U.S., FCMB partner on $10m credit line for healthcare

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have signed an agreement to launch a $10 million credit facility aimed at increasing financial access for healthcare businesses and transforming the sector.

The alliance will foster $10 million in health sector loans, particularly benefiting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), underserved communities, women and youth.

During the signing event yesterday in Lagos, the USAID Mission Director, Melissa Jones, emphasised the critical role of this partnership in advancing the Nigerian government’s efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage and enhance the overall health outcomes for its population.

According to her, this collaboration comes at a pivotal time when Nigeria’s health sector is grappling with underinvestment and inefficiencies, ranking 187th out of 191 countries in terms of health system performance as per the World Health Organisation.

Jones explained that the initiative aims to address the financing void that micro, small and medium-sized healthcare enterprises face, which hampers their ability to expand, diversify, and effectively serve Nigeria’s burgeoning needs.

According to her, the selected businesses, ranging from health facility operators to emergency health transport providers, will receive loans designed to bolster basic healthcare delivery across the nation.

She said in addition to financing, USAID will extend technical assistance to FCMB, enhancing the bank’s capability to manage loan origination and monitoring for these critical sectors.

“Our goal is not only to provide financial resources but also to build a sustainable framework that increases the creditworthiness and operational capacity of these enterprises,” Jones explained.

Jones said the partnership also looks beyond immediate healthcare needs, with plans to expand similar financial assistance to sectors like agriculture and renewable energy, reflecting a broader commitment to supporting Nigeria’s economic growth and sustainable development.

On her part, the Managing Director of FCMB, Yemisi Edun, said the initiative marks a significant commitment by both entities to address critical financing gaps and support healthcare providers across the nation.

Edun said the partnership is designed to extend crucial financial support to healthcare sectors that have struggled with underfunding and inefficiency.

She stated that with this credit facility, local healthcare providers will receive the necessary backing to adopt new technologies, expand services, and improve overall healthcare delivery.

Edun explained that the new partnership aims to enhance three main areas through targeted loan offerings, which include the healthcare sector, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and the underserved populations in a bid to foster inclusive economic growth and enhance sectoral support.

She said the health sector loan will facilitate support for hospitals, health centers, clinics, diagnostic centers, pharmacies, and maternal health facilities, as well as aid in procuring medical equipment and the construction and renovation of healthcare facilities.

Edun explained that SME loans will bolster businesses across various informal sectors by providing financial assistance for working capital, equipment procurement, construction, and the restructuring of commercial properties.

He added the partnership will focus on increasing financial access to underserved populations, particularly prioritising informal businesses and those owned by youth and women. This strategic collaboration seeks to foster inclusive economic growth and enhance sectoral support.

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