Life Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) microfinance bank is targeting N154 billion loan disbursement to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) this year (2019) as against the N137 billion disbursed to them last year.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe, the Managing Director of LAPO microfinance bank, made this disclosure at the bank’s 8th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos.
“There is a huge funding gap for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, so as a microfinance bank, committed to help bridge that funding gap, our major operation is supporting credit. We prioritise giving loan to those businesses. This has been our commitment right from when we were a non-profit organisation,” Ehigiamusoe was quoted.
Why MSMEs funding: The role of SMEs in enhancing economic growth and development has overtime been widely acknowledged globally. Economic wealth all over the world is created through enterprises and the expansion of their output.
SMEs contribute to the economy by creating value through the production of goods and services, thus enhancing the gross domestic product. They also generate employment by creating much-needed jobs in the economy as well as expanding the export sector largely through linkages with large firms that produce for the foreign sector.
Lack of adequate funding has been the major challenge Nigerian SMEs have raised concerns about. The SMEs stakeholders have overtime lamented the absence of adequate credit facility startups and business expansions.
About LAPO: LAPO is a microfinance bank that focuses on assisting the poor, especially the women, in raising their socio-economic status. It does not only act as a microcredit institution but also assists clients in overcoming problems beyond the lack of funds, such as illiteracy and environmental degradation (which often aggravates poverty).
The institution was founded by Godwin Ehigiamusoe while working as a rural co-operative officer in Delta State, Nigeria. LAPO started its activities in 1987.