Lapo Microfinance Bank, penultimate week, said that it entered into partnership with MTN with a view to meeting its commitment to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Fund (MSMEDF)
The initiative known as ‘MTN BizGrow’ is an SME credit product, primarily designed to meet the funding needs of MTN retailers in partnership with credit organisations , especially, it would enable the telecom giant retailers’ access credit by leveraging on the small and medium enterprise development initiative of the CBN.
In addition, LAPO is the first partner engaged by Mtn to extend loan facility obtained under CBN’s SME development fund program to provide funds to Mtn retailers to boost their sales.
Managing Director/CEO, LAPO MfB, Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe, said that the product has a potential to scale up and thereby translating into a superior financial returns, saying, “When the proposal for this project came in, it was very easy for us to decide to be part of it, we see this product helping us to further our mission as an institution to empower the economic factors, particularly at the bottom end of the society, secondly the fact that MTN is a great organization and I do not think that there is any serious institution that would allow a great institution to pass away without grabbing the opportunity.
“Apparently, if you look at it from the business case, this product has a potential to scale up and thereby translating into a superior financial returns. For us it is about pushing our mission and as a foremost microfinance bank in Nigeria, we needed to align with the aspiration of the CBN to ensure that the people operating at the lower cadre of the economy, that is the micro small and medium enterprises have access to finance and therefore we made our clear commitment to MSMEDF.
“We have at the moment accessed N200 million from the fund and we hope that as we recruit more people especially for this product with the MTN, we will be able to go up,” he said.
However, to access the loan, participants must be MTN retailers and must have been in business for a minimum of period of 12 months. The participant in like manner must open account with LAPO and must provide a guarantor, while the loan would be accessed at any LAPO branch in the 28 states in Nigeria.
Loans would be advanced to selected or qualified retailers to tune of a minimum of N50, 000 and maximum of N100, 000 with no tangible collateral required.
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