LAPO Microfinance targets N154 billion loan deals in 2019
LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited is targeting a disbursement of N154 billion loan as support to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country this year.
Meanwhile, the bank has raised its authorised capital by 75 per cent from N2 billion to N3.5 billion by the creation of three billion additional ordinary shares of 50 kobo each, ranking paris passu in all respects with the existing ordinary shares of the company.
The Chairman of the bank, Ede Osayande, while addressing shareholders at the eighth yearly general meeting of the bank in Lagos, said the rural lender had disbursed a total of N137 billion to SMEs as at 2018.He said: “As a Microfinance bank committed to support economic growth, our major operation is providing credit. We prioritise given loan to those in business. We are regulated and can also mobilize deposit.”
According to him, with this increase in its authorised capital, the bank would have raised the number of its shares from four billion to seven billion. He also announced 30 kobo dividend payment, which was approved by shareholders at the meeting.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said the bank intends to open up to private investors, especially institutional investors that can add value to the bank.He pointed out that the operating environment has been quite challenging for all businesses not only for microfinance banks, adding: “Despite that, we did our best to deliver our superior financial performance and it is for that reason we are able to provide the dividend for investors.
“The nation has huge potential for microfinance in the sense that there is a very large population of people and these people are exceptionally very enterprising, therefore there is need to support the sector.“More importantly, it is desired of everyone to ensure that loans to this segment of society come cheaply or cheaper than what it is now. “Some solution to that is the need to have a refinancing structure or institution in Nigeria that will be able to provide low cost fund to microfinance banks.”