By Peter T. Udo-Akpan
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.” This Kofi Annan quote is especially true for developing societies like Nigeria.
Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in transforming lives, LAPO Microfinance Bank (LAPO MFB), Nigeria’s largest microfinance institution has continued to be a champion of education in Nigeria for decades, empowering Nigerians to pursue their dreams and improve themselves, through a comprehensive array of financial services, educational loans, strategic partnerships, and scholarships.
One of the cornerstones of LAPO Microfinance Bank’s commitment to education is its range of educational loan products which are designed to provide financial assistance to students and parents, as well as school proprietors, especially because of the financial difficulties suffered by most Nigerians.
According to the bank, its School Fees Loan which ranges from NGN 20, 000 to NGN 200, 000 is designed for economically active parents/guardians who want their children educated in private schools. It is meant to close the gap between the needs of the child and what the parent can afford for school fees/levies, uniforms, books, and transportation.
LAPO MFB also offers the School Improvement Loan ranging from NGN 250, 000 to NGN 10, 000, 000, designed to help proprietors of low or medium-income private schools, from nursery to secondary level, to improve their schools. The improvements covered by the loan include building extension, working capital, extra classrooms, dormitories, wash facilities, sick bay, buying of IT equipment, purchase laboratory equipment & furniture, projectors, textbooks, school bus, blackboards, etc.
Some key features of LAPO’s educational loans include:
Accessibility: LAPO Microfinance Bank extends educational loans to individuals from all walks of life, most importantly, those who may not have access to traditional banking services. This inclusivity ensures that education is within reach for millions of Nigerians.
Competitive Interest Rates: LAPO offers competitive interest rates on its educational loans, making education more affordable for borrowers.
Quick Disbursement: LAPO MFB says it strives for quick loan disbursements to ensure students can meet their educational needs promptly.
LAPO Microfinance Bank has forged strategic partnerships with various institutions to further its mission of promoting education.
A good example is LAPO MFB’s partnership with Chess in Slums, a non-governmental organization that uses Chess as a social development tool for indigent children. On Children’s Day this year, LAPO supported the organization’s Chess for Education event, which was designed to increase participation and awareness around the intellectually empowering game of Chess.
Also, LAPO MFB has been a major supporter of the Global Money Week initiative by the OECD International Network on Financial Education (OECD/INFE).
Global Money Week is an annual global awareness-raising campaign on the importance of ensuring that young people, from an early age, are financially aware, and are gradually acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to make sound financial decisions and ultimately achieve financial well-being and financial resilience. It makes sense that a financial institution whose mission is to improve the lives of the poor would prioritize financial education of youths, which has been a major gap in many school systems across the world.
LAPO MFB’s interest in education should come as no surprise as its parent organization the LAPO Group includes a monotechnic, the LAPO Institute for Microfinance and Management Studies in Benin, Edo State, where LAPO started over 30 years ago.
LAPO’s founder, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe has stated that the institute began as a one-desk training unit at the LAPO NGO and has transformed into a full-fledged monotechnic committed to enhancing the management and operational capacity of operators in the micro, small and medium enterprise.
Furthermore, the LAPO Group has a reputation for driving educational initiatives such as its annual quiz competition for schools in Edo and Delta states. Relatedly, in May, the LAPO Group provided free medical services to 195 indigent pupils, in a community outreach in Edo in May, demonstrating a holistic approach to supporting education.
Based on its focus on education, LAPO MFB participated at the recent Total School Support Seminar / Exhibition (TOSSE 2023) which the bank says was a fantastic opportunity to connect with stakeholders in the education industry and showcase its educational products, services, and other initiatives including its scholarships. READ ALSO:
- How to handle husbands’ greatest need in marriage
- Arsenal Beat Wolves, Go Four Points Clear
- 5th World Media Summit kicks off in Guangdong, China
- Kebbi Deputy Governor’s wife loses mother
- Three Oyo traditional rulers die in auto crash
LAPO MFB says it has awarded scholarships to 3,487 secondary and university students between 2006 and 2021.
LAPO MFB’s dedication to education is justified by the many glowing testimonials by beneficiary parents and students, and other success stories as shared at the recent TOSSE educational fair.
By providing accessible educational loans, forming strategic partnerships, and offering scholarships, and through other initiatives, LAPO empowers individuals to break barriers, overcome financial challenges, and reach their educational goals. In doing so, the bank contributes to the growth and development of the nation by fostering a well-educated and skilled workforce. Education truly becomes a pathway to success when institutions like LAPO Microfinance Bank pave the way for all to access it.