The Managing Director, Lift Above Poverty (LAPO) Microfinance Bank, Mr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, on Tuesday said the bank would not relent in its vision of financing Nigerians in need to end poverty in the country.
Ehigiamusoe made this known at a media chat organised by the microfinance bank in Lagos.
The chat was held to commemorate the bank’s 32 years of existence and to reiterate the bank’s continuous commitment to Nigerians.
“LAPO was established in 1987 to assist low income earners and grant low interest loans to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
According to the bank’s boss, a prudent methodology of extensive networking enabled the bank to reach its over four million Nigerians with 495 branches in the country.
He said, “LAPO Microfinance Bank had a humble beginning that kicked off in 1987.
““In 1986, General Ibrahim Banbagida adopted Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
“Its central components were devaluation of the national currency, gradual removal of subsidy, liberalisation of export and rationalisation of workforce in public service.
““The cumulative effect of these measures was an increase in spread of poverty level.
“”This was the exact scenario in 1986 in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta, where I gave N100 each to three women namely, Mrs Felicia Monye, Mrs Monica Igwebuike and Mrs Obiageli Nwoko.
“”This was the scenario that berthed LAPO microfinance bank.
“The name LAPO was a product of deliberate thought because I conceptualised poverty as an Octopus with the tentacles of material deprivation, poor health and social exclusion.”
Speaking on some of the bank’s achievements, Ehigiamusoe said the financial institution partnered Lafarge Cement Company and African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2013 to pioneer affordable housing programme in the country.
““Because of the veritable achievements, LAPO won a Grameen foundation award of excellence in 2006 with the crash prize of $10,000.
““The $10,000 was used as seed fund for a scholarship scheme for children of our clients.
“As we speak over 3,000 children have benefited from the scheme,” he said.
Speaking on the bank’s financials for 2018, Ehigiamusoe said the cumulative loan of the bank as at December 2018 stood at N137 billion and total deposit of N14 billion in the same financial year.
He said the Profit after Tax (PaT) of the bank stood at N2.8 billion at the same period.
The bank’s boss said the bank had 1,273 agents in over 30 states in the country