Advans La Fayette MFB expands facility to Lagos
To support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and ensure more Nigerians benefitted from its wide range of financial products, Advan La Fayette Microfinance Bank, which is a major player in Ibadan, Oyo State, opened its first branch in Lagos.
Speaking at the unveiling, Managing Director, Advans La Fayette, Guillaume Valence, said: “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises are the major contributors to growth and economic development as well as the first employer in Nigeria. However, they still lack both the necessary business and financial support to develop their activities. By supporting this population, Advans-La Fayette MFB is contributing to the national objective to reduce financial exclusion rate to 20% by 2020.
“Over the last seven years, we have disbursed 70,000 loans for N40billion, as our own contribution to financial inclusion. In the next three years, we expect to multiply our portfolio to reach €100million.”
He revealed plans to open more branches in Lagos, and increase staff strength from 350 to 1,000 in all 50 branches across the Southwest region.
Deputy, Chief Executive Officer, Obinna Ukachukwu, said: “We are thrilled to be expanding our footprint into the vibrant Lagos market. I am assuring SMEs here in Lagos that we are about sustainable impact, As a client-oriented financial institution, we believe our core values and relationship-based banking philosophy meet the personal and business banking needs of Lagos MSMEs, We look forward to supporting the thriving commercial and small business enterprises, we invite everyone to stop by today to discover a better way to bank.”
Speaking on the recent recapitalisation move by the regulator, Ukachukwu said the bank is ahead of the recapitalisation curve, and will continue to operate in line with the requirements.
The lender also said in the coming years, Advans-La Fayette plans to reach about 140,000 financially-underserved Nigerians in the South-West of Nigeria, before expanding further to other regions in line with the bank’s vision to build a model group of financial institutions. This will help strengthen local businesses, create and sustain jobs, and improve clients’ living standards to foster private sector-led economic and social development in Africa, Middle-East, and Asia.
At the event, France Ambassador to Nigeria, Jérôme Pasquier, said micro lenders are important to SMEs, as it is extremely difficult to get loans from big banks that avoid taking risks, adding that France is interested in Nigeria, because they think it is important to have good relations with the country.
“We know how big Nigeria is, and we have a strong link with Africa, mostly French-speaking countries, but we need to also fill the gap with the English-speaking ones; the number one is Nigeria. So we really want to develop relations in all fields – economic, culture, sport and so on,” he said.
He said the bank’s presence in the country is one more example of French cooperation with Nigeria.
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