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IFC Helps LAPO Microfinance Bank Serve More Low-Income Borrowers in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria, November 14, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today committed a new investment in LAPO Microfinance Bank, Nigeria’s largest microfinance institution, to help it expand its services. LAPO is active in serving poor and low-income borrowers, particularly rural women without access to other financing sources due to lack of collateral or ability to meet other requirements. Today LAPO has a total of 700,000 clients and aims to reach 5.0 million within five years.
IFC agreed to provide an 800 million naira ($5 million equivalent) local currency loan. This is IFC’s first financing of a national microfinance institution in Nigeria.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAPO, said, “Through this partnership IFC is helping LAPO expand our capacity to reach a wider group of clients. Our relationship will help build greater financial inclusion among a rural low-income client base in Nigeria”.
Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Senior Country Manager, said, “IFC aims to increase access to finance for low-income people through commercially viable microfinance institutions. LAPO provides a platform to distribute other tailored services at the base-of-the-pyramid, including micro-health insurance and environmentally-friendly energy products, such as solar lanterns and cooking gas.”
LAPO has enjoyed robust growth averaging 40 percent annually since transforming into a commercial institution beginning in 2005. Today it serves more than 500,000 microenterprise borrowers, 90 percent of whom are women living across 26 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Growth has enabled LAPO to lower interest rates by almost 20 percent, while becoming the first microfinance provider in Sub-Saharan Africa to use a nationally representative poverty scorecard to select its clients and track their poverty levels.
IFC is a leading investor in microfinance in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a fast-growing, well-performing portfolio of equity, debt and advisory projects. IFC’s portfolio includes 24 microfinance clients across 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have reached over 1.5 million microenterprises and low-income households.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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About LAPO
LAPO Microfinance Bank Limited is a pro-poor financial institution committed to economic empowerment of low-income Nigerians through creation of access to responsive financial services on a sustainable basis. LAPO, formerly an NGO that transformed into a regulated entity in 2010, has successfully grown from having three female clients in 1987 to more than 700,000 clients across Nigeria today, mostly women. For more information please visit: