- To establish pan-African clearing/settlement platform
Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
Pan-Africa trade and investment bank–Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is putting in place an investment structure for the establishment of a world-class hospital in Nigeria.
The centre of excellence, which is to check the huge capital flight to Europe, Asia and the United States due to the increasing medical tourism by Africans, is to be executed in collaboration with the Kings College Hospital, London.
The President and Chairman, Board of Directors of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, who made the disclosures at a media parley in Abuja explained that many African countries went through a bid process to host the hospital, adding that the lot fell on Nigeria because of its demographics and other advantages.
He, however, noted that either Abuja or Lagos would be chosen for the location of the hospital, a decision, which he said, is purely that of the federal government.
According to him, the hospital would be opened to investors, including the Dangote Foundation, noting that a former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is a big champion of the project.
Oramah disclosed that already, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed between Afreximbank and the Ministry of Health on behalf of the federal government
Although he would not put a figure on the cost of the hospital project, he said when all the investment decisions and every parameter are considered, the cost outlay would be divulged
But he pointed out that no cost would be spared in consummating the medical project, which he described as a turnkey project.
H added that it would handle complex health challenges, including different aspects of cancer for which Nigerians and other Africans embark on medical tourism overseas.
Oramah also disclosed that Nigeria, which is a major shareholder has equally been a major beneficiary of the pan-Africa trade financier, adding that Afreximbank has disbursed about $16 billion loans to Nigeria.
Listing some areas of intervention, Oramah said it was the first to support the Lagos mass transit project, pioneered the financing of a local content project.
He said at the inception of the power sector reforms, Afreximbank provided over $500 million to the various entities involved.
According to him, over $2. 5 billion was provided in support of the acquisition of oil assets while $1.9 billion was extended to Nigeria through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in the heat of the collapse, to alleviate the foreign exchange pressure.
He noted that the bank was looking towards formalising the over $40 billion intra-Africa trade, which has the potential of transforming the continent.
In this case, Afreximbank, he said, is in the process of developing an intra-African trade platform, a kind of clearing and settlement platform.
The platform, he said, would be launched before the end of the year or early next year.
Afreximbank, he also stated,
has unveiled its five-year strategic plan covering 2017-21, christened Impact 2021.
The bank, according to him, has approved $41bn in credit facilities in the 24 years since it was created in 1993 but commenced operations in 1994.
The bank hopes to encourage intra-African trade by supporting the development of continental supply chains and export manufacturing capacity.
Afreximbank includes trade in goods and services between Africa and Africans in the Diaspora within its definition of intra-African trade.
Besides intra-African trade, the three strategic pillars of Impact 2021 are Industrialisation and Export Development; Trade Finance Leadership; and Financial Soundness and Performance. The Bank is particularly keen to support the development of the agro-processing, light manufacturing, and tradable service sectors.
With manufacturing wages rising quickly in China, there is massive scope for other parts of the world to secure manufacturing outsourcing investment, particularly in these three areas.