Nigeria’s Heritage Bank works toward ending medical tourism

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Heritage Bank, a commercial bank in Nigeria has announced a partnership with AFRICANMED and the Chinese community in Nigeria, with the aim of developing the country’s health sector and bringing down the rate of medical tourism by Nigerians.

Speaking at the at the maiden edition of AFRICANMED exhibition of top brands of medical equipment from China in Lagos, Ifie Sekibo, the CEO of Heritage Bank said there was an urgent need to reduce the huge foreign exchange which Nigerians spend every year on medical tourism.

Sekibo revealed that because the bank already has a robust correspondent banking relationship with Deutsche Bank of China and Access Bank of China, it would be easy to provide finance for interested buyers of the medical equipment from China. He noted that the relationship will enable Heritage bank seamlessly open letters of credit for interested buyers.

Olugbenga Awe, the Group Head of Agric and Export at Heritage Bank, who represented Sekibo said since some of the equipment cost millions of dollars, the bank would not expect the buyers to tie down such heavy amount of money, adding that the bank would support interested buyers with robust loans that would enable them to acquire the equipment and pay back over a period of two years.

The CEO said “we are willing and ready to support with funding as far as this equipment are concerned”. He noted that the bank is working with AFRICANMED to develop a bespoke solution that will enable prospective buyers to buy the products while the bank pays on their behalf.

Sekino said the bank would have enough funding to meet the needs of interested buyers, thanks to the recent $2.5 billion currency swap deal between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Chinese central bank.

AFRICANMED was recently set up in Nigeria to congregate top brands of Chinese medical equipment and companies specialising in healthcare solutions. Group Chief Executive Officer of AFRICAMED, Mrs. Rainy Liu said the objective was to make healthcare solutions accessible and affordable to the masses in Nigeria and other African countries, remarking that besides Nigeria, the company has offices in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa.

She said there are professional teams in China that specialise in quality control through detailed screening in order to ensure that customers purchase the best cost-effective products.

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