The Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, on Saturday said that the health care intervention of the apex bank under his leadership has reduced medical tourism for Nigeria.
The CBN Governor said this at the 33rd seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors which was organized by the apex bank.
The seminar had as it’s theme, “Policy options for economic diversification: Thinking outside the crude oil box.”
Apart from reducing medical tourism, Emefiele said that the CBN intervention in the health sector is helping Nigeria to conserve foreign exchange and improve the well-being of the people.
Statistics showed that Nigeria currency spends over N500bn being spent on medical tourism annual
As of July this year, the bank disbursed N4.44bn to three healthcare projects under the Healthcare Sector Intervention Facility (HSIF), bringing the cumulative disbursements to N133.42bn for 129 projects, comprising 76 hospitals, 32 pharmaceuticals and 21 other healthcare services.
Emefiele described the theme of the workshop as appropriate and timely as it is in line with the CBN’s quest and resolve to change the narratives of depending on a mono-product oil-led economy, towards building a broad-based and well diversified economy that guarantees overall macroeconomic stability.
The CBN Boss said the quest for building a more sophisticated economy anchored on agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, industrial and manufacturing concerns have become the major component of the apex bank monetary policy.
He said, “Nigeria has largely depended on the oil sector for revenue generation over the past four decades and the sustained decline in crude oil production has continued to negatively undermine the performance of the economy.
“Thus, there is the urgent need for a conscientious effort to diversify to other non-oil sectors. As I have often said, it is important that we work to create an economy that will enable us feed ourselves, create jobs for our teeming youths and improve the standard of living of our people.
“With our population growing by over 3 per cent per annum over the past seven years, against a less than steady growth in output since 2019, expanding the production and industrial capacity of the economy must be given special attention to ensure overall macroeconomic stability.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria, under my leadership, has taken major leaps to diversify the economy away from largely oil-based economy through our numerous interventions.
“We have supported non-oil sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, health care, education, power and aviation and other allied economic value chains.
“Let me take this medium to inform you once again that our intervention in the health sector, for example has begun to reduce the health care tourism being sought outside the country which is helping to conserve our foreign exchange and improve our well-being.”
Emefiele also explained that the continued support of the CBN to the manufacturing sector and MSMEs have been yielding great results.
Furthermore, he said the new 100 for 100 Policy on Production and Productivity, which is targeted at harnessing local raw materials to increase domestic production, as well as exports through our deliberate credit and other supports, will soon begin to yield quality results.
Moreso, he added that the RT200 FX initiative is being implemented to take advantage of large domestic production to other regional markets and increase foreign exchange inflows to the economy.