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34 market fire victims get succour in Delta

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A beneficiary collecting cheques from LAPO microfinance bank officials

A beneficiary collecting cheques from LAPO microfinance bank officials

FOR 34 women who lost all their merchandise in a late night fire at the popular Ogbe-Ijoh Market, Warri South West Local Council of Delta State, on April 18, 2015, succour came their way last Friday through a microfinance firm, LAPO Microfinance Bank Ltd.

The fire, which the beneficiaries described as strange, was the third in the market in two years. The women said the fire occurred at about 9.00 p.m. and that they were unable to rescue any of their wares.

The bank wrote off a loan amount of N2, 337,617 while re-disbursing the sum of N2, 520,000 to 34 victims and clients affected by the fire disaster in Ogbe-Ijoh Market to enable them recapitalise.

This was done in collaboration with a major insurance firm.

The gesture according to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited, Dr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, was to identify with “our clients whose businesses were recently affected by fire outbreak in Ogbe-Ijoh town”.

One of the victims of the fire incident, who gave her name as Helen Mene, said what LAPO did for the traders was unbelievable.

She said that after the fire they were all contemplating where they were going to source money to restart their business when the microfince bank came to their aid.

The managing director, who was represented at the ceremony in Warri by the Head of Customer Relations and Marketing, Mrs. Amen Akenbor, disclosed that the bank is a pro-poor financial institution committed to the economic empowerment of low-income Nigerians through access to responsive financial services delivered on a sustainable basis.

The microfinance bank, it was learnt, improved the lives of over 1,557,000 clients with financial and social empowerment services and that the volume of loans regularly disbursed to clients has also increased remarkably.

It was learnt that in 2014 the bank disbursed N92.5 billion as loan to its clients in 27 states of the federation, including FCT, Abuja and N29.3 billion between January and April 2015.

They also offer health and social empowerment services to clients in collaboration with Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), as well as providing support for education of client’s children through a scholarship scheme.

LAPO microfinance bank, The Guardian gathered, collaborated with a major insurance company to deliver micro-insurance services to the 34 fire victims.

The comprehensive insurance scheme, it was learnt, covers life, fire in the place of business, medical expenses for childbirth and temporary/permanent disability.

The managing director said the bank paid the sum of N344, 339,849 as insurance benefit to 4,330 and 4,520 clients and their households in year 2013 and 2014 respectively.

He added that he founded the bank as a non-profit entity in 1987 while working


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