Sterling Bank Plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Healthcare Federation of Nigeria (HFN) which will allow it to provide finance for further digitisation of operations of HFN members as well as offer financial advisory services to them.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Lagos recently, divisional head, health and education sectors of Sterling Bank, Mr. Obinna Ukachukwu, said: “We are hoping to achieve digitisation, financing and financial advisory services for members of HFN. We have been working on it for some months now and the goal is to see how we can upgrade every healthcare operator from manual record keeping to a digital system.”
According to him, Sterling Bank has always felt that one of the challenges facing the healthcare sector is the lack of proper documentation or inability to keep suitable records of operations. This state of affairs has made it difficult for financial institutions to examine the books of healthcare practitioners in a transparent manner, he said.
Ukachukwu said: “With HFN being the umbrella body for all the serious healthcare professionals in the country, it is better to partner with the group to drive a process like this because it is an accountability group that could help members learn from one another.
“We are trying to introduce transparency which will enable HFN members to have access to finance at different levels and we are optimistic that this would help scale up the industry.”
Also speaking, president of HFN, Dr. Pamela Ajayi, who commended Sterling Bank for its commitment to the healthcare industry, remarked that the bank has been involved in the sector for more than 20 years ago through Magnum Trust Bank, which invested in a company she founded as an SME.
Magnum Trust is one of the legacy banks that formed Sterling Bank during the consolidation in the banking industry.
Health finance manager, Dr. Olaleye Oluwafemi, who explained the mechanics of the MoU, said what HFN is trying to achieve is to make it easier for members that qualify to have access to finance at a good interest rate and speed up their investments.