The Development Bank of Nigeria Plc (DBN), a wholesale development finance institution in Nigeria, is partnering LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited to provide lending to about 10,000 Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Managing Director/CEO of DBN, Mr. Tony Okpanachi, who spoke about the partnership in Abuja on Tuesday, said: “This is a milestone achievement and I am particularly happy that we are getting a lot of traction on our lending activities with LAPO”.
“The collaboration is encouraging because they were among the first three Microfinance Banks we commenced our initial pilot lending with in November 2017. I must commend the management team for keying into our business model and I strongly believe we can work together to alleviate the financial constraints faced by MSMEs,” he said.
On LAPO’s commitment to the development of MSMEs in Nigeria, the MD/CEO, Godwin Ehigiamusoe said, “We strongly believe in the capacity and potentials of the MSMEs in alleviating poverty and creating jobs for our growing population”.
“We are happy with the partnership and we will continue to work with DBN to ensure that collectively, we are able provide the much-needed funding that the MSMEs require to flourish,” he said.
According to the IFC MSME Finance Gap Report in 2017, there are over 37 million MSMEs contributing to over 50 per cent of Nigeria’s gross domestic Product (GDP). However, less than 5 per cent of these businesses have access to credit in the financial system.
DBN’s emergence and interventions are therefore, relevant and timely to reverse this trend by making it easier for MSMEs to access financing to build and expand their businesses and unleash the power of the MSME business segment to drive national economic development.
LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd is a pro-poor financial institution committed to the social and economic empowerment of low-income households through provision of access to responsive financial services on a sustainable basis.
The Institution was established in the late 1980s as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) by Godwin Ehigiamusoe in response to the effects of the implementation of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986.
In 2010, LAPO obtained the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as a state Microfinance Bank and in 2012, it got an approval as a National Microfinance Bank.