By Moses Nosike
A Benin-based Micro-Finance bank, Lift Micro-Finance, a subsidiary of Lift Above Poverty (LAPO)Â has vowed to tackleÂ poverty andÂ Â giveÂ Â hopeÂ to manyÂ especially women who are the bread winners of families, through its credit delivery, recovery strategies and customer relations.
According to the Managing Director ofÂ LAPO, Mr. Ehigiamusoe â€œWeÂ are fighting poverty in the landÂ by consistently providing credit facilities to small, and medium enterprises.
â€œWe also help in reducing unemployment among youths by providing soft loans that canÂ help them establish themselves since government alone cannot provide all the jobs needed by thecitizens.â€
He said that the bank in its pursuit to elevate more families in Nigeria has disbursed a total of N339,367.00 (Three hundred and thirty-nine million, three hundred and sixty seven thousand) naira before now. â€œIt has also rolled out attractive customer-focused products in its three new credit centres with increased staff strength from 28 to 38.â€
Mr. EhigiamusoeÂ also said the micro-financeÂ bank renders financial advisory services, consumer loans/overdrafts, savings and investments among others.
â€œIn the same vein, LAPO agricultural and rural development initiative also provides affordable credit and extension services to rural farmersÂ in Nigeria towards meeting their financial and technical needs.â€
On the development initiative outreachÂ ofÂ Â theÂ company, he said it hasÂ expanded from 176 in 2007 to 1,239 in 2008, representing 95% while annual disbursement rose from N15 million in 2007 to N124 million in 2008 with portfolio risk remaining below 0.5%.
He added that LAPO development initiative carries out sensitization and training programme on poultry managementÂ to boost the capacity of benefiting farmers.Â â€œThough there are a lot of challenges here and there,Â we make sure that credit facilities are available toÂ some extentâ€, he said.