LAPO trains 36,000 in microfinance, enterprise development – The LAPO Institute on Monday said it had trained over 36,000 Nigerians in core areas of microfinance and enterprise development, through its innovative entrepreneurship development programme.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LAPO, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, disclosed this at a workshop organised by the institute, with the theme ‘Future Strategies for Microfinance Institutions: Beyond Traditional Approaches’ in Benin, Edo State.
He stated, “The institute has provided and continues to provide capacity development programmes for several states, including Rivers, Delta, Kogi and Bayelsa and some other agencies of the Federal Government, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The institute has provided such services for over 13,098 of such participants since inception. Considering the importance of partnership to fulfilling our objectives, the LAPO Institute is partnering relevant government agencies, non-governmental and international organisations.”
Ehigiamusoe also noted that 2,500 returnees had been trained on enterprise development in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration, under the assisted voluntary return and reintegration programme.
“We have also commenced the e-learning programme for persons who may be interested in our programme but may be hindered by distance and time. LAPO will continue to partner relevant local and international organisations, microfinance institutions, microfinance banks to deliver the next level of inclusive financial delivery methods to clients in Africa,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Founder/Chief Executive Officer of K-Rep Group, Kenya, Mr Kimanthi Mutua, has called on microfinance institutions to formulate strategic objectives and consider their operating environment in order to thrive in the competitive subsector.
Mutua, who spoke on ‘Institutional Form, Ownership and Governance’, explained that the MFIs owed their success to access to funding, alignment to commercial goals and the pursuit of a skilled work force, “with an almost ruthless performance management practice.”
He said, “In thinking about the future and the institutional form, it is also very important to really ascertain the role that is played by the founder. Most of the founders and leaders of these (microfinance) institutions are charismatic people who can make up for the weaknesses of an institutional form.
“So, the institutional form may have its inherent weakness. But the leadership in place sort of fills that gap, which is good for now. But for the future, the institutions must survive by its own architecture.”