In what could be seen as a way of rewarding and appreciating those who stood behind you at the humble beginning, Founder of Lift Above Poverty Organisation, Godwin Ehigiamusoe last week Friday, after 30 years revisited Ogwashi-Uku and traced the 3 women and his landlord that gave birth to LAPO Micro Finance, the bank that is today one of the Africa leading Micro Finance banks.
LAPO Micro Finance Bank is a specialized pro poor and pro economical active business owners that spends billions of his resources in training and retraining of staff and clients.
The Micro Finance Bank for years started giving out Scholarships to children of its clients as a way of helping to reduce the financial burden on parents and promote free education for all.
The Scholarship exam is organised every year to select new intakes across various centres in the country.
Beneficiaries enjoy the scholarship award from secondary school untill they rounds off from government established higher institutions of learning.
OsazuwaAkonedo reports that thousands of beneficiares visit LAPO branches across different locations in Nigeria, Sierra Leone every year to receive over 100 thousand naira as free educational support fund.
One of the benefits of LAPO retraining of Staff has made many of its former staffers to be founder of their own micro finance banks, some of whom are the other well known micro finance banks in Nigeria which thus created more job opportunities to Nigerians; and has build more competative micro finance bank markets in Africa.
Godwin Ehigiamusoe in his words said:
After over 30 years, today’s was my REAL first visit to Ogwashi-Uku , Delta state, where I sowed the seed of LAPO with N100 each to three women in my church.
REAL first visit, because I had made some transactional visits to our first branch there in the past.
It was an emotional meeting with a son of one of the three women. The lady had passed on.
My landlord, Pa Diji at 91 is still strong. He was still able to shout Ehi-gia-mu-soe!! with admiration as he would do three decades ago.
It was a reunion with members of his household.
Uzor his then little daughter who helped me out with cooking ( I am a great cook as well) is now a grown up lady involved in Nollywood.
The joy however, was diminished by the death of his wife ( May her kind soul Rest In Peace) and Patience (Patie) his daughter.
My secretary then at the cooperative office, was as excited as myself to see each other.
She jumped and jumped and launched on for a warm embrace. She regaled me with how LAPO was a play- play thing then.
I sorely missed so many people who have passed on.
I particularly, missed the secretary of Aniocha Multipurpose Cooperative Union, Pa Agwudagwu.
(I was the Supervisory Cooperative Officer in the area).
A remarkable man , he died at 101.
My meeting with his aged widow was soothing enough.
I truly love my five years in the town we simply call Ogwashi
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