of six (6) years;

5.Ensure that application forms are signed by the right people basing on the type of cooperative society to be registered;

6.If applicant want to register a cooperative society and do not have enough members start by registering a pre-cooperative society;

7.Applicants must get a registered address to which all notices and communications are to be sent;

8.In cases of any changes in the address of society, always notify the registrar;

9.If application is rejected, applicants may appeal in court within sixty days upon receiving notice;

10.Upon refusal if no appeal is submitted within the given time, the ministers decision is final;

11.Registration is upon satisfaction of the registrar;

Required Information[edit]

1.Proposed name of society

2.Area the society will operate

3.Objective of the society

4.Purposes to which funds may be applied, may be held, disposed of or invested.

5.Membership rules like terms of admission, shares and entrance fees

6.By-laws of the society

7.Rules regarding what payment to be made in cases of anything, for instance if a member is expelled or leaves;

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Need for the Document[edit]

According to Section 5 of the law, a cooperative society that is Subject to provisions of this law, and has as its objects of promotion, the economic interests of its members in accordance with cooperative principles, or a society established for the purpose of facilitating the operations of such societies may be registered under this law with or without Limited Liability.

Understanding how to register a Cooperative Society is a step in the right direction, especially when you consider that a lot of people have lost their life savings and cash by having business dealings with companies or organisations that are not recognized by law.

A registered cooperative society is a society with its main objects as promotion of economic and social interests of its members by means of common undertaking. A cooperative society operates basing on mutual aid and conforms to cooperative principles; it is established for the purpose of facilitating operations of societies.

In Nigeria, the Cooperative Societies Act provides direction on how cooperatives should be set up and run. These laws are made by the government through the minister responsible for cooperatives. All cooperative societies in Nigeria are registered, with or without limited liability, according to the cooperative society act and related rules. Registration, implementation and enforcement of the act and relate rules is done by a government appointed officer referred to as the Registrar of cooperative societies.

Information which might help[edit]

  • primary cooperative society cannot be registered except it has at least ten (10) members who are at least 21 years old.
  • A secondary or apex cooperative society cannot be registered unless it has at least two or more primary registered cooperative societies as its members
  • The word Cooperative must be part of the name of the society to be registered
  • The word Limited shall be the last word in the name of every registered society with limited liability.
  • Except in the case of a registered society whose principal object it is to grant loans to other registered societies which is referred to as central financing society, the word bank or banking shall not form part of any registered society
  • No society shall be registered by a name which is identical or resembles a name by which anybody, association of persons or society is already registered
  • No society shall be registered by any name which in the opinion of the Registrar may, or may be likely to mislead the public as to the identity of the society or the nature of its business.
  • If a society through negligence or otherwise is registered by a name that is identical or that looks like that by which a society or any person is already registered, the society will change its name if the Registrar so directs.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]