The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has urged the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to make the idea of establishing Medical Special Economic Zones across the six geo-political zones of the country a national project.
The Authority’s head, corporate communications, Martins Odeh, who stated this in a statement Friday, said the managing director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, made the remark while formally presenting the concept to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo, on Thursday in Abuja.
He said Adesugba explained that it was vitally important for the concept to be adopted by the FEC as a national project, adding that such show of political-will was needed to ward-off the would-be investors’ fears and reservations.
Adesugba said the project when brought to limelight would invariably showcase Nigeria’s potential as a medical tourism destination.
“The medical special economic zone remains a tool to reduce medical tourism and to reinstate buoyancy in our economy,” he said.
The NEPZA CEO also outlined the Authority’s vision for the project with details on the pilot project, benefits to Nigeria, criteria for site selection etc.
“The statistics of this morning indicate that we have lost 2,057 people to Covid-19, but we have lost more to malaria this year as we speak. We have lost more to TB, and HIV; so, our intention is to put together the kind of scheme that would holistically address the country’s healthcare challenges.
“We have been able to pick some locations and we discovered that it’s even easier for us because there are some states that have already indicated interest to host the project.
“Lagos, Kwara and Katsina states are waiting for the commencement of this great initiative. While Katsina is on the verge of allotting us 400 hectares of land near the Airport for this scheme, we have taken delivery of large sites in Lekki, Lagos, and Kwara, respectively.”