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FG, Afreximbank partner on $1bn healthcare investment

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The Federal Government and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have committed to a $1 billion partnership to revolutionise Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

The $1 billion Healthcare Value Chain Programme established through a Memorandum of Understanding between Afreximbank and the Federal Ministry of Health is geared at improving access to quality healthcare, reduce medical tourism, and empower the domestic healthcare workforce.

This initiative falls under the Presidential Initiative for Unlocking Healthcare Value Chains, PVAC, with a view to comprehensively strengthening Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

In a meeting with Afreximbank President, Professor Benedict Oramah, at the Presidential Villa yesterday, President Bola Tinubu 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.”

The President noted that the initiative would reduce the need for outbound medical tourism by providing exceptional care within Nigeria and also stem the tide of healthcare talent migration by fostering a thriving domestic healthcare sector.

On his part, the Afreximbank President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Prof. Benedict Oramah, said: “For too long, our continent has watched as its best and brightest medical minds have migrated to Europe and America.

”But we are now poised to develop a domestic healthcare sector which can retain talent, eventually rivalling and even surpassing systems in other regions.”

The discussions also focused on the transformative potential of the 500-bed African Medical Centre of Excellence, AMCE, Abuja, currently nearing completion and its broader impact on healthcare across the continent.

The AMCE Abuja, the first of five planned across Africa, is poised to become a leading centre for research, clinical services, and medical education.

It will focus on three critical non-communicable diseases – Oncology, haematology, and Cardiology – alongside general care capabilities.

This, coupled with collaborations with global partners, such as King’s College London, the University of Wisconsin Teaching Hospital, and Christies Hospital Manchester, demonstrates a new direction for African healthcare provision.

According to Oramah, AMCE Abuja will not only provide world-class medical services but also serve as a training ground for future generations of healthcare professionals.

“Afreximbank, in collaboration with King’s College London, is establishing a Medical & Nursing School in Abuja to support this mission.

”This initiative, along with partnerships with other medical institutions across Africa, aims to create a sustainable pool of skilled medical personnel within the continent,” he said.

AFC commits $40m to build Africa’s first medical centre of excellence in Abuja

Meanwhile, Africa Finance Corporation, AFC, a leading infrastructure financier, has pledged up to $40 million to support the construction of the first African Medical Centre of Excellence, AMCE, in Abuja.

The 500-bed facility is being developed by the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), in partnership with King’s College Hospital, London, KCH, following an agreement reached at the inaugural AMCE African Health Forum in Abuja weekend.

The project is set to strategically leverage KCH’s unmatched diagnostic, clinical, and capacity-building expertise, focusing on three core non-communicable diseases, namely oncology, cardiology, and haematology.

With a commitment to world-class research, education, and development, AMCE aims to establish itself as a leader in clinical services.

The AMCE initiative signals a healthcare revolution in West Africa, aiming to redirect the course of medical tourism away from the continent.

It envisions the creation of a series of world-class medical centres of excellence in Africa, providing widespread access to critical healthcare in the region.

AMCE Abuja, a first-of-its-kind medical treatment and research center, will unfold in four phases over six years.

AFC, as a new shareholder, will play a pivotal role in the initial phase, involving the construction of a 170-bed specialist hospital, set to expand to 500 beds by the third phase.

With construction progress already over halfway complete, the facility is on track to commence operations in the first quarter of 2025.

Samaila Zubairu, AFC President and CEO, expressed the organization’s commitment to transforming healthcare in Africa and contributing to a reversal in medical tourism.

He emphasized the importance of building a world-class facility that captured medical spending in Africa, promotes specialist skills development, and attracts healthcare practitioners to local communities.

Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, lauded AFC’s partnership, emphasizing its significance in addressing Africa’s healthcare infrastructure challenges.

He called for more partners to join this crucial endeavour to revolutionize healthcare in Africa and make a lasting impact on community well-being.

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Econony

International Breweries announces increase in products prices

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International Breweries announces products price hike International Breweries Plc said it has increased prices of its various product offerings in Nigeria. The brewer said in a statement that reviewing prices in its portfolio has become necessary due to current market realities, and was done to serve its customers better.

The new price review affects products such as Eagle Lager, Eagle Extra Stout, Trophy Stout, Beta Malt, and Grand Malt.

Head of Sales of the company, Olaleye Abimbola, disclosed that it is confident that the decision to review the prices benefits all its partners.

Abimbola however called on the company’s partners to honour the old pricing strategy it had in the previous months until the new changes were announced and implemented.

This is the second time the company will increase the prices of its products in one year. International Breweries disclosed a forex-related loss of N162.2 billion in its first quarter report.

Major brewers in Nigeria have been hit by an economic crisis due to inflation, foreign exchange volatility, and rising production costs, which has led to price hikes across the country.

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Naira appreciates to N1,339.33/$1 on official market, best in 2 months

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The exchange rate between the Naira and the Dollar at the official window saw a significant appreciation of 10.71% on Monday, closing the day at N1,339.33/$1. 

This appreciation marks the highest closing rate since April 26, when the exchange rate was N1,339.23/$1, based on data from FMDQ. 

On Friday, May 24, 2024, the exchange rate was N1,482.81/$1, with a minor increase of 0.19%. The FX turnover on this day was significantly higher at $556.25 million, which represented a dramatic increase of 231.99%.

In contrast, on May 27, 2024, the Naira appreciated notably by 10.71%, bringing the exchange rate down to N1,339.33/$1. However, the FX turnover decreased sharply by 67.50%, amounting to $180.8 million. 

The substantial drop in FX turnover suggests a lower demand for dollars, which is a plausible factor contributing to the appreciation of the Naira. 

When fewer dollars are being bought, the demand decreases, leading to a stronger Naira against the Dollar.  

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Econony

Now investors are mocking us –Obasanjo Blasts Tinubu Over Nigeria’s Economy

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says President Bola Tinubu’s policies on fuel subsidy removal and exchange rates have adversely affected the Nigerian economy.

Obasanjo spoke via a statement issued by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Sunday to assess the performance of the current government in the past one year.

He said the effects of the policies which he said were “wrongly implemented are pushing foreign investors away from Nigeria”.

He argued that “the present administration has not found the right way to handle the economy to engender confidence and trust for investors to start trooping in”.

Obasanjo continued: “Today, the government has taken three decisions, two of which are necessary but wrongly implemented and have led to the impoverization of the economy and of Nigerians. These are removal of subsidy, closing the gap between the black market and official rates of exchange and the third is dealing with a military coup in Niger Republic.

“The way forward is production and productivity which belief and trust in government leadership will engender. No shortcut to economic progress but hard work and sweat.

“Economy does not obey orders, not even military orders. I know that. If we get it right, in two years, we will begin to see the light beyond the tunnel. It requires a change of characteristics, attributes and attitude by the leadership at all levels to gain the confidence and trust of investors who have alternatives.

“Total Energy has gone to invest 6 billion dollars in Angola instead of Nigeria. If the truth must be stated, the present Administration has not found the right way to handle the economy to engender confidence and trust for investors to start trooping in.

“They know us more than we know ourselves. And now they are laughing at us, not taking us seriously. We have to present ourselves in such a way that we will be taken seriously. If the existing investors are disinvesting and going out of our country, how do we persuade new investors to rush in. We can be serious if we choose to be but we need to change from transactional leadership in government to transformational and genuine servant leadership.

“With change by us, the investors will give us the benefit of doubt, and security being taken care of on a sustainable long-term basis, they will start to test the water. With the right economic policies, attributes of integrity and honesty of purpose, all should be well with all hands on deck and the government becoming a catalyst for development, growth and progress.”

Obasanjo added that “tinkering with the exchange rate is not the answer” to the economic problems.

He said, “The answer is consistency and continuity in policy to ensure stability and predictability. That way, we will be sure of incentivizing domestic and foreign investment. There must be honesty and transparency in government dealings and contracts and not lying with deception about these issues. When the government is seen as pursuing the right policy, the private sector will go for production and productivity.

“With change by us, the investors will give us the benefit of doubt, and security being taken care of on a sustainable long-term basis, they will start to test the water. With the right economic policies, attributes of integrity and honesty of purpose, all should be well with all hands on deck and the government becoming a catalyst for development, growth and progress.

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