Access Bank PLC is expected to release loans through the credit support scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) to improve the ability of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries in Nigeria as the country continues to resolve the emerging crisis of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The bank reaffirms a long-standing and tested position on the country-wide promotion of sustainable growth.
The loan scheme is part of a six-point palliative by the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), a participating financial institution (PFI) in which Access Bank is. This was developed to provide funding in the value chain of healthcare to indigenous pharmaceutical firms and other organisations, enabling them to increase capacity to meet the increasing demand for healthcare emerging from the pandemic.
The Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, told the public earlier this month of the Bank's determination to do everything in its power to meet the nation's needs in these unpredictable 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.
Manufacturers of healthcare products in Nigeria, including prescription drugs and medical equipment; healthcare providers / medical facilities – hospitals/clinics, testing centres, laboratories, fitness and wellness centres, rehabilitation centres, dialysis centres, blood banks, and so on, are eligible for loans to improve local drug development, increased bed counts in acro hospitals.
The interest rate for the loan is set at a maximum of 5.0 per cent per year (all-inclusive) until February 28, 2021, making it more open to a wider sector percentage. The interest on the facility will then (from 1 March 2021) return to 9 per cent per annum (all-inclusive).