The Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), on Thursday, sealed healthcare expansion agreements with five tertiary medical centres and three state governments to boost citizens’ access to quality and affordable healthcare.
The authority, through its NSIA Healthcare Development and Investment Company (NHDIC), entered into eight collocation agreements, which include lease and collaboration agreements, and is investing $100 million.
The state governments are Enugu, Kaduna and Kwara states, while the selected medical centres include Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi; Usman Dan Fodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto; Federal Medical Centre Asaba, Delta; University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom; and University College Hospital Board of Management, Oyo state.
The broader goal of the programme is to establish, in two phases, a portfolio of 23 diagnostic centres, seven catheterisation labs and two oncology centres across Nigeria.
Pursuant to these agreements, the NSIA said funds will be deployed to build, equip, maintain, and operate catheterization labs in Kwara, Oyo, Sokoto, Bauchi and Delta states; build, equip, maintain, and operate private modern medical diagnostic centres in Enugu, Kaduna, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Sokoto, Bauchi and Delta states; and build, equip, maintain, and operate an oncology Centre for advanced radiotherapy treatment.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Abuja, Uche Orji, managing director/chief executive of NSIA, said the authority is investing $100 million in this phase of expansion and will provide working capital to ensure the success of the centres.
He noted that the authority’s previous investments have been successful, hence the expansion.
He said: “After two to three years experience, we are now feeling confident to expand footprints across other states and also expand the areas of therapy beyond cancer and diagnostics to include things like catheterization labs for cardio treatment, and we are also looking at renal (kidney) treatment which is an area of significant demand in Nigeria.
“Each of them requires a certain level of investment, the diagnostic centres, including working capital and all the radiology equipment is about $5 million each, the cancer centres are somewhere between $12 and $20 million depending on the level of infrastructure on ground. So each of these will be accessed and investment made.”
Orji said the NSIA will kick off construction and procurement and the centres will become operational within a year. He added that the authority will sign eight more agreements soon.
He said each centre will run as a joint venture between NSIA and the respective tertiary hospital to ensure timely and efficient delivery of services.
According to him, the investments are expected to build new and upgrade these institutions to modern medical centres and significantly enhance Nigeria’s ability to treat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
He also noted that the investments will provide access to advanced healthcare services for the benefit of lower income families with limited access to care.
Orji stressed that the proposed projects present a disruptive healthcare strategy, saying it will bring about the provision of high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to the local market, as well as development/training on the required clinical resources in Nigeria and bring quality healthcare to many.
Speaking on behalf of medical centres, Anas Sabir, chief medical director of Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, thanked the NSIA for considering the tertiary institutions for the projects, while noting that healthcare delivery is capital intensive especially in terms of infrastructure.
He also noted that the investments by NSIA is seen making healthcare accessible to citizens, rather than embarking on medical tourism.