Lift Above Poverty Organisation (microfinance bank) disbursed N137bn loans in 2018 financial period as part of its commitment towards alleviating poverty and empowering small and medium organisations.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the MFB, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, disclosed this during a press briefing in Lagos.
He said, “Interestingly, one way to also assess our social impact is in knowing the number of loans that LAPO has provided vis-à-vis the deposit it has received.
“For instance, in 2013, we celebrated the issuance of naira equivalent loan of $1bn. And the amount keeps growing yearly. Last year, we disbursed N137bn. A year before that is in 2017, we did N126bn.
“As at December 2018, we have produced over 10,000 home owners under the affordable housing scheme, this is in response to the housing deficit in Nigeria.”
According to him, LAPO is much more than a credit lending institution, describing it as a development-oriented organisation with priority focus on poverty alleviation, economic empowerment, environmental protection, education and an advocate for good quality of life.
The managing director noted that it was no more news that a report by the World Poverty Clock had shown how Nigeria overtook India to become the leading country with the largest number of poor people in the world.
He said the report revealed that India had a population seven times larger than Nigeria.
The report, he added, indicated more than 86 million Nigerians, almost 50 per cent of the country’s population, lived below one dollar daily, while the World Bank’s poverty benchmark was put at $2.5 daily.
He said, “Our concern as a microfinance institution revolves around Nigeria’s poor record and the impact we can play on this global phenomenon with more than “three billion people living on less than $2.50 per day, including 1.2 billion people in extreme poverty who live on less than $1.25 per day.”
“While untamable population growth and bad governance have long been identified as the two notorious sisters for this development challenge, climate change crisis has suddenly surfaced, threatening to depose the two culprits for the number one position.
“Hence, the need to review the existing measures put in place to address poverty in the country and further strategise on how to sustain the environment.”
Ehigiamusoe said LAPO microfinance bank is a client protection principle-certified institution with a wide range of products and services tailored towards improving lives and lift people out of poverty.