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Corporate Stories

#CorporateStories: Eko Hospital and the ‘Barbarians’ at its gate

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Eko hospital

This story delves into the world of corporate mind games, maneuvers and one of the deftest company takeovers ever seen in Nigeria

It all began in 1977, when 3 young Nigerian Doctors, who just returned from overseas decided to come together to setup a hospital. One of them practiced Medicine, the other was a surgeon and the third was a gynecologist. They converted an apartment owned by one of them, which was located in Alhaji Danmole Street, Surulere, Lagos into their specialist hospital and shared the rent equally. They named the hospital Mercy Specialist Hospital, and began operations in 1977. They quickly gained popularity among lower and middle-class Nigerians and attracted many patients due to their versatility

Interestingly, the 3 doctors worked at the teaching hospital in Lagos but managed their own hospital part time. A model still being used today by many medical practitioners. But as with anything in Nigeria, their luck would soon run out as the then Military Ruler General Obasanjo promulgated a decree. The decree said as a medical doctor you were not allowed to work in a teaching hospital and have a private practice at the same time. And so, the trio had a huge decision to make on whether to face the rough seas of the corporate world or remain employees of the government. After some advice and soul searching, they decide to take their fate in their hands, took a bank loan and went full time. And so, in 1982, Alexander Eneli, Sunday Kuku, and Augustine Obiora came together to cofound a hospital named EKO Hospital Ltd.

The hospital name was coined from the first letter of their surnames.

 

 

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