Nigeria: The predicament of small borrowers

By Abdullahi Jimoh
Posted on Wednesday, 18 January 2023 10:26

A customer withdraws money from automated teller machine at the premises of a bank in Asaba, Delta State, on November, 2016. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

Mainstream lending programmes have proven troublesome to numerous small borrowers in Nigeria, where, according to the World Bank’s 2018 estimates, more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Petty trader Yemisi Olaosun in Ilora, a rural community in southwestern Nigeria’s Oyo State, took out an N120,000 (nearly $267) loan last year from the Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), incurring unfavourable terms that make the process of borrowing such a negligible amount not worth the hassle.