International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has made the largest investment in Microfinance bank in sub-Saharan Africa with the signing of an agreement to provide N2bn (approx. $10 million) loan to support LAPO MfB’s lending to Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.
The facility is intended to be used to pilot and roll out agent banking that will increase access to financial service to low-income clients in rural and semi-urban communities.
According to Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, the managing director of LAPO MfB, “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.”
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. In 2012, IFC provided an 800 million Naira facility to LAPO that has contributed to the expansion of its lending activities