THE International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, last week extended $5 million (N800 million) fresh facility to LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited to help it expand its credit capacity.
The grant was IFC’s first funding to a national microfinance institution in Nigeria.
Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of LAPO, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said: “Through this partnership IFC is helping LAPO expand its capacity to reach more clients. Our relationship will help build greater financial inclusion among the rural low-income earners in the country.”
IFC Senior Country Manager, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, said the corporation aimed at increasing access to finance for low-income people through commercially viable microfinance institutions.
“LAPO provides a platform to distribute other tailored services such as micro-health insurance and environment-friendly energy products to the base-of-the pyramid,” he said.
LAPO has enjoyed robust growth averaging 40 per cent yearly since it went commercial in 2005, and serves over 700,000 borrowers, 90 per cent of whom are women, spread across 27 states.
IFC is a leading investor in microfinance in sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria. Its portfolio includes 24 microfinance clients across 12 countries in the region.
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