‘The Omo-Onile Issue is scary’: Narratives of the struggles of co-operative societies in Land Assembly in Peri-Urban Lagos.
This study provides a narrative of the struggles and coping mechanisms of co-operative societies as they navigate the terrain of informal land markets with 'Omo Onile' as the major operatives. It documents findings resulting from a workshop held with presidents of 13 co-operative societies in Lagos State at different stages of land acquisition. In interpretation of the information collected from this exercise, the study combines literal and interpretive approaches, first seeking out the literal use of keywords and then subjecting them to interpretive analysis, trying to find the meanings behind the words used with the use of a computer-based qualitative data analysis software, Nvivo 11, alongside manual and electronic extraction of codes and themes. Findings established the power of the omo onile to encroach on cooperative land for the purpose of resale, in demanding for extra• legal payments such as late development fees and a variety of development levies. Finally, it presents the coping mechanisms adopted by cooperative societies that have successfully navigated this course as they seek to deal with this issue in an environment of self-help and lack of external support. Coping strategies include the development of internal land markets, regulatory control of land and upfront and group payments to omo onile to eliminate their extortionist demands from individual cooperative members. It is intended that these findings will provide policy guides to those regulating the monitoring of the co-operative sector while also providing guidance to cooperative societies and other groups seeking entry into the housing market through land acquisition in the peri-urban areas.