The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), managers of Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, has announced the launch of two of its flagship companies.
They are NSIA Advanced Medical Service Ltd (MedServe) and Equilease Systems Limited (EquiLease).
On Tuesday, the Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre was launched and handed over at a ceremony in Enugu.
MedServe is being set up to serve as the vehicle to deliver NSIA’s healthcare expansion objectives with a goal to provide high-quality and affordable healthcare services and ensure equitable geographic access to these services across the country.
The company will develop, equip, and operate NSIA’s expanding portfolio of healthcare centres and offer first-class medical services nationwide.
On the other hand, EquiLease is a specialized equipment leasing service provider.
In his remarks at the three-part event, Mr Aminu Umar-Sadiq, the Managing Director/CEO of NSIA, said in the past five years, a strong and successful portfolio of healthcare service delivery centres had been built.
“The transfer of the Enugu Centre for upgrade and rehabilitation is one of the steps in our journey towards making healthcare accessible and affordable for all Nigerians.
“The Centre is one of the 23 centres to be upgraded for oncology and diagnostic services,” he said.
Conceived as a market disruptor, the company will provide medical equipment leasing services, leveraging its strategic advantage to catalyze investments in healthcare institutions and facilitating the acquisition of equipment to improve the quality of care in the country.
Equilease will partner with medical equipment manufacturers to offer innovative financing and leasing programs for advanced medical equipment. At the onset, it will offer services exclusively to MedServe as an anchor client.
The transfer of the Enugu State Medical Diagnostic Centre from the Enugu State Government is part of the three-part event.
Following the transfer, the Centre will be rehabilitated and upgraded to deliver both diagnostic and oncology services covering automated laboratory services ranging from imaging to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, brachytherapy and much more.
The Centre will be managed and operated by MedServe, while re-equipping will be delivered through the leasing services provided by EquiLease.
The complete overhaul of the Centre’s infrastructure will position the facility to meet the growing demand for quality healthcare services in the eastern region of the country and beyond.
The official transfer is off the back of the agreements signed in September 2022 that received the nod of both parties.
The handover of the facility signposts the commencement of NSIA’s healthcare expansion programme which will be executed in two phases.
Under the programme, the NSIA will develop 23 new modern medical diagnostic centres, three oncology centres, and seven catheterization laboratories across the country’s six geopolitical zones.
Speaking further, he described MedServe and Equilease as transformative, market-disrupting entities that will deliver a unique set of connected solutions to bridge the gaps in Nigeria’s healthcare industry.
He added that the outcome from the creation of these entities is expected to strengthen the industry’s value chain and unclog the constraints created by insufficient financial investments, inadequate manpower capacity, and substandard services.
He said, “NSIA also recognizes that a significant number of existing medical facilities and indeed care providers, in part, are unable to afford new equipment on account of the high upfront costs and currency mismatch constraints. These centres, therefore, settle for inadequate equipment, or indeed none at all.
“To address these challenges, NSIA has also created a wholly owned company called Equilease Systems, which will help to reduce the burden of equipment acquisition by qualified hospitals, medical facilities, and care providers.
“Equilease will do this by providing bespoke leasing solutions to medical facilities by entering into strategic partnerships with original equipment manufacturers.
“To optimize the value proposition before making the offering available to third-parties, Equilease will launch its operations by first entering a leasing arrangement with MedServe for its required medical equipment, allowing Medserve focus on the operatorship and optimal utilization of its equipment. In addition to leasing, Equilease will also test the possibility of expanding its services to include insourcing of operations and maintenance as well as other value-added services.
“Upon conclusion of the proof-of-concept period between EquiLease and Medserve, Equilease can then commence offering external clients a comprehensive leasing solution for their medical equipment needs, borrowing from all the key learnings of its proof-of-concept engagement with Medserve.
“So today, Enugu joins Lagos, Kano, and neighbouring Abia State, where NSIA’s impactful healthcare projects are already saving lives and bringing succour to the people. NSIA is excited at the prospect of playing a central role in improving the quality of medical services and expanding healthcare infrastructure across the country, starting with Enugu through Medserve and EquiLease.”
Also speaking at the occasion, Enugu Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said the physical and mental well-being of the workforce in any state is a function of the quality of healthcare services available.
“Healthcare inexorably determines the direction of the economy. The partnership with NSIA to transform this facility with the promise of significantly better equipment and services will go a long way towards contributing to healthcare security in the state.
“With this, our state will be one of the few states equipped with world-class healthcare infrastructure and amenities,” he said.
A Non-Executive Director at the NSIA, Dr. Ogechi Pascal-Ejiogu also said the NSIA, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, has signed a series of agreements to modernize and expand healthcare services through private sector participation
Under these agreements, she explained that the NSIA is looking to develop the capacity of specialist hospitals and diagnostic centres to provide advanced medical services across the country under phase II of its healthcare expansion programme.
She said the Enugu State Diagnostic Centre will be the NSIA’s first in this phase.
“Our vision is to elevate the Centre to world-class status. We intend upgrading the centre using state-of-the-art equipment so that both patient and nearby hospitals are supported with accurate and timely medical results regarding health conditions.
“The centre will also provide oncology treatment. It will double as a cancer care centre for the south-east and south-south regions.
“When we are done with the rehabilitation and re-equipping, it will be transformed into a full-service location for diagnostics and oncology.
“Under the auspices of His Excellency, Governor Ugwuanyi and the good people of Enugu State, we shall assume ownership of the Enugu State Diagnostic Centre and commence the process of retrofitting it into a world-class diagnostic centre, fitting for the people of Enugu and environs to receive first class service,” she said.
She noted that the NSIA board remains passionate and committed to addressing the gaps in Nigeria’s healthcare ecosystem and also to providing high-quality medical services across the country.
“Our goal is to reverse medical tourism and simultaneously transform Nigeria into the Africa’s medical hub.
“More importantly, we believe that access to quality medical services is a fundamental human right, and all Nigerians deserve to have it,” she stressed.
The NSIA is an investment institution of the Federation set up to manage funds in excess of budgeted hydrocarbon revenues.
Its mission is to play a leading role in driving sustained economic development for the benefit of all Nigerians through building a savings base for the Nigerian people, enhancing the development of Nigeria’s infrastructure, and providing stabilization support in times of economic stress.