CBN to support Healthcare sector with N200bn
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will support Nigeria’s healthcare industry with the sum of Two Hundred Billion Naira (N200bn) in a bid to boost Nigeria’s economic recovery and generate jobs in the sector.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Friday at the inauguration of Duchess International Hospital, a newly built 100-suites health facility in Ikeja, Lagos, South-west Nigeria.
The CBN Governor also revealed that due to the pandemic, the apex bank had disbursed N107.7 billion, supporting 114 healthcare projects, noting that the bank is committed to the growth of the industry.
“To further drive the recovery of our economy, the monetary policy recognized that while the interventions in our manufacturing sector is essential; it is also essential that we continue to support the medical sector.
“When we started COVID, CBN set aside N100 billion to support the healthcare sector.
“But upon rise in demand, we have disbursed N107.7 billion, supporting 114 healthcare projects which include medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, dental services, eye clinics both private and public hospital just to mention a few,” said Emefiele.
He added that the CBN had taken up N100 billion to support healthcare but the monetary policy committee has said they should move it further up to N200 billion.
“We would continue to do whatever can be done to support healthcare,” he assured.
He added that the monetary policy committee recognizes that Nigeria parades some of the best in the world; stating that we need to encourage everybody to come back home.
He also urged more private sector operators to invest in medical facilities that would help reverse medical tourism citing that medical tourism is a headache for Nigeria’s foreign reserves; and highlighting that for every 1 billion dollars allocated to medical treatment abroad, there was less than 1 billion dollars that could be available to other critical sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, it would be recalled that in June that out of the N100 billion credit intervention meant for the healthcare industry, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N10.5 billion to cushion the impact of Coronavirus on the sector.
Emefiele said, “The committee recognized that under the N100 billion healthcare sector intervention fund, the bank has approved and disbursed N10.15 billion for some projects for the establishment of advanced diagnostic and health centres and the expansion of some pharmaceutical plants for essential drugs and intravenous fluids.”
The bank had stipulated the requirements to access the funds. Part of it was that a corporate entity must submit its application to a participating financial institution (PFI) which could be either a Deposit Money Bank or a Development Finance Institution of its choice with a bankable business plan.
Amaka E. Nliam/ Nairametrics