•Authority highlights ongoing aggressive expansion plan
The Ad-hoc Committee constituted by the House of Representatives to investigate the activities of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) since the inception of the Authority has hailed the management of the NSIA over their intervention in the healthcare sector, fertilizer and infrastructure development.
The members of the committee commended the NSIA during an oversight visit at the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre (NLCC) and other interventions by the Authority, in Lagos, yesterday.
The committee members were in Lagos to inspect and to review the projects undertaken by the Authority and its impact on the Nigerian economy. Key areas of focus for the Lagos visits were healthcare, infrastructure and agriculture.
The members of the House commenced their visit at the NSIA – LUTH Cancer Centre where the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ademorin Kuye, said the lawmakers were impressed with the quality of service being rendered to Nigerians at the cancer Centre.
Since inception, Healthcare has been a keen area of focus for the Authority, deriving from this, the NSIA Healthcare Development Investment Company was established to catalyse private sector investments to address the infrastructure gaps in the healthcare sector, improve manpower, and forge strategic collaborations to advance healthcare indicators in the country.
Established in 2019, the NLCC – an out-patient cancer center equipped with modern medical infrastructure has attended to over 10,000 unique persons living with cancer and has also deepened capacity of medical and non-medical professionals within the oncology space.
Over the years, the NLCC has reduced capital flight from medical tourism occasioned by cancer, created direct and indirect jobs and improved access to quality cancer care, thereby expanding possibilities for people living with cancer.
In addition to NLCC, the NSIA has also invested in two modern medical diagnostic centers collocated within the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Federal Medical Center, Umuahia respectively.
NSIA is now in the process of scaling these interventions, with 3 additional Oncology centres, 23 additional diagnostic centres and 7 catheterization laboratories across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. NSIA’s wholly owned medical services portfolio company, Medserve has been set up to implement these projects.
The Committee Chairman said the facilities aligned with the vision and commitment of government to ensure affordable and efficient cancer care for Nigerians.
He explained, “We are investigating how much has been put into the development of this place. We have seen a lot of modern medical equipment that has been brought to this place.
“We are also seeing the quality of service being rendered to Nigerians and we are impressed and we will go back to report to the entire parliament and tell them that we need more of this in other places.”
He revealed that while talking to patients that they met during the oversight, they, “admitted that the charges here are the lowest compared to what happens in other areas like Ghana and other African countries. They are still pleading that the government should subsidise it more.”
“We noted suggestions, which will be taken to the house to deliberate on. Nigeria already has centres for treating infectious diseases with qualified experts on it.
“But we will continue to develop more, we do not have enough cancer centers and there is need for more investment in our health sector.
“And the government has assured us that they will continue to do that. And we at the parliament, will continue to appropriate sufficient funds.”
Also speaking during the visit by the lawmakers, the Managing Director, NSIA Healthcare Development Investment Company, Dr. Tolulope Adewole, revealed ongoing expansion by the Authority, as part of efforts to contribute towards addressing the country’s healthcare challenges.
“We have started the expansion plan already, We had MoUs signed by different states, signed with different tertiary hospitals, and some of the equipment needed are ready to be disbursed.
“We hope to go live in the next 24 months We have a project in which we are building four diagnostic hospitals, in each geo-political zone and that will be done in two phases.
“We are upscaling from one oncology center to four: one in the north, east, and finally Abuja. The cost is variable, so we can’t say what it will all cost us, ” he added.
The Committee also visited Golden Fertilizer Company Limited-a blending plant resuscitated under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative managed by the NSIA.
The PFI was designed in 2016 to consistently deliver commercially significant quantities of affordable, high-quality fertilizer to the Nigerian farmer.
PFI was also designed to revive the local blending industry, adopt an import substitution approach by ensuring that over 60 percent of urea and limestone required for production of fertilizers are sourced locally at the revived blending plants.
The PFI has so far revived and established over 70 blending plants including Golden, Apapa, – across the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria.
During the inspection of the fertilizer blending plant, the Committee expressed satisfaction with the impact that the initiative is creating in terms of job creation, food availability, forex conservation, and increase in yield for farmers.
They, however, pledged to assist in ensuring that middle men don’t take advantage of good intentions of government under the initiative to create scarcity of the product and exhort Nigerians.
The Committee rounded off their assignment with a visit of the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, a 127.6 km long, busy interstate road, that cuts through Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states.
The Chairman expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project.
The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is one of the oldest and busiest routes in Africa with potential to unlock significant economic activities and support seamless movement of people, goods and services around Lagos, Oyo and Ogun States.
During the visit, the NSIA Executive Director, Investments, Mr. Kola Owodunni, told the lawmakers that the Authority NSIA remains focused on enabling overall socio-economic growth through diversification for Nigerians across key sectors including innovation and technology, agriculture, power, gas industrialisation and financial market infrastructure.