EdFin kicks off operations, commits N1 billion to education finance
EdFin Microfinance Bank, Nigeria’s first specialised bank focused solely on education financing has kicked off operations in the country.
According to the bank, its operations are designed to improve learning outcomes by providing financial services to private schools, school contractors, and other stakeholders in the education sector.
The bank said it would enable schools to become sustainable businesses, and would also develop linkages to education solution providers for innovative applications and technologies to supplement school curriculum.
Speaking at the bank’s launch recently in Lagos, Chief Executive Officer, EdFin Microfinance Bank, Mrs. Bunmi Lawson, declared it a landmark in education finance in Lagos State, and in Nigeria as a whole.
She said EdFin targets to ensure that all stakeholders in the education ecosystem had easy access to finance, and to increase access to enable future growth.
She noted that the bank has the vision of being a globally recognised bank of choice for education financial solutions in Africa, with the mission to provide monetary services to the ecosystem for the realisation of human potential.
She maintained that by providing appropriate services, plus value added solutions to providers and users, the human potential will be realised, adding that the bank would partner with government in the realisation of its educational goals.
Her words: “EdFin is the first specialised education finance microfinance bank in Nigeria and what we do is to finance the education ecosystem. We give the entire bouquet of financial services, and provide value added services to transform schools and improve access to education and quality of education.
“We estimate that 80 per cent of Nigerians are stakeholders in the education sector, and we want the realisation of human potentials. We believe that if we educate our population, it would be a resource that is far better than oil or gold.”
Meanwhile, Lawson noted that one of the bank’s shareholders, Gray Matters Capital; an international organisation, has committed about $10 million to the initiative.
She said the bank is an initiative of Gray Matters Capital through its investment company, Gray Matters Mauritius (GMM), and together with herself and Mrs Adetayo John–Fishers, have committed about N1 billion to EdFin education finance in Nigeria.
“We are capitalised to N1billion, and we expect to expand. We are also expecting that the government would dedicate an education trustfund either from the Lagos State Employment Trustfund or the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), to join hands in funding education.
“This is because when you fund education, you are funding all sectors of the Nigerian economy. We are funding specifically the private schools because two third of Lagosians send their children to private schools,” she added.
She said the bank would provide learning tools for students to learn faster, and teaching tools for teachers to teach better, noting that EdFin would partner with technology companies to provide the needed equipment at cheaper rates.
In his remarks, Chairman, EdFin, Paul Dileo, said the bank’s objective is to improve learning outcome and the role of education finance in Nigeria, while also creating awareness of the EdFin brand, and give access to better education for the future.
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