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Finance Minister woos investors to explore opportunities in health sector

Zainab Ahmed, has urged the private sector and other investors to invest in Nigeria’s health sector to make health care services affordable.

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Zainab Ahmed, N24.9 trillion debt, FG to borrow N1.7 trillion to finance 2020 budget – Finance Minister , VAT Increment: Afrinvest exposes sharing formula of N479.7b expected revenue , Nigeria’s VAT Increase: Penny-Wise, Pound Foolish, Nigeria spends N1.11 trillion to service debt in half year 2019 , Nigeria needs $100 billion annually to fix infrastructural deficit – Finance Minister , Oil: Nigeria makes N5.4 trillion in 1 year , FG secures World Bank’s approval to borrow $3 billion , debt, FG to develop new economic development plan Vision 2040 , Nigeria’s infrastructure gap: Too little too late? , Again, Finance Minister argues that Nigeria is not in debt distress , FG defends $22.7 billion new loans from World Bank, others  , Finance Minister wants investors to curb Nigeria’s medical tourism through health investment

Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s constant foreign trips for medical care, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has urged the private sector and other investors to explore opportunities in the nation’s health sector.

She made the call in order to make health care services affordable within the country and discourage medical tourism.

Ahmed explained that the sector should be the focus of wealthy individuals, who are looking to invest their corporate social responsibility (CSR). She assured that such a move would make quality and affordable services available to millions of Nigerians, who can’t access high standard medical care.

Buhari wants to upgrade presidential fleet with N1.5 billion 

She made the suggestion while inaugurating a cancer centre built by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). The centre was built in partnership with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) but is on public-private partnership (PPP) model.

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A South African company, Healthshare, with its 150 years of experience of general management in the healthcare industry, would operate the centre. According to Ahmed, the investment made on the equipment at the cancer centre would avert capital flight and foreign exchange (forex) spent for medical tourism yearly; 80 patients were being treated at the centre daily, and foreigners are expected to be among the centre’s patients.

[READ MORE: Finance Minister gives reason FG approached China for $17 billion loan)

While speaking about the essence of the investment, Ahmed said the centre also promises a high return on investment, as NSIA intends to hand over the centre to LASUTH once its investment on the project is recovered.

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She added that “The cancer centre is built to enable patients to obtain the precise treatment they received abroad and would also minimise the need for medical tourism. 

“It is a beneficial investment which is safe and sustainable. It provides not only adequate returns for the investment but also give them an opportunity to provide social support for people who cannot afford to pay for the treatment.

“The PPP is executed as a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and it is designed for the investors to recover their resources from an investment over a period of time and subsequently the centre will revert to LUTH after 10 years of operations. I, therefore, urge individuals as well as corporate sectors to consider channelling some of their corporate social responsibilities (CSR) to project like this especially to help people that cannot afford to pay for the services.

Leading by example to spur investors: While Ahmed wants the private sector and other investors to invest in the health sector, the government will have to lead by example, as President Buhari is known for his medical tourism. This makes the President one of the notable names that encourage capital flight or waste foreign exchange on medical tourism.

If the president continues to seek medical care abroad, it is a sign that the government doesn’t have confidence in Nigeria’s health care system, thereby discouraging investors from seeing the revenue potential in the health care market.

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Hospitality & Travel

COVID-19: Lufthansa resumes flights to Nigeria after 8 months suspension

After eight months of suspension due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Lufthansa Airline has resumed its flights to Nigeria.

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Lufthansa Group appoints Adenike Macaulay as GGM

Lufthansa Airline has resumed its flights to Nigeria after eight months suspension due to Coronavirus pandemic. The first Lufthansa flight arrived in Lagos on Thursday, 03 December 2020.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the airline on Friday and seen by Nairametrics.

According to the airline, it is expected to do up to eight weekly departures scheduled from Lagos and Abuja Airports to Frankfurt. The German carrier also will offer up to five weekly departures from Lagos to Frankfurt and starting on 08 December also connect the capital Abuja with three weekly departures.

Adenike Macaulay, General Manager, Nigeria & Equatorial Guinea Lufthansa Group Airlines, said, “All intending travellers to Nigeria must have tested negative for Covid-19 as PCR test in the country of departure pre-boarding. The PCR test must be done within 120 hours before departure and preferably within 72 hours pre-boarding. International travellers will require a second test to be done in Nigeria, seven days after arrival.

“All long-haul flights depart from Nigeria in the evening as overnight flights, arriving in Lufthansa’s main hub Frankfurt in the early morning. This allows all passengers from Nigeria to get the full choice of connecting flights to European, American and Asian destinations, leaving all from the same terminal 1.

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‘’As we have received the final permission to reopen our flight operations, we are happy to be the first airline to reconnect Nigeria directly to the centre of Europe and onwards to all other continents. We offer a considerable number of flights to the US and Canada, allowing our Nigerian guests to have family members and friends again at reach throughout the world. Health and safety continue to be our top priority and we are committed to maintaining strict adherence to hygiene regulations for all our flights.”

What you need to know

Nairametrics Lufthansa has notified its patrons of the suspension of all flights out of Nigeria from 23 March 2020 to 19 April 2020. This was disclosed in an email sent by the airline through its agency, Lufthansa City Centre TIFA Travels and seen by Nairametrics.

In the notification, the airline explained that the decision was due to the current global situation and to curb the spread of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. It read,

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“Lufthansa flights out of Nigeria are hereby suspended from 23 March 2020 until 19 April 2020. The last flights from Lagos, Abuja & Port Harcourt will operate on Sunday 22 March 2020, to resume on 20 April 2020 as currently planned.

“Due to the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, our offices are closed to walk-in customers until further notice, however, we can be reached via telephone lines of our ticketing offices and reservation e-mails. We hope for your understanding as we would do our utmost best to ensure a quick response to your requests.”

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Companies

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc projects N60.13 million profit in Q1 2021

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.

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Abbey Mortgage Bank announce the appointment of substantive Managing Director, and 5 Directors.

Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc has projected a Profit after Tax (PAT) of N60.13million in its 2021 Q1.

According to the earnings forecast issued by the bank and seen by Nairametrics, it projected the 134.7% Q-o-Q rise from a loss of N173.49 million recorded in its most audited financial statement for Q3, 2020.

key highlights of its earnings forecast for Q1 2021 when compared with Q3 2020 figures include;

  • Pre-tax profit increased to N88.4 million, +151.5% Q-o-Q.
  • Interest income increased to approximately N515.9 million, +55.45% Q-o-Q.
  • Net operating income increased to N421.94 million, +79.9% Q-o-Q.
  • Interest expense increased to N208.06 million, +63.95% Q-o-Q.
  • Operating expenses declined to N333.52 million, -17.9% Q-o-Q.
  • Credit loss expense increased to N19.83 million, +100% Q-o-Q
  • Gross earnings of N649.83 million
  • Taxation of N28.3 million
  • Other income of N133.84 million.

Bottom line

Despite recording not too impressive results in its last financial statements, the firm is, however, optimistic going for Q1 2021 as reflected in its forecast.

This optimism might be premised on the news of a positive general economy by Q1 2021, which will trickle down to various sub-sectors of the economy.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria needs $3trillion in 30 years to reduce infrastructure deficit – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.

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The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said Nigeria will need $3trillion in the next 30 years to reduce its infrastructural deficit.

He disclosed this while featuring at a webinar organized by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Osinbajo told the webinar that Nigeria needs to adopt new models of investments for infrastructural developments because relying on public expenditure alone is not sustainable.

READ: How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion

The seminar discussed the roles of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in developing Nigerian infrastructure. The Vice President said Nigeria still face a huge infrastructural deficit, despite government investment which is a roadblock to rapid economic growth.

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The Federal Government recognizes this fact, which is why we are considering other approaches to complement and boost financing for the development and maintenance of infrastructure in Nigeria.

READ: Nigeria’s Broadband subscriptions peak at 82.7m – Prof. Danbatta

“It is clear that this deficit can only be made up by private investment. Private sector is 92 per cent of GDP, while the public sector is mere 8 per cent. So, the synergy between the public and private sector through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) is really the realistic solution.

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“The fact that only N2.49 trillion was appropriated for capital expenditure in 2020, reflects the importance of deliberate and pragmatic action to boost infrastructural spending.

READ: #EndSARS: Infrastructure and Works, Education, 3 others are prioritised in Lagos’ 2021 budget

“It seems to me to be quite clear that the financial outlay and management capability required for infrastructural development and service delivery outstrip the financial and technical resources available to government.

“In other words, the traditional method of building infrastructure through budgetary allocations is inadequate and set to become harder because of increasingly limited fiscal space,” he said.

READ: FEC okays FMBN’s request to purchase banking application software for N487.39 million

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He revealed that the FG has launched a series of PPP’s to enable Nigeria meet its infrastructure deficit needs, citing the roles of agencies like the BPE with PPP’s.

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The Federal Government has recently issued a circular on the administration of PPP projects in the country to provide the much-needed clarity.

READ: AfDB to support FERMA with $10 billion for roads, others 

“The circular re-emphasises that the BPE shall be responsible for the concession of public enterprises and infrastructure already listed in the First and Second Schedules of the Public Enterprises Act.

“The circular equally stipulates that the BPE shall act on behalf of the Federal Government, as the counterparty on all infrastructure projects being developed on a PPP basis,” he said.

READ: CBN launches Private Sector-led Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme

He disclosed that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) would continue to act as the regulatory agency for PPP transactions, with directives including inspections and monitoring PPP projects.

“It is expected that this new policy direction would provide clarity to stakeholders and foster the improvement of PPP programmes in the country.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as the multilateral agencies and our development partners are urged to support the PPP policy objectives and institutional arrangements already put up by government,” he said.

READ: FG says vehicle owners to pay N250,000 to convert from petrol to autogas

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What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that Moody Investors Services revealed that Nigeria needs to spend about $3 trillion in over 30 years to bridge the infrastructural gap experienced in the country.
  • The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, revealed that the Federal Government needs at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continues on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
  • Nairametrics also reported last month that the FG approved the establishment of an infrastructure company that will be wholly focused on critical infrastructural investments in the country.

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