Nigeria’s health sector’s Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), have been supported with a N1 billion credit facility provided by Access Bank Plc.
The money is expected to boost the overall performance of the country’s economy.
While disclosing this development, Access Bank‘s Executive Director in charge of Retail Banking, Mr Victor Etuokwu, said the bank is committed to advancing its role towards supporting the economy.
“We have a huge portfolio where we lend to businesses. Access Bank has the highest loan book in the industry at over N3 trillion. As you know, with our merger with Diamond Bank, we are going to lend more to SMEs and I can say that as it is, we are the bank for SMEs.”
Also addressing the issue of financing in the health sector, the Business Development Director, Medical Credit Fund, Fisayo Ogunsanya, said the health sector had the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Ogunsanya, however, called on entrepreneurs in the sector to take advantage of the opportunities in the external environment by investing in technology that could drive their businesses.
Is the health sector really poised to boost the economy?
Access to adequate financing for the health sector is not only desirable, but also an essential priority for Nigeria.
The country’s health system faces tough and complex challenges at the moment, exacerbated by new pressures such as its aging population, the prevalence of chronic ailments, and intensive use of expensive yet vital health technologies.
The health sector and the economy are, however, interlinked. It is not erroneous to state that wealthier countries have healthier populations. It is also a basic truth that poverty causes infant malnourishment which adversely affects life expectancy.
National income has a direct effect on the development of health systems, through insurance coverage and public spending on health facilities. As demonstrated in 1997 by the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health for a panel of 167 countries, while health expenditures are determined mainly by national income, they increase faster than income.
About Access Bank Plc
Access Bank Plc is a Nigerian multinational commercial bank, owned by Access Bank Group. It is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the national banking regulator.
Originally a corporate bank, the organisation acquired personal and business banking platforms from Nigeria’s International Commercial bank in 2012.
Access Bank is presently one of the five largest banks in Nigeria in terms of assets, loans, deposits and branch network.
The merger of Access Bank and Diamond Bank on April 1, 2019, has made Access Bank the largest bank in Sub-Saharan Africa.