Disclosure News

Factual Reportage

The Federal Government and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), on Friday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance oncology care in the country.

The Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Prof. Ali Pate, signed the MoU, along with the Managing Director of NSIA, Mr Aminu Umar-Sadiq in Abuja.

Pate said that the MoU would aid the procurement of oncology equipment for the management of cancer.

He added that upgrading the equipment in the six cancer centres, located in six designated teaching hospitals in the six geo-political zones of the country, was an important milestone.

This is because it would mark the end of tragic stories for thousands of Nigerians who struggle to get care for cancer.

According to him, Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), including cancers, are among the fastest growing disease burdens in the country.

He explained that NSIA as the manager, is to execute a similar project like it did in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in other teaching hospitals.

“So, NSIA would bring the technical capacity, the experience, and the governance system, following the authority’s relationship with manufacturers of cancer equipment.

“We have seen how they ran that of LUTH and it is a very important partner to government.”

He said that the government oncology initiative hitherto initiated with other hospitals lasted for years without success.

“But this is a different path where we’re using a government-owned entity (NSIA) to execute, where the entity will go directly to the manufacturers, taking away the middlemen.

 “My understanding is that we have almost 30 per cent discount in the cost of equipment by virtue of going to the manufacturers directly, a clear value added of almost N10 billion saved because of the discount.”

Pate said that the initial appropriation approved for the teaching hospitals about four years ago remained N17.9 billion, while in 2024, Federal Government appropriated N20 billion for it, totalling N37.9 billion.

He, however, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the cancer space to ensure all funds for the initiative were monitored to ensure accountability.

On his part, Umar-Sadiq of NSIA said that the organisation had seen first-hand through its facility, the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre, the significant impact a localised world class oncology facility can make to Nigerians. VANGUARD

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *