By Joy Odigie
Benin, Feb. 5, 2021 The Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), says it disbursed N12.2 billion as loans to 152,446 rural farmers and owners of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in 2020.
Dr Honestus Obadiora, the Acting Executive Director of the organisation said this while reviewing the 2020 performance report of LAPO Rural Development Initiative (LARDI) in Benin on Friday.
Obadiora said the financial support was to improve the rural economy and food security in the country.
He said the loans were disbursed in 253 LARDI branches across 21 states during the period under review.
“We were able to achieve this in spite the pandemic, we are committed to sustaining this financial support through our development plan to open more branches and reach more clients,’’ Obadiora said.
He said the figure represented 12 per cent growth over the sum of N10.9 billion disbursed during the year 2019 with Portfolio at Risk standing at 18.62 per cent.
According to him, the low-income farmers, rural dwellers and owners of SMEs should take advantage of the affordable loan opportunity to enhance the growth and development of their enterprises.
The acting executive director attributed LAPO’s outstanding performance over the years to strong institutional strength, staff commitment to excellence and hard work.
He added that the organisation was ready to maintain its high performance level and affordable interest rate for rural development.