OlADEC was conceived by Lady Nne Bassey Abraham in 1994 at Aba (then Imo State). She brought together a number of women and unfolded her desire that women should come together to plan for personal and family advancement as a way of achieving progress for their families in 1995, groups of women were brought together in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State) and Warri (Delta State) for the purpose of actualizing this dream. The women responded with enthusiasm initially but lost stream later; as it became apparent that the struggle requires a lot of money,effort and persistence. This set back sent Lady Nne into a period of waiting for guidance. It became apparent also that she needed to concentrate her effort in one place rather than attempting to cover many states and /or widely dispersed locations at the same time. In March 1999, Lady Nne registered OLADEC as a multipurpose cooperative society with the Akwa Ibom State government as a market support company to market member’s products in both the local and Export market.. She then proceeded to bring together a group of 20 women who shared her dreams. This small group developed the purpose of empowering grassroots women for the much needed family progress.
The adopted strategy relies heavily on harnessing the abundant social capital of the state. It is based on getting the traditional institution to have a buy-in into the dream and thus become a willing ally in diffusing the dream and vision of OLADEC. Akwa Ibom State consists of 2250 villages, which are grouped into 115 clans. In the present administrative setup of 31 local governments, each local government has a traditional rulers’ council headed by a Paramount Ruler who himself is a clan head as well as a village head. For example Uyo traditional rulers’ council is made up of 4 clans consisting 76 villages. Each village head oversee the affairs of his village while the clan head oversees the activities of the traditional council in his local government.
At the state level there is established a Conference of village Heads whose chairman at that time was the late His Royal Highness Etebom Efiong Eberefiak, the village head of Nung Uyo Idoro and clan head of Oku Clan in Uyo Local Government. OLADEC approached the Conference leadership and explained her dream of state wide women empowerment at the grass roots. The Conference accepted to work closely with OLADEC under its other Department Coordination Committee. A coordinator was appointed from each traditional council to work with the secretary of the council to liaise with OLADEC for the purpose of actualizing the set objectives of OLADEC. It was also agreed that each village head will serve as guarantor to the grassroots members. This way the existing social sanctions can be brought to bear on all members and ensure that all loans granted have a high probability of repayment. In addition the guarantor has pledged his stipend as a charge against the default of any beneficiary from his domain. This symbiotic union has helped in the dramatic growth in the membership of OLADEC as well as the 100% repayment of micro credits granted to members up to date. In fact the Conference of village Heads has adopted OLADEC as a God-sent partner in its women empowerment program.
OLADEC also established a Youth development wing in collaboration with the traditional institution. Membership is also sought through the office of the village Head who acts as referee to the young boys and girls who show interest in becoming membesr of OLADEC Youth Club. At present there are about 6,000 women and 4000 members in the OLADEC Youth Club. (OYC) in Akwa Ibom State, We now have 15,000 women and 5,000 youths as members in other States throughout the country under the supervision of the President/CEO of OLADEC and the Youth National Ambassador and memver Board of Trustee of OLADEC.
The organization’s goal is focused on promoting the social, economic and educational development of her members and the society at large. The organization started operation in1993 and was incorporated as a Nigerian non-governmental organization in 2007. In 1996, OLADEC’s business arm was established to handle the marketing of our products locally and internationally with the name Our Ladies Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited. In 2006, OLADEC became a micro Finance Institution recognized by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2008. In 2014 the organization was registered in Belize to replicate it model for KISH PAN HANAH in Corosal. The organization operates through various developmental links in order to achieve its goals. Such developmental links include: Our Ladies Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Ltd , OLADEC Stakeholders Association and OLADEC Youth Club. Membership registration form is designed to collect in details of the current living condition of each member & her future plans if she is assisted for monitoring and evaluation purposes.