The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has committed an equity investment of $8.5 million in Santa Clara Africa Limited, a company created to develop a 150-bed hospital and two 10-bed clinics in Lagos, Nigeria. It is promoted by AXA Mansard Plc, the Nigerian subsidiary of AXA Group, who provided equity to the project alongside IFC, the CAPE IV Fund (managed by African Capital Alliance) and the hospital operator, Healthshare Ltd, through its parent company EOH Holding Ltd.
The two clinics will create a strong referral system of patients to the hospital and together these three facilities will provide the necessary economies of scale to deliver better value for money in healthcare services. According to the IFC, the project is expected to provide healthcare at a price point that is below that of comparable hospitals and clinics in the market. The 150-bed hospital will be built on a 20,000m2 land purchased by AXA Mansard in Ikate Elegushi, Lekki along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, which was a portion of Bela Vista Estate and is classified as commercial land.
In March 2017, the IFC published its intention to invest $8.2 million for a 20% equity stake as part of their Access to Information Policy (AIP), which seeks to provide accurate and timely information to its clients, partners and stakeholders.
Eme Essien Lore, Country Manager, IFC, Nigeria, said:
“…with this investment, IFC wants to contribute to increase the capacity of Nigeria’s healthcare system to offer quality and affordable services.” She added “We will look to scale up this efficient and integrated model nationwide”.
Nigeria’s healthcare sector remains underserved as demand – driven by population growth, higher income levels, rapid urbanization, and a rise of non-communicable diseases – continues to outstrip supply of quality healthcare infrastructure. Diagnostic and primary care services are also limited, and at varying qualities. As a result, Nigerians spend an estimated $1 billion annually on health services abroad.
The lack of secure access to affordable and good quality healthcare with an appropriate service mix has also hampered the growth of health insurance in Nigeria. The low levels of health insurance penetration, which currently constitutes less than 10 percent of the population, contributes to the high cost of healthcare in Nigeria. An increased availability of health insurance schemes would not only provide sustainable access to health services but also incentivize the service providers to adopt cost-effective models.
This is IFC’s second investment with the AXA Group in the health sector. Earlier this year, IFC supported AXA’s insurance business in Egypt which includes health insurance, also through an equity investment.