Everest Amaefule, Abuja
The African Development Bank says its board has approved the support of private health care system in Lagos, Nigeria with a loan of $20m.
A statement issued by the bank in Abuja on Monday said the fund would help Santa Clara Medical Limited to finance the development of a hospital and referral clinics in Lagos.
Explaining the reason for the funding, the bank said Nigeria’s largest health care market, Lagos, lacked an adequate supply of quality secondary and tertiary facilities, with only about 700 to 1,000 quality beds for a population of over 21 million people.
It is in response to this situation, that the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a senior loan in naira (equivalent to $20m) to Santa Clara Medical Limited, the bank said.
By supporting investment in health care infrastructure, the bank will help the Nigerian government to develop human capital through improved service delivery in the health care system, it added.
The statement quoted AfDB’s Director of Industrialisation and Trade Development, Dr. Abdu Mukhtar, as saying that poor medical facilities force 30,000 Nigerians to spend $1bn per annum on medical tourism abroad.
Mukhtar stated, “This situation currently forces over 30,000 Nigerians to spend over S1bn on medical tourism for specialty treatments overseas. Completing this project will allow the country’s health care sector to benefit from some of these resources. This is an important development.
“In spite of recent improvements, Nigeria’s health infrastructure remains rudimentary and insufficient to cater to the country’s growing population.”
The hospital and referral clinics will be situated in different locations in Lagos and will upon completion in 2020, provide a full spectrum of high quality general and specialist health care services at competitive prices, the AfDB added.
It is expected to have positive economic and social benefits for the city of Lagos and will create around 250 temporary jobs during the construction period and 600 jobs over its operation phase, according to the lender.
“More importantly, it will significantly improve private health care services by offering quality general medical services in addition to specialty services such as orthopaedic, nephrology, urology, cardiology and neurosurgery that are largely unavailable in the country,” it added.
Meanwhile, the AfDB has estimated that investment needs for infrastructure in Africa are in the range of $130bn to $170bn a year, much higher than the commonly cited $93bn.
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