THE Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN), has moved to further contribute to the healthcare sector in Nigeria in line with its developmental role. The move is aimed at enhancing development contributing to the repositioning of the sector targeted at meeting the huge infrastructure and other challenges affecting the sector.
The commitment was recently expressed by the Association, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding between The Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) and Swiss Biostadt Limited, a renowned healthcare equipment vendor and an ELAN member, aimed at stimulating the development of the healthcare sector in Nigeria. This partnership is intended to provide players in the healthcare sector with the needed equipment, for enhanced service delivery.
Commenting on this development, the Executive Secretary of the Association, Andrew Efurhievwe, stated that Nigeria has over the years, been faced with the challenges of providing efficient healthcare services to its people. The issue is not so much about shortage of personnel but the provision of necessary equipment and other infrastructure to enhance service delivery. The consequential effects of this include avoidable deaths due to wrong diagnosis and treatment as well as huge expenditure on medical treatment abroad.
The contemporary development in the sector where technology drives most activity, and efforts concentrated on capital investment in modern equipment to meet the increasing demand of healthcare services, has necessitated the increasing need and demand for efficient medical equipment to facilitate effective diagnosis and treatment. This has forced healthcare providers to constantly match the pace of medical technology and offer optimal treatment and care despite budget constraints.
Considering the volume of funding required to facilitate substantial development, appropriate initiatives and funding mechanisms for addressing the problem must be sought. The Executive Secretary affirmed that “Leasing is considered a major financing option that can be used to facilitate access to the much needed equipment, necessary to address the infrastructure challenges and improve service delivery in the sector.”
Essentially, Leasing can provide health care institutions with easy access to state-of-the-art medical equipment that would aid their daily operations, without waiting for the accumulation of enough capital budgets to proceed with the procurement of medical equipment.
The influential benefits of leasing to these institutions include, no collateral requirement; more flexible payment options and occasionally no down payment required; frees up capital for extra expenditure; 100% or more financing which include hardware, software, installation, maintenance, training, all of which can be encompassed in the lease contract.
Indeed, leasing has gained significant global recognition as a creative financing alternative for the acquisition of capital assets. In Nigeria, it has continued to contribute to national development, creating wealth and improving the economy. In the last 10 years, the leasing industry added assets worth over N4.65trillion to capital formation in the Nigerian economy. In 2016, outstanding lease volume stood at N1.26 trillion, up from N1.1 trillion in 2015, representing a growth rate of 14 percent. The impactful visibility of leasing is increasing in various sectors of the economy and exhibits a brighter future given its developmental attributes.
For medical equipment vendors, leasing can be utilised as a sales aid mechanism. Reputable medical vendors across the globe have developed vendor leasing programmes through the establishment of specialised leasing companies or in partnership with other lessors.
He called on Government to embrace leasing as a major instrument for upgrading and maintaining healthcare facilities across the country, to facilitate Government’s initiative in creating a healthy nation, while conserving and retaining scarce foreign exchange resources for economic development.