DEEPEN - Developing Effective Private Education Nigeria | Lagos state government pledges support on access to finance for low cost private schools
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Lagos state government pledges support on access to finance for low cost private schools

The third episode of the annual DEEPEN Finance Forum took place on 4th May 2017, titled “Schools as SMEs: leveraging the market opportunity”. These events are held to facilitate discussion on how to improve access to finance for low fee private schools and share lessons learnt.

This year’s forum aimed to create a platform for discussion between government and the private sector and was attended by a mix of stakeholders cutting across financial institutions, staff from the newly established Lagos State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment, Ministry of Education, UK Department for International Development (DFID) and private school associations. The event was anchored by Peter Hinton, DEEPEN Senior Adviser on Access to Finance.

The day started with welcome speeches from the DEEPEN Team Leader Dr. Gboyega Ilusanya and Alessandra Lustrati, the DFID Private Sector Adviser to DEEPEN who both succinctly described the Lagos basic education scenario and hence the justification for the DEEPEN programme. These were followed by a presentation by Nadia Weigh the DEEPEN Intervention Leader for Finance explaining a greater detail the challenges faced by low cost schools in accessing finance. She also shared examples of how DEEPEN partners have been able to successfully overcome the regulatory barriers to school lending and are now profitably lending to schools.

Obafela Bank-Olemoh, the Senior Adviser to the Lagos State government on Education who was also in attendance, highlighted the importance of private schools and announced state government plans to support them in accessing affordable finance. A presentation from the Ministry of Wealth Creation and Employment rounded off the session for presentations before the event moved into plenary discussion.

A full report on the event can be accessed here.

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