Nigeria’s Access Bank PLC has commenced disbursement of loans through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) credit support scheme to ramp up capacity of pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
It said the move was also to support the nation’s efforts to tackle coronavirus.
The loan scheme is part of a six-point palliative by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of which Access Bank is a participating financial institute (PFI).
It was developed to provide funding to indigenous pharmaceutical companies and other organisations in the healthcare value chain, enabling them to increase capacity to meet the increasing demand for healthcare arising from the pandemic.
Access Bank’s Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe, had reassured of the Bank’s commitment to do everything in its power to address needs of the nation in these uncertain times.
“It has become clear to all and sundry that Nigeria’s healthcare sector is in dire need of revitalization and Access Bank, under the auspices of the Central Bank of Nigeria, will be investing heavily in this sector in the coming months.
“We would be looking to grow Nigeria’s capacity to not only manufacture drugs and other medical supplies locally but also encourage entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities that lie within the sector,” Wigwe said in early August.
Nigeria’s healthcare product manufacturers, including pharmaceutical drugs and medical equipment; healthcare service providers/medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, diagnostic centres, laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres, blood banks, et cetera, are eligible to access loans to enhance local drug manufacturing, increased bed count in hospitals across the country, funding of intensive care units as well as training, laboratory testing, equipment, and Research & Development.
The loan’s interest rate is set at a maximum of 5.0% per annum (all-inclusive) up to 28th February 2021, making it more accessible to a larger percentage of the sector.
From 1st March 2021, interest on the facility shall revert to 9% per annum (all-inclusive).