An Appraisal of the Role of Social and Solidarity Economy in Achieving Sustainable Finance in Nigeria: A Case Study of Obafemi Awolowo University Cooperative Society

Abstract - EN

The paper explores the role of social and solidarity economy in achieving sustainable finance in Nigeria. It adopts a local and specific case study dimension, using Awovarsity CICS as a case study, while also interrogating the role of a national actor, N-SIP in achieving sustainable finance in Nigeria. The paper adopts exploratory research design with primary data sourced mainly from semi-structured interviews. The results show that the activities of Awovarsity CICS such as savings, loaning, mortgage services, etc. are capable of achieving sustainable finance. It also finds that Awovarsity CICS affords members’ access to fair and affordable finance via a largely democratized process, indicating some form of sustainable finance. In spite of this role, some constraints/challenges such as corrupt leadership, nepotism and politicking, among others are identified to pose threat to the sustainability of the cooperative. The study concludes that indeed, cooperative societies, an arm of social and solidarity economy, where properly managed, are veritable tools to achieving sustainable finance. They feed into the agenda of sustainable national development in Nigeria. The implication is that the activities by cooperative societies can also be replicated at the national level to speed up the achievement of sustainable finance in the country.