Story by Kayode Tokede
The Managing Director, Lapo Microfinance Bank Limited, Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe has said, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) collaboration with Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), aimed at disbursing N5 billion through National Microfinance Bank is a threat to operators in the Microfinance lending sector of the nation’s economy.
He, however, expressed that the apex bank initiative is aimed at boosting volume of transactions within sector which is expected to reduce poverty and create jobs.
The apex bank aimed to address the challenges militating against the achievements of the objectives of the Agribusiness Small and Medium Enterprises Investment Scheme (AGSMEIS) initiative.
Speaking on the heels of bagging 2018 Nigerian NewsDirect “Microfinance Bank of the Award” at the MfB Lagos office, he commended the management of Nigerian NewsDirect for recognizing Lapo MfB efforts at reaching out to those who need financial services.
According to him, “We want to appreciate the award- it is recognition of our commitment to providing range of financial services to people. We do have recognition for several awards but this is unique in the scene that it reflects exactly with Lapo is known for .We are grateful. I also want to acknowledge the commitment of Nigerian NewsDirect team for organizing the 2018 Nigerian NewsDirect excellence Award.
“This award would challenge us to do more despite the challenges. But we will continue to deliver superior performance year-on-year. The beneficiaries are our people who have access to financial services which ultimately translates to better life for them.
“We hope Lapo MfB continued to do that. I also want to use this opportunity to apply to key stakeholders in the industry to ensure that all institutions in the MfB subsector are able to deliver financial services to our people.”
Speaking on the plans to disburse N3 billion to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) this year, he said the company aimed to provide loans for those at the grassroots.
“We feel developing a segment to take the need of business and people will be first to the benefit of the economy.
He disclosed that Lapo MfB in 2018 disbursed N137 billion loans and targeting a significant increase this year.
“We hope to be able to do significant amount this year. Lapo MfB disbursed about N137 billion in 2018 and plan to increase it this year,” he said.
On the plans of National Association of Microfinance Bank to float a national Microfinance bank on Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), he said, “Am aware that our association, NAMB has been engaging with the NSE recently.
“For me, I think it is one of the strategies to deal with liquidity issue in the sector which the CBN seeks to address with the review of the MfB subsector.
“I believe that the stakeholders in the sector should give NAMB initiative the needed support to reach a successful conclusion. If it does, it will be helpful to the MfBs that are having challenges in meeting the new minimum requirement and it will also ensure we have enough liquidity in the sector to meet the ever increasing needs of the MSMEs.”