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), sealed eight agreements which include lease and collaboration with investments worth $100 million.
The state governments are Enugu, Kaduna and Kwara, 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 catheterisation 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, as well as 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, NSIA, informed that the authority was 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.
“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 catheterisation 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 about $5 million each, and 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 managing director informed that the authority 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.
Orji also noted that 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, the chief medical director (CMD) of Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), 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 will make healthcare more accessible to the citizens and check medical tourism abroad.