Lapo Microfinance Bank management and board has assured of its commitment towards support start-ups Business in Nigeria.
The Managing Director, Mr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, revealed that the bank in the last four years adopted Alternative Channel department to enhance delivery financial services to its clients.
He stated, “We will continue to prioritise providing financial services to people who are financially excluded. We will continue to expand our operations in that direction to establish our footprints across the nation in order to capture those who are financially excluded.”
Speaking on how regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has impacted on microfinance banks in Nigeria, the bank chief opined that regulatory environment particularly for microfinance bank by the apex bank has been significantly enabling compared to other African countries.
The bank chief highlighted that the microfinance banks may not have the volume of loan access compare with commercial banks but their significant impacts in the society is enormous, ranging from meeting the needs of large number of people and helping their businesses to improve standard of living.
He added that customer relationship had been ongoing before now but as an organisation, there was the need to further deepen the culture of engagement with people at the bottom of the pyramid that constituted the organisation’s target market in a way that they were satisfied and retained.
We decided to come together and do some analysis of where we are in terms of customer relationship and see how we can enhance it.
“This is important, because we have to see that we are able to serve our clients better. We will be able to create value for them in order to create value for us as a business entity.”
Answering question on plans by LAPO to begin electronic banking to ease some of its manual processes, the bank chief noted that though no any separate delivery firm or company at this point can ignore technology and its impact but while making decision on the choice of channel to use, they should take to account the nature and characteristics of their clients base.
According to him, “I strongly believe that there are challenges in the operating environment, but what is more important is the fact that this is a nation of very high population of very enterprising people. And so when you have a nation of enterprising people and you have regulatory environment that is significantly enabling, that pose a fertile ground for microfinance banks to blossom in Nigeria.
“On the average we put in 13/14 billion naira every month to the market for people to improve on their businesses. And when you come to a forum like this listen to testimonies of people talking about assessing LAPO loans over the years have been able to improve their businesses and translating to improvement in their welfare, supporting their children’s education,” he explained.