By Lucy Nwachukwu
Abuja, Feb. 8, 2019
The Federal Government of Nigeria has allocated a 5.12-hectare piece of land in Abuja to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) for the development of a centre of excellence for medical services.
The bank‘s Head of Media, Mr Obi Emekekwue, in a statement on Friday, in Abuja, said the centre would serve Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
Emekekue said: “The centre of excellence, the first by Afreximbank in Nigeria, will be completed 24 months after a groundbreaking exercise expected to take place in December.
“It is being developed by Afreximbank, in collaboration with Kings College Hospital (KCH), United Kingdom, which is serving as the strategic partner.”
He explained that the allocation of the land, which took place on Jan. 29, would allow project development activities to proceed in order to ensure the timely completion of the project.
According to him, the centre will provide quality specialist healthcare to improve Africans’ health and promote intra-African medical tourism.
He said it would also create employment and facilitate the conservation of foreign exchange that would otherwise be utilised to seek medical treatment outside Africa.
“It will offer a full spectrum of medical services, including diagnostics, clinical management, post care and onsite ambulatory services in treating oncology (cancers).
“It will help in the treatment of haematology (blood diseases, including blood cancers, and sickle cell anaemia) and cardiology (heart) diseases.
“It will also provide prompt, life-saving detection and management of chronic diseases to more than 50,000 Africans annually,” Emekekwue said.
According to him, the centre will also create about 500 direct jobs and will be the basis for the emergence of a comprehensive medical park with facilities to be managed by KCH.
He said Afreximbank was supporting the development of world-class health facilities in Africa in the context of its mandate to promote the diversification of the continent’s exports.
The spokesman said the bank was doing this by meeting the growing health care needs with a view to enhancing service exports, promoting employment and conserving scarce foreign exchange.
Nigeria was selected in February 2017 to host the centre, following a competitive bidding process.