Lift Above Poverty (LAPO) says it disbursed N12.2 billion in loans to 152,446 rural farmers and owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2020.
Dr Honestus Obadiora, the organization’s acting executive director, said this during the review of the 2020 performance report of the LAPO Rural Development Initiative (LARDI) in Benin on Friday.
Obadiora said the financial support was aimed at improving the rural economy and food security in the country.
He said loans were disbursed at 253 LARDI branches in 21 states during the period under review.
“We were able to achieve this despite the pandemic, we are committed to maintaining this financial support through our development plan to open more branches and reach more customers,” Obadiora said.
He said the figure represented a 12 percent growth from the N10.9 billion naira disbursed in 2019, with a portfolio at risk of 18.62 percent.
According to him, low-income farmers, rural dwellers and SME owners should take advantage of the affordable loan opportunity to enhance the growth and development of their businesses.
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 organization was ready to maintain its high level of performance and affordable interest rate for rural development.