ILASA LOCAL EXCHANGE TRADING SYSTEM (ILASA LETS)
Tel. (+31)-(0)35 – 2314314, Fax: (+31)-(0)35 – 234 39 86
WHAT IS LETS?
ILASA LOCAL EXCHANGE TRADING SYSTEM (ILASA LETS) is an international non-profit making/non-governmental organization, which brings together, people within a specified local community for the purpose of exchange of goods, services and skills without the use of cash.
LETS is another alternative economic exchange that can be used to fight against poverty because the system creates resources that can be used to satisfy wants of its members. At LETS, we believe that everyone has one thing or the other to share with others. Be it skills, materials, goods or services, everyday, everyone needs something and has something to offer. Also, whether you are rich or poor in terms of the Naira (our federal currency), LETS gives all its members an opportunity to trade with others without using cash and enhance even distribution of wealth or resources.
LETS is also a source for acquiring new cycle of friends. This is because people from all walks of life can become LETS members. Plumbers, Doctors, Teachers, Engineers etc… can be found at LETS and each can arrange trading with others depending on what they have to offer and what they want.
The primary focus of LETS is to contribute to the fight against poverty and to enhance satisfaction of wants of its members through exchange without cash and to collectively contribute to the development of a strong local economy.
LETS to some people looks like the old barter system. It is true that the system works in a similar way to barter, except that trading can be with any other member of the scheme: you can ‘buy’ a service off one member and even up the account by ‘selling’ to another.
For we Africans, the most suitable exchange system
is that which evenly distribute wealth and allow everyone to acquire skills, goods and
services…without using cash. In fact, for a country like
All over the world, exchange among LETS members is measured using a unit of exchange. Members of a particular LETS association decide on what can be used as their unit of exchange. We the people of ILASA LETS have chosen “Green Naira” which is equivalent to One Naira (N1) as our standard unit of exchange.
HISTORY OF ILASA LETS
The name “ILASA LETS” came into existence in November 2002 after the present coordinator of this scheme called together, a group of friends and told them of a research he had just concluded on community development projects. These groups of friends were formerly members of Fortune Club, a social club that was also formed by the present Chairman / Coordinator of ILASA LETS, Mr. Olaniyi Emmanuel Oladipupo in December 1999.
Niyi, as this visionary Co-ordinator would like to be called told his friends who were ten in numbers that he had a vision about transforming the Fortune Club into a community development scheme so as to contribute to the socio-economic developments of our local communities and country at large and to join in the battle against poverty.
After holding a referendum on whether to scrap the Fortune Club and transform it into a LETS association or not, it was surprising that almost all the members of the then Fortune Club voted unanimously in favour of the establishment of a Local Exchange Trading System in the Ilasamaja area. This referendum was preceded by series of meetings where LETS benefits were considerably discussed.
The name “ILASA” was derived from “ILASAMAJA”, one
of the communities represented under the Oshodi / Isolo Local Government area of Lagos
Since the creation of ILASA LETS in the year 2002, we have recorded a good degree of effective exchange without using cash. One of the effective exchange we’ve carried out since the commencement of our operations is that of one of our members (a computer operator) who got his television set repaired by another member (a qualified technician) in exchange for giving the technician a two weeks training on computer appreciation.
From an African perspective, the victories we want to have on behalf of our members and our local people is against poverty. We at ILASA LETS is concerned about the plight of our local people as far as their quality of lives is concerned. Therefore, we are willing to inject the LETS initiative into our local community by providing another economic alternative that will enrich the lives of the majority.
Since human wants are always on the increase whereas the corresponding resources presently available to satisfy these wants are scarce, we want to introduce a landmark economic alternative like LETS in order to further enhance availability of resources within a specified community and as such contribute our own weaponry to the battle against poverty. Even distribution of wealth among the local people is also one of our goals.
OUR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
“ILASA LOCAL EXCHANGE TRADING SYSTEM (ILASA LETS)” is a non-profit making / non-governmental organization whose primary focus is to contribute its own weaponry to the battle against poverty. Categorically, we were established to encourage fight against poverty, the development of a strong local economy, strong local community that is based on trust, making resources available within a particular local community and creating an avenue for making new cycle of friends”.
OUR KEY OBJECTIVES
1) To effectively carry out exchange of goods by putting in place, a system of pre-collection and stockage of offers.
2) To intensify flow of exchange of skills by the development of a popular professional / vocational training centres in favour of women and youths.
3) To amplify our social impact by developing partnerships with experienced public administrators, local and international Non-Governmental Organisations that has to do with poverty alleviation & community development, village / community and urban organizations, active structures in training, micro finance operators…etc.
4) To set up LETS in major communities within the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the year 2010.
5) To re-in force our expertise and enrich our vision by forming partnerships with other LETS associations around the world, by sharing their experiences and ideas.
6) To hold public seminars and social activities from time to time with a view to attracting new members into ILASA LETS and further make public, the benefits of LETS to our local people.
7) To create a trading atmosphere based on trust and where people within a particular local community can come together in love and even make new cycle of friends.
8) To attend LETS seminars holding around the world and other community / social development-oriented seminars & workshops holding locally and internationally in order to share ideas and experiences and further enrich our knowledge.
OUR EXCHANGE DOMAINS
Domains of exchange at ILASA LETS are not restricted to a particular thing or material. Everything can be exchanged at ILASA LETS: services, food items, vests, vehicles, ideas, secrets, professional training, repairs, equipments, houses, hobbies, administrative assistance, computer training and just anything.
Exchange of skills, goods and services is often carried out during our regular monthly meetings, which is always lively.
We publish monthly “Yellow Pages” ahead of our meetings and we ensure that each member have a copy at least three days before our meeting. Compilations of offers by our members precede the distribution of the Yellow Pages. Our Yellow Pages is divided into:
a) The Directory: a list of current members and their contact details.
During our meetings, each member, having look at different offers by other members come together and make trade agreements without using cash. It is not necessary that a member do a direct swap with another. This shows the only difference between this system and barter. A member may offer something to a particular member and earn another thing from a different member entirely. Also, it is not necessary that one earns the exact value of what his offer, everything is done with trust.
Since we started our operations in November 2002, ILASA LETS has recorded a remarkable success in the services part of our exchange domains. Below is a mathematical representation of exchange carried out between November 2002 and January 2003:Skills: 64%
It is worthy to state here that our local people warmly embrace this system with love. It is more likely that we will have more members at our next monthly meeting and more exchange without cash will be carried out.
OUR MEMBERSHIP COMPOSITION
At present, we are made up of thirteen (13) members, the management inclusive. An Accountant, a Marketing Consultant, Technicians, Computer Professionals and a Cabinet / Interior Decorator are part of our current members.
We hope that our membership base will be larger than this by the end of the year 2003.
A Board of Trustees runs the affairs of ILASA LETS. The Board consists of dedicated men and women who are willing to work hand in hand to ensure that our set goals and objectives are realized within the budgeted timeframe. The entire members of ILASA LETS democratically elected them because we run our affairs in a democratic form. The following persons are included in our Board of Trustees and their respective positions held defined:
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
At present, ILASA LETS have no partnership agreements with any organization. Although few local organizations have signified interest to become our partners, arrangements is still underway to arrive at a reasonable end. A meeting with some public administrators is being proposed in the nearest future so as to enlarge our popularity base.
The reinforcement of our proper capacity calls for strategic partnership with pioneers of clear LETS concepts around the world such as: STICHTING STROHALM, ENGLISH LETS, AMERICAN TIME DOLLAR…etc
OUR SOURCES OF FINANCE
Our main sources of finance are:
ü Monthly contributions of N500 – our local currency (equivalent to US$4) by members.
ü Voluntary contributions by volunteers.
ü Sales of registration forms and tickets
We are working towards acquiring other sources of finance, which is necessary in order for us to be able to fully realize our set objectives within our budgeted timeframe and offset our administrative expenses.
OUR SHORT TERM CHALLENGES / FUTURE PLANS
ü To establish necessary popularity for LETS by the quality of our services and with the contribution of the mass media: radio, TV, Newspapers…etc
ü To acquire minimum office requirements: computers, printers, photocopiers, scanners, telephone, Internet connections…etc at our headquarters at No. 6, Fayemi Street, Ilasamaja, Lagos – Nigeria.
ü To acquire general logistic materials like: vehicles, training materials, public address systems…etc
ü To develop and equip a popular professional / vocational training center in favour of women and youths for a positive impact on our local community.
ü To set up and equip a “Stock warehouse” to cater for pre-collection and stockage of goods
We are happy to say that ILASA LETS was established at the right time our local people needs another alternative economic approach that will encourage the fight against poverty and improve the quality of their lives.
Since we are a young and inexperienced institution, we want to use this opportunity to seek partnership relations with STICHTING STROHALM by sharing your experiences and ideas with us and by giving us more accurate guidelines through which we can achieve our set objectives and get placed at the top.
We highly hope that your proposed LETS helpdesk for developing countries like ours will also be another source of development for us.
We must not fail to thank you for the hands of love you extended to us. The whole members of ILASA LETS salute you.
For further information about us, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact information stated below:
ILASA LOCAL EXCHANGE TRADING SYSTEM (ILASA LETS)
No. 6 Fayemi Street (Off Berliet B/Stpop), Ilasamaja
Lagos – Nigeria
Tel.: (+234) 01 480 6371
Mobile: (+234) 080 3700 4356
Contact person: OLANIYI EMMANUEL OLADIPUPO
OLANIYI TAIWO (P.R.O. – ILASA LETS)
TAIWO STANDARD FURNITURE
62, Ajose Street (Off Berliert B/Stop)
Ilasamaja, Lagos – Nigeria.
Tel. (Mobile): (+234) 080 3337 9652
OLANIYI E. OLADIPUPO
(Chairman / Project Co-ordinator – ILASA LETS)