FG, Afreximbank Sign $1bn Deal to Develop Nigeria’s Health Sector Value Chain

FG, Afreximbank Sign $1bn Deal to Develop Nigeria’s Health Sector Value Chain

•Tinubu: We’re committed to providing best healthcare facilities for all Nigerians

Deji Elumoye and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The federal government and the Afreximbank yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the infusion $1 billion for the development of the healthcare value chain in Nigeria.

Also the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the promoters of the world class hospital project-African Medical Centre for Excellence (AMCE) being constructed in Abuja, sealed an investment deal for the execution of the project expected to commence operations within the first quarter of 2025.

In his opening remarks at the maiden African Medical Centre of Excellence Africa Health Forum held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, where the MoU was signed, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank,  Prof. Benedict Oramah, said the bank was supporting Nigeria as well as other African countries in their efforts to significantly improve the healthcare infrastructure.

Speaking specifically on the building of the world class hospital complex in Abuja, Oramah said Afreximbank initiated the Confidential Tourism Programme (HMTP) in 2012, through which it intervenes across most segments of Africa’s health sector and facilitates the emergence of world-class medical infrastructure across the continent.

He explained that it was in that context that Afreximbank collaborated with King’s College Hospital, London (KCH), in 2014 to launch the AMCE initiative, which seeks to develop medical facilities in Nigeria

“I am pleased to inform you that the development of the AMCE Abuja is well advanced, with construction having achieved over 50 per cent completion. The facility is on track to commence operations in early 2025.

“We are also pleased to welcome on board AFC who will join Afreximbank’s Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) as equity investors in the AMCE, Abuja,” he said.

Oramah described the signing of the equity investment deal with AFC as a remarkable milestone which demonstrates the commitment of the equity investors to the AMCE project and Africa’s healthcare in general.

“In addition to the development of the AMCE pilot project in Abuja, I am delighted to state that Afreximbank has entered an arrangement with King’s College London (KCL) to establish a Medical & Nursing School in Abuja to support the production of quality medical personnel in Africa.

“It is our hope that we can use that platform to collaborate with other colleges of medicine in Nigeria and across Africa. In view of these developments, the AMCE Africa Health Forum has been conceived as an opportunity for stakeholders to deepen partnerships,” he said

According to Oramah, AMCE Abuja, is less than 20 kilometres from Abuja city centre and the first of the healthcare facilities that Afreximbank and its partners are developing across the continent.

He said the bank’s team had carried out an inspection tour of the project site and from work done so far, the hospital was expected to commence operation latest by first quarter of next year.

He added that the project entailed developing and operationalising a world-class multi-specialty 500-bed hospital facility to serve the entire African continent, focusing on three core non-communicable diseases – oncology, haematology and cardiology, and general care capabilities.

Orama said AMCE Abuja was being implemented in partnership with leading global institutions, namely Kings College Hospital, London, the University of Wisconsin Teaching Hospital, USA, and the Christies Hospital, Manchester.

The Afreximbank boss said AMCE was also planning to build a world class health training institution for nurses and other health workers.

On his part, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Richard Montgomery, commended the investment initiative by Afreximbank to develop health infrastructure across Africa.

He urged rich individuals and corporate organisations in Nigeria to support the effort to reverse the negative impact of medical tourism by government through private sector collaboration.

The Coordinating Minister of  Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate who represented the federal government during the ceremony, said the establishment of the AMCE hospital in Abuja was in line with the administration’s vision to develop the healthcare infrastructure of the country.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has stressed that his administration is strongly committed to providing excellent healthcare facilities for all Nigerians.

He also said the present government at the centre will continue to prioritise domestic and foreign direct investments in the sector.

The President made the remarks at a meeting yesterday with Oramah, to finalise plans to establish a first-rate healthcare facility in Abuja.

He said: ”We welcome this significant step towards investing in Nigeria’s healthcare sector. This facility is a great commitment to humanity. We are open and ready to assist this project in every way possible.

”Africa is in need, and Nigeria is committed to the need of its people. Putting people’s welfare first is putting healthcare first. The training and development of our people are our priorities, and we thank KCH, known for its global reputation, for partnering with us.

”Out of every five black persons, one is a Nigerian. We are racing against time to meet our obligations to our people. This project will further strengthen our long-term vision for the healthcare of our people. We are determined to succeed, and whatever you need in order for us to achieve this project, I want to assure you, we will do it”.

 Tinubu, who was recently appointed the African Union (AU) Champion for Human Resources for Health and Community Health Delivery Partnership, emphasised that the continent cannot afford to remain behind in the quality and accessibility of its healthcare system.

The President, therefore, asked Afreximbank not to relent in its commitment to investing in projects that will ensure that Africa possesses the expertise and resources to meet its own healthcare needs.

Earlier in his speech, Pate, explained that the Bank and KCH are also collaborating on building a medical and nursing school alongside AMCE, in line with the administration’s commitment to expanding the training of healthcare professionals in the country.

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