A 2006 report from the Central Bank of Nigeria estimated that 75 percent of economically active Nigerians did not have access to banks and other financial institutions.
- The life expectancy in Nigeria is 47 years old
- Over 25 percent of Nigerian children are underweight
- 62 percent of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 a day
- 4.6 million people live with HIV/AIDS
Due to the limited number of microfinance institutions in rural areas, the demand for microfinance is very high. It is expected that Nigeria’s Microfinance Policy and Supervisory Framework, established in 2005, will accelerate development of small enterprises and microfinance.
Grameen Foundation has been supporting microfinance in Nigeria since 2003. We currently provide financing to Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) through our Growth Guarantees program. LAPO, which reaches more than 250,000 clients, was awarded the Grameen Foundation "2006 Excellence in Microfinance Award." The award money was subsequently used by LAPO as scholarship grants for 26 students from all over Nigeria.
Grameen Foundation also supports Self Reliance Economic Advancement Programme in East Central Nigeria with much needed financing, business planning, and strategic management training.
We have provided ongoing support to the Central Bank of Nigeria to help it better understand microfinance and the regulatory environment that would be favorable to building a strong industry.