Nigeria’s Heritage Bank has partnered AFRICANMED, and the Chinese community in Nigeria to develop the country’s health sector and ultimately reduce the rate of medical tourism by Nigerians.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, disclosed this in Lagos during the maiden edition AFRICANMED exhibition of top medical equipment brands from China in Lagos.
According to the CEO who was represented at the event, there is a need to reduce the huge foreign exchange spent yearly by Nigerians on medical tourism.
He also stated that Heritage Bank is committed to providing finance for interested buyers of the medical equipment from China. This is because the bank already has a robust correspondent banking relationship with Deutsche Bank of China and Access Bank of China.
The relationship, he added, would enable Heritage Bank to seamlessly open letters of credit for interested buyers.
Speaking further, Mr Sekibo said since some of the equipment costs millions of dollars, the bank would not expect the buyers to tie down such heavy amount of money. More so, the bank will support interested buyers with robust loans that will enable them to acquire the equipment and pay back over a period of two years.
He also added that the bank is working with AFRICANMED to develop a solution that will enable interested parties to buy the products while the bank pays on their behalf. This is because
“we are willing and ready to support with funding as far as this equipment are concerned,” he said.
In the meantime, the $2.5 billion currency swap deal between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Chinese central bank would help the programme because the bank would have enough funding through that arrangement to meet the needs of interested buyers.
Heritage Bank was formerly known as Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria until its 2013 re-branding, following the re-issuance of a regional banking license by the Central Bank of Nigeria.