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LAPO MFB raises stake in low income earners empowerment

By Helen Oji
10 June 2016   |   3:48 am
As part of efforts to empower low income earners in the society, LAPO Microfinance Bank (MfB) has unveiled a Social Impact Deposit (SID) Account.

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As part of efforts to empower low income earners in the society, LAPO Microfinance Bank (MfB) has unveiled a Social Impact Deposit (SID) Account.

SID account is a deposit product designed to empower the vulnerable and the economically active poor in the society.

It is also an innovative deposit and investment platform that provides individuals with the opportunity to make deposit with LAPO MfB that can be used to improve on the social needs of low-income individuals.

Managing Director, LAPO MfB, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, at the unveiling of the product, in Lagos recently, explained that the limited access to financial services particularly credit, remains the toughest challenge which owners of micro and small businesses contend with.

He described the SID account as a unique financial product developed to liberalise access to financial services to the people and an instrument for collective engagement of people for social and economic empowerment of low-income Nigerians.

According to Ehigiamusoe, “The bank disbursed about N429 billion as loan in the last six years and currently operates in 28 states of the federation.

“Many women and young people desire to start or expand their business but cannot because they lack access to affordable credit.

“After several years of supporting micro and small businesses owned by low-income women, we have come to realise that they have the capacity to actively participate in the economic space if sufficiently empowered.”

He pointed out that the rationale for SID is because the bank currently provide financial services to over 2.2 million low-income people and owners of micro and small businesses in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, yet this is a small proportion of a large number of low income people who desperately need finance.

“Several individuals often express appreciation for LAPO’s commitment to the empowerment of low-income people particularly women, SID was developed to provide an ample opportunity for such socially minded men and women to be engaged in our efforts at economic empowerment.

“SID presents a win win proposition to depositors, LAPO MfB and clients; the depositors are doing good and at the same time earn interest, Lapo MfB has access to deposits to replenish its loan fund; while our clients have access to more credit.

“The SID account will be targeted specifically at economically active poor individuals in Nigeria. With a minimum deposit of N200,000 and a minimum tenor of six months, savers in return are rewarded with attractive interest that comes with the account.

He added that depositor with N10 million and above for a period of two years is also entitled to nominate a child from a low-income household for LAPO Scholarship award..

The Chairman, Board of Directors of Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, said that the innovation showed LAPO’s commitment to improve the life of the populace.

“SID is an innovation that LAPO is spear heading to improve the life of the poor,” he added.