The Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO) Institute for Microfinance and Management Studies (LIMMS) has commenced the first National Diploma (ND) programme in Microfinance and Enterprise Development in Nigeria.
Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Chairman, Governing Council of LIMMS, disclosed this during the first matriculation ceremony of the new Monotechnic held in Benin on Monday.
Ehigiamusoe said the programme represented a significant milestone in capacity building for the growing microfinance sector and enterprise development in the country.
He said the institute would bridge the skills gaps in the microfinance sector as well as empower young people to function well in business ventures.
“In spite of the overwhelming unemployment, the reality of our economy today is the skill gap in its critical segment.
“Middle level expertise and skills are in short supply in the technical and agricultural sector.
“Also, the growing microfinance sector is in need of persons adequately equipped to engage and serve low income people and owners of micro, small and medium enterprises.
“The institute will bridge the skill gaps not only in the microfinance sector but also in the critical sectors of the economy with special emphasis on the micro, small and medium enterprise, ” Ehigiamusoe said.
He, however, called on relevant authorities to provide policy direction and national investment that support middle level manpower development.
Mrs Ngozi Okelekwe, Acting Director, National Board for Technical Education, South South Zonal office, also spoke at the event.
She said the board was impressed with the institute’s efforts at promoting technical and vocational education and training in the country.
Okelekwe urged the institute to ensure that the curriculum of its ND programme was fully put to use and add local content to its teaching and learning process.
Meanwhile, Dr Gladys Nwokoye, Provost of the institute, said it would meet the educational needs of the teeming youth population in terms of theoretical and practical knowledge.
Nwokoye urged the matriculating students to abide by laid down rules, noting that the institution had zero tolerance for cultism, malpractice and indiscipline.
She said that the institute also offered consultancy services, business development programme, enterprise development programme, senior management amongst others for business owners and management staff.