HERITAGE Bank Plc has announced a partnership with AFRICANMED and the Chinese community in Nigeria aimed at developing the country’s health sector and bringing down the rate of medical tourism by Nigerians.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo who disclosed this at the maiden edition AFRICANMED exhibition of top brands of medical equipment from China in Lagos recently, said there is an urgent need to reduce the huge foreign exchange which Nigerians spend every year on medical tourism.
He explained that Heritage Bank would find it easy to provide finance for interested buyers of the medical equipment from China because it already has a robust correspondent banking relationship with Deutsche Bank of China and Access Bank of China. The relationship, he said, would enable Heritage Bank to seamlessly open letters of credit for interested buyers.
Olugbenga Awe, Group Head, Agric and Export, 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 will support interested buyers with robust loans that will enable them to acquire the equipment and pay back over a period of two years.
“We are willing and ready to support with funding as far as this equipment are concerned,” he said, adding 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.
He said the recent $2.5 billion currency swap deal between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Chinese central bank would help as the bank would have enough funding through that arrangement to meet the needs of interested buyers.
AFRICANMED was recently set up in Nigeria to congregate top brands of Chinese medical equipment and healthcare solutions provider companies focusing on the “Selection of Intelligently made-in-China products, to serve the African people.”