LIFT ABOVE POVERTY ORGANISATION (LAPO), NIGERIA
LAPO is based in Benin, Nigeria, and started in 1998 as a community development non-profit institution with three main programmes; provision of micro-finance; providing social and health awareness programmes for clients and addressing the challenge of gender inequity, especially in rural communities.
LAPO sought to become a fully licensed financial bank. Driven by this motivation, and the need to strengthen the company’s financial management LAPO management sought the assistance of AMSCO.
AMSCO assisted in sourcing and placing managers into positions deemed necessary for achieving the firm’s ambitions growth plans.
In line with LAPO`s organisational needs, AMSCO seconded Dr. Kamakhya Singh to join LAPO’s administrative board as Chief Finance Officer (CFO) in 2010 to better position the organization for the transformation to a licensed finance bank and also assist with subsequent operational expansions.
With AMSCO being an entity which is promoted by a number of bi-lateral and multilateral institutions, the appointed CFO had a robust platform for its investment raising mandate. LAPO was the first indigenous micro-finance bank to to receive investment from the IFC, and moving forward LAPO has acquired financial assistance from AFD (Agence Française de Développement).
Access to international financial capital for expansion purposes was achieved. Financial policies were reviewed, improved and implemented.
Over the six years of engagement, the following increases were achieved:
There was significant development of women empowerment, with a 190% increase in female staff representing over 50% of the firms employees. Of the total loan portfolio, 90% of the loans were granted to women by the end of the 2015 intervention.
Successful restructure of financial management, accounting, business planning, financial planning and other relevant items was achieved, which strengthened the financial performance and operational capacity of the micro-finance bank.