CEM REPORT | The Buhari-led administration has made the provision of N100 billion in loans available to indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare investors in the country.
The funds will be disbursed through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) health sector intervention scheme, to help expand the capital base and boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.
The N100 billion intervention fund to the health sector is at a single-digit interest rate and will be sourced from the Real Sector Support Facility – Differentiated Cash Reserves Requirement (RSSF-DCRR)
President Muhammadu Buhari made this known when he received the new Executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He urged the NMA and other stakeholders in the health sector to work with the Health Sector Reform Committee chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, to fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.
He added that the Osinbajo-led committee is currently exploring models for revitalizing the nation’s healthcare system.
‘‘I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the diaspora.
‘‘Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.
‘‘I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included the review and amendment of the NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Act; and appeal for more funding for the four newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.
‘‘I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications.’’
Buhari directed the Minister of Health to stem the tide of brain drain in the health sector and develop ways of turning the situation into ‘brain gain’ by engaging top Nigerian medical experts in the diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.
Recall that as part of its policy response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the CBN in 2020, introduced the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme.
The initiative was designed to trigger intense national research and development to develop a Nigerian vaccine, drugs and herbal medicines against the spread of Covid-19 and any other communicable and non-communicable diseases through the provision of grants to biotechnological and pharmaceutical companies, institutions, researchers and research institutes for the research and development of drugs, vaccine, others for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.