The Chairman, Lapo Microfinance Bank Limited, Mrs Osaretin Demuren, says the MfB has disbursed N1.4tn to small and medium enterprises.
She spoke at the commissioning of the bank’s new head office building in Lagos, which was widely attended by financial leaders and government officials.
“The bank has disbursed a cumulative of N1.4tn in micro-credits to petty traders, small-holder farmers and small businesses, helping to energise and stimulate the economy for greater prosperity,” she said.
LAPO MfB as a development finance organisation, she noted, had come a long way.
The chairman said, “Its legacy organisation -Lift Above Poverty Organization a pro-poor organisation was initiated in the late 1980’s by Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe. It was a non-governmental response to the spike in the level of poverty as a result of the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Proamme.
“It was to address the three dimensions of poverty namely; material deprivation with credit; poor health with health awareness and social exclusion with social empowerment programmes.”
The organisation, she noted, had grown from having three clients in the founder’s church in Ogwashi-Uku now in Delta State, into a number of mutually reinforcing institutions providing credit, micro-insurance, micro-leasing and healthcare in Nigeria and Sierra Leone with total staff strength of 10, 329 excluding cleaners and drivers.
She said, “In 2010, Lift Above Poverty Organization set up LAPO Microfinance Bank. In 2012, it became a national microfinance bank and currently with 536 branches in 34 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
“The microfinance bank is a leading microfinance institution in Africa with millions of low-income people and micro and small businesses as its clients.”