IFC and LAPO Microfinance Bank to Expand Access to Microfinance in Nigeria
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to work with LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd to pilot and roll out agent banking that will increase access to financial services for low-income customers, small-scale entrepreneurs and rural communities.
IFC is also providing a 2 billion Naira (approx. $10 million) loan to support LAPO MfB’s lending to micro-entrepreneurs. This is the largest investment IFC has made in a microfinance institution in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As the first local microfinance organization to successfully transform into a fully regulated national microfinance bank, LAPO MfB is a pioneer in the Nigerian microfinance sector. It has grown its client base from 700,000 in 2012 to more than 2 million, across 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and it aims to increase its client base to up to 5 million by 2017.
In 2012, IFC provided an 800 million Naira facility to LAPO that has contributed to the expansion of its lending activities.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAPO MfB, said, “LAPO Microfinance Bank has remained committed to its goal of economic empowerment through access to finance. We are taking further steps to increase our reach to more low income earners and more micro, small and medium enterprises. IFC’s long term support has helped us and we hope this new project will lead to enhanced financial access for more financially excluded Nigerians.”
Eme Essien Lore, IFC’s Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “One of IFC’s core objectives is to promote inclusive finance that benefits the small-scale business sector—an engine of inclusive growth and job creation. Our relationship with LAPO MfB will help us reach out to the low income people in Nigeria to improve financial inclusion and help grow the economy.”
IFC is a leading investor in microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a fast-growing, well-performing portfolio of equity, debt and advisory projects. IFC’s portfolio includes 25 microfinance institutions across 13 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have reached over 2.6 million borrowers and 12.7 million depositors among microenterprises and low-income households.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org