African Export-Import Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria have signed a deal to construct a $750 million (about N325.67billion) first of its kind African Medical Centre of Excellence in Abuja.
The health facility which is in its preliminary construction stage will get initial funding of $300 million or N130.27 billion.
Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Afreximbank, at the signing ceremony said the AMCE Abuja is first of its kind quaternary level medical facility in the West Africa region and one amongst the very few, if any, on the African continent.
He noted the facility is by a significant distance the single largest private healthcare investment in Nigeria and Africa in general.
The AMCE will promote Intra African Trade medical tourism by offering a full spectrum of services in oncology, hematology, cardiology, and general healthcare across the continent, in addition to training, research and development capabilities.
The AMCE Abuja will serve as the headquarters for other AMCEs to be launched across Africa.
“The success of the AMCE Abuja will pave the way for attracting future investments and partnership arrangements within the health sector on the continent. It will also raise the local standards of healthcare delivery as well as provide a blueprint for quality of services required to address Nigeria and Africa’s healthcare and related challenges,” Oramah said.
On his part, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, said: “I know how difficult it is for a country to get host status for a project or institution that everyone is looking for. Today, with all the health challenges facing the world, every country is looking to host an international health institution. I thank Afreximbank for bringing this institution to Nigeria as a host.
“The research and development aspect of the project is very important. It is not just a turnkey hospital that is being set up in Nigeria; the African Medical Centre of Excellence will be a research institution, which is vitally important because that is the only way to have sustainable and comprehensive medical facilities and treatment.
“The AMCE really ticks all the boxes, because when we do not invest in research and development, we end up with situations where neglected tropical diseases we have on the continent do not have proper treatments, because industrialized countries that invest in research and development prioritize the diseases that affect their citizens the most, as do pharmaceutical companies,” Onyeama further disclosed.