Nigeria’s $82 billion health-care gap: Investors stand by


A safety man administers sanitiser to a customer to a state hospital in Lagos, on February 28, 2020.

PIUS UTOMI EKPEI | AFP through Getty Photos

The coronavirus pandemic has sharpened the lens on a considerable health-care spending hole in Africa’s largest financial system, and worldwide buyers are in search of to fill the void.

Relating to well being care, Nigeria is lagging its comparable African neighbors by way of expenditure and entry.

For instance, Nigeria’s public spending on well being care quantities to only 3.89% of its $495 billion GDP (gross home product), in keeping with the most recent out there figures from the World Financial institution, in comparison with 8.25% in South Africa and 5.17% in Kenya.

In response to a current report from actual property consultancy Knight Frank, Nigeria would require 386,000 extra beds and $82 billion of funding in health-care actual property property to succeed in the worldwide common of two.7 beds per thousand folks.

Additionally, Nigeria’s 206 million inhabitants is anticipated to nearly double by 2050, in keeping with the U.N., which might see it grow to be the third-most populous nation on the planet.

All of this — particularly mixed with the coronavirus pandemic — has sparked an curiosity within the sector from international buyers.

A Knight Frank ballot of 140 world buyers in June discovered that 80% have been contemplating funding in African well being infrastructure in gentle of the coronavirus disaster. This curiosity centered primarily round hospital-related actual property and working firms in collaboration with home consultants.

As is the case throughout a lot of the African continent, Nigeria has managed to maintain its coronavirus caseload comparatively low given the scale of its inhabitants, recording 90,080 circumstances and 1,311 deaths as of Monday morning, in keeping with information compiled by Johns Hopkins College.

Worldwide curiosity rising

Even previous to the pandemic, African health-care property had begun to generate curiosity extra broadly. The Worldwide Finance Company, a part of the World Financial institution, partnered with the Funding Fund for Well being in Africa-II (IFHA-II) in November 2019 to type a $115 million acquisition automobile for health-care service companies within the east and south of the continent.

European improvement finance organizations reminiscent of Swedfund, the Swedish improvement finance establishment, have backed IFHA, together with the likes of Pfizer and the Stichting Social Investor Basis for Africa, whose backers embrace Aegon, Heineken, Shell and Unilever amongst others.

For the reason that onset of the pandemic, the Nigerian authorities has issued 100 billion naira ($254.6 million) in state credit score services for well being care, from pharmaceutical firms and product producers to service suppliers, which has seemingly spurred larger curiosity from non-public buyers. The Financial institution of Business, a Nigerian improvement finance establishment, is supplying an extra 50 billion naira.

“There’s a very compelling alternative for the event of world-class healthcare services throughout Africa, however particularly Nigeria,” mentioned Hafeez Giwa, managing accomplice at HC Capital Properties, which has began to spend money on health-care property in Nigeria.

Hafeez Giwa, managing accomplice at HC Capital Properties, has begun to spend money on Nigerian well being care infrastructure.

New Markets Media & Intelligence

“A lot of the public hospitals right here have been constructed over 40 years in the past and solely a handful have acquired any funding since then,” Giwa mentioned in a report printed Monday by frontier markets consultancy New Markets Media & Intelligence.

Tosin Runsewe, CEO at health-care funding agency AfyACare Nigeria, highlighted one other alternative: compulsory medical health insurance for all staff would see insurance coverage prices lowered and the proportion of health-care prices lined may rise to between 20% and 30% by 2030.

Because it stands, round 72% of family health-care expenditure is out-of-pocket, in comparison with the sub-Saharan common of 35%, the Knight Frank report highlighted, and solely 5% of well being care is roofed by insurance coverage.

“If we may attain a important mass of 40 million to 60 million Nigerians with healthcare cowl, the price of this therapy could possibly be met by means of medical health insurance premiums of round solely 20,000 Naira ($50) a 12 months, half the present common value,” Runsewe mentioned.

“There’s an array of alternatives for buyers in non-public major healthcare clinics that may present providers at an inexpensive value.”

Commuters carrying a protecting face masks stroll on the road of Lagos, as a safety measure towards the unfold of the brand new corona virus, COVIC-19, in Lagos, on March 26, 2020.


Giwa mentioned HC Capital Properties was investing in Nigeria because of each “excessive want” and authorities initiatives which have rendered it simpler to develop high-quality property that provide inexpensive care. He urged that there are two kinds of buyers at present exploring these alternatives.

“On the one hand, there are native institutional buyers and native pension funds that, in Nigeria’s case, are Naira buyers and should not have any issues about foreign money danger,” Giwa mentioned.

“Alternatively, there are improvement impression buyers and establishments which are excited by the prospect of delivering high-quality healthcare to lower- and middle-income Nigerians.”

He anticipates that the pandemic has caused a “everlasting change in considering” which can place larger emphasis on high quality well being care at dwelling.

At current, Nigeria loses as much as $1 billion per 12 months to outbound well being tourism amongst wealthier Nigerians because of insufficient home entry, in keeping with a current PwC report.

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