LAPO NGO Hosts 24th Annual Development Forum

LAPO NGO recently hosted its 24th Annual Development Forum at Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. Like previous editions, this year’s forum provided a unique platform for discussions on current trends and perspectives aimed at fostering development in the Country.

The one-day Forum tagged ‘Galvanizing SMEs towards Inclusive Development’ focused on SMEs in Nigeria, the top ten problem areas, a comprehensive analysis of the most effective ways to finance and promote SMEs.

While delivering the Keynote paper, the Chairman, UBA Group and Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu, advised the Federal Government to tackle the issue of policy somersaults to enhance the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Elumelu who was represented by Mr. AdimJibunoh, President/CEO of Transcorp Group said that Nigeria might likely double its current population and overtake the US by 2050.

The Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Pat Utomi, a renowned Political Economist said that Nigeria has refused to give pre-eminence to SMEs and only the big Company owners dine with the policy makers and influence the policies on SMEs.

In his Keynote address, the founder of LAPO Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe enumerated LAPO MfB’s commitment to the growing industry saying “between January and August, LAPO Microfinance Bank alone disbursed N89.6 billion as loan through 447 branches in 29 states of the Federation.”

The LAPO Annual Development Forum was initiated in 1994 to stimulate discourse on the development agenda in Nigeria and Africa and it has since become a Faculty of development in its own right.