The Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, has announced the launch of a comprehensive healthcare investment programme covering all six geo-political regions of the country.
The aim of the investment programme is to catalyze private sector investment to bridge the healthcare infrastructure gap, contribute to the reduction of the disease burden and facilitate improvement of healthcare in the country. In addition, the programme aims to reverse the outflow of the over US$1 billion per year spent by Nigerians on medical tourism.
According to the Minister for Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, said, these projects will attract investments into Nigeria’s healthcare sector, adding that, “this will demonstrate the ministry’s ability to work effectively with institutions such as the NSIA. The Health Ministry seeks to modernise and expand Nigeria’s healthcare sector, and the projects being jointly developed with NSIA will ensure that Nigerians have access to world class medical services”.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NSIA, Uche Orji, said the authority seeks to transform Nigeria’s healthcare sector by facilitating private sector participation, and working closely with federal healthcare institutions. “We expect that these investments will expand the capabilities of federal healthcare institutions by providing world class equipment, and the very best in private sector operations and management. This is part of a broader set of objectives designed to help build human and institutional capacity across the healthcare sector in Nigeria”.
The healthcare projects are being developed by the NSIA, in partnership with Federal Government Teaching Hospitals and Medical Centres (Federal Healthcare Institutions) located in each of the six geo-political regions of the country. Under the partnership, specialist hospitals and modern diagnostic centres which will provide advanced medical care and modern diagnostic services are being developed. At the moment, a total of 10 Memorandum of Cooperation (MOCs) have been signed. However, six agreements are at advanced stages.
The NSIA in a statement, explained that it has entered into an agreement with Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to jointly develop a Specialist Cardiovascular Hospital in Lagos. The specialist hospital is expected to provide cardiovascular treatment, including diagnostics, minimally-invasive procedures, surgery and post-surgery care in the country.
As part of the programme, NSIA said it has secured approval from the Federal Ministry of Health to enter into a binding agreement with Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) for the development of a modern medical diagnostic centre to be co-located within the main hospital complex at Kano. NSIA recently signed a binding agreement with the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia to develop a modern medical diagnostic centre co-located within the main hospital complex in Umuahia, Abia State.
NSIA intends replicating similar strategies within the medical complexes of federal healthcare institutions in the North-East, North-Central and the South-South zones, pursuant to the tripartite Memoranda of Cooperation signed with the Federal Ministry of Health and at least one Federal Healthcare Institution in these geo-political regions.