THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
ISSN: 0331-4111 e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 19, No. 2, November 2021
Baraza: Social Networking and Sustainable Livelihood of Households in South-south Nigeria during the COVID-19 Pandemic
1Oyintonyo Michael-Olomu and2 Robert Baratuaipre Jacob
1,2Federal University Otuoke, Nigeria
The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic spiraled serious economic crisis to the households. While studies have largely focused on the formal mechanisms to cushion its effects on households’ livelihood, study on the informal mechanisms is still scanty. This study, therefore, examined the roles of Baraza as a Multipurpose Cooperative Society (MCS) during COVID-19 lockdown in Yenagoa City. The theory of planned behaviour was adopted, while a cross-sectional survey design was employed. A respondent-driven sampling was utilized to sample 380 respondents through Baraza MCS using a structured-questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regression were used as analytical strategy at p<0.05. Findings revealed that the majority were males, employed and had B.Sc/BA as educational qualification. It was further indicated that the majority had long-term plan (62%) in the scheme, as it served as an alternative source of income (54.7%), income diversification (55%), as well as a cushioning mechanism for COVID-19 pandemic (34.3%) among others. The predictor variables jointly predicted the level of satisfaction derived from the scheme during the pandemic at (R=0.33, R2=0.11; AdjR2=0.10, F(5,369)=9.23), while the average investment (β=.375, t=2.740), contributory platform (β=-.550, t=-2.360) and number of packages (β=.558, t=3.298) of respondents significantly predicted the level of satisfaction derived from the scheme. In spite of these, the fear of political interference (39.7%), interest reduction (38.4%), collapse (33.7%), etc. were the associated challenges with the scheme. It is imperative that the scheme are thoroughly supported and regulated by the concerned agencies in order to enhance its roles as alternative source of livelihood sustainability particularly during economic crisis.
Keywords: Baraza, COVID-19, economic crisis, sustainability, Yenagoa