Nigerian microfinance bank, Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) has proposed a total sum of N3 billion to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in 2019. The funds will be disbursed through LAPO’s subsidiary, Micro Investment Support Services Limited (MISS).
Elizabeth Ehigiamusoe, the Managing Director of MISS, who made this disclosure, said the sum of N2.8 billion was spent on the acquisition of 3,375 income-generating assets to support MSMEs in 2018.
The income-generating assets acquired, she said, include generating sets, motorcycles, tricycles, motor vehicles, household items, and welding machines, among others.
Ehigiamusoe said the sum represented 106 per cent performance over the sum of N2.6 billion disbursed by the subsidiary in 2017.
She added that the total lease portfolio of the company increased from N1.89 billion in 2017 to N2.16 billion in 2018, while repayment grew from N2.07 billion in 2017 to N2.53 billion in 2018, representing 22.20 per cent performance increase.
Why MSMEs funding
The role of SMEs in enhancing economic growth and development has overtime been widely acknowledged globally. Economic wealth all over the world is created through enterprises and the expansion of their output.
SMEs contribute to the economy by creating value through the production of goods and services, thus enhancing the gross domestic product. They also generate employment by creating much-needed jobs in the economy as well as expanding the export sector largely through linkages with large firms that produce for the foreign sector.
Lack of adequate funding has been the major challenge Nigerian SMEs have raised concerns about. The SMEs stakeholders have overtime lamented the absence of adequate credit facility startups and business expansions.
LAPO is a microfinance bank that focuses on assisting the poor, especially the women, in raising their socio-economic statuses. It does not only act as a microcredit institution but also assists clients in overcoming problems beyond the lack of funds, such as illiteracy and environmental degradation (which often aggravates poverty).
The institution was founded by Godwin Ehigiamusoe while working as a rural co-operative officer in Delta State, Nigeria. LAPO started its activities in 1987.