The Nigeria Exports Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is thoughtfully considering setting up 15 Medical Free zones in at least 15 states of the federation, not minding the torrential pressures from the State governments lobbying to skew the location of the novel Medical Free Zones to their own states.
This disclosure was made by the Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, when he was visited recently by the new President of the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Dr. Pamela Ajayi.
According to Prof. Adesugba, the Medical Free Zone is a novel concept and project that is intended to revolutionize the healthcare sector in the country. He said that a number of the Governors are jostling for their states to be selected, as they can see the full benefits of this project to their states and the health-care delivery systems.
“The push by these State governments shows acceptability of the project premised upon its viability. NEPZA is, therefore, considering if the project can be located in more than one state.”
He further said that the Federal Government through NEPZA is favourably disposed to siting the novel project in any state that meets all the requirements, as the Authority would not be willing to relax any of its guidelines in the process due to the sensitive nature of the sector.
What you should know
NEPZA is amenable to partner with relevant stakeholders to deliver the proposed world-class medical enclave to Nigerians.
The project is critically important as it would save about $1billion expended on medical tourism annually by Nigerians. It will provide Nigerians access to some of the best hospitals in the world, that our people spend huge sums of money in for treatments.
A total of 15 world-class foreign hospitals and a handful from within the country are expected to be part of this project to deliver impeccable services in 2021.
The Healthcare Federation of Nigeria and some of its affiliates are already buying into this great opportunity to invest in. When fully developed, the proposed Medical Free Zone would reposition the local health sector and enable the local operators to compete with themselves and their foreign healthcare providers.