Private sector financing in Nigeria just like is the case in most African countries has always been poor and lopsided.
But with the right support, SMEs thrive and grow as is the case for China and India. For China, SMEs comprise 97 percent of all firms, accounting for 80 percent of employment and close to 60 percent of total GDP. Based on the China case, it is clear that SMEs are the core drivers of any viable society but only when they are given the right support.
And remember a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. Healthcare startups ought to be given priority when it comes to funding because people get ill, accidents and emergencies do arise and the hospitals are needed to treat these patients. Under-funding is a major problem that the health sector faces in many African countries including that of Nigeria.
Access Bank Plc has committed USD 3 Mn for Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the Nigerian health sector as it steps up to support startup businesses.
They disclosed this recently at a business seminar for SMEs and health sector players in Nigeria. The event was organized by Access Bank in partnership with Medical Credit Fund.
While speaking during the event, Fisayo Ogunsanya, the Business Development Director Medical Credit Fund keenly noted that the health sector has the potential to contribute greatly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. He further called on entrepreneurs in the health sector to seize the opportunities in the external environment by investing in technology that would drive their businesses.
Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, retail banking, Access Bank Plc said the bank remains determined to increase funding for SMEs across a broad spectrum of the economy.
“Increasing lending support to the private sector would further boost the performance of the economy. This programme is the first business workshop after the merger with Diamond Bank. Access bank remains committed to providing the much-needed financial support to businesses,” said Etuokwu.
“As a bank, we have a role to support the economy anyhow we can and how we do that is by empowering our customers. “We empower our customers by helping them to access finance, we also help them in capacity development by training them to do their businesses better. We also teach them about basic banking services.”
Another key challenge that has for a long time faced the healthcare sector in Nigeria is the shortage of doctors. Thousands of Nigerian trained doctors have moved abroad in search of better working conditions. At least 10,000 Nigerian-trained doctors are believed to be working in the UK, US, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
Nigerian entrepreneurs are however slowly stepping up to fill the gap by introducing digital health services.
Featured Image Courtesy:harvardafricaalumni.com
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