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Muhammad, Shekarau urge government to leverage Islamic finance

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
01 December 2023   |   1:26 am
President, African Islamic Economic Foundation, Baba Yunus Muhammad, has urged Federal Government to leverage Islamic finance to build a sustainable healthcare in the country.

President, African Islamic Economic Foundation, Baba Yunus Muhammad, has urged Federal Government to leverage Islamic finance to build a sustainable healthcare in the country.

Speaking at a one-day international summit on Islamic financing as an alternative funding source for primary healthcare in Nigeria, organised by Islamic Economic Foundation and Duke Consult, with the support of Development Research and Projects Centre (DRPC), yesterday in Abuja, Muhammad stressed the need to pay attention to healthcare in Nigeria, and called on government to explore sources of financing healthcare in Nigeria to ensure healthcare affordability and accessibility.

He noted that digital technology and Islamic Finance could play key role in revolutionising healthcare and has the power to bring healthcare services to those who need it most, bridge the gap between healthcare providers and patients, allowing for timely intervention and improved outcomes.

Muhammad implored government to harness digital technology for sustainable primary healthcare infrastructure development in the country, adding that the summit represents a significant milestone in the intersection of healthcare, technology, and faith-based financial principles in one of Africa’s most populous and diverse nations in its quest to improve healthcare access and quality.

In his contributions, former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, urged Federal Government to invest in digital health technology through the instrument of Islamic financing in order to bridge the gaps in healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

He stated that digital technology would improve access, reduce geographical barriers, enhance the quality of healthcare services and provide specialised healthcare for Nigerians, regardless of their social status.

Shakarau observed that Islamic finance, with its principles of fairness and social responsibility, can play a pivotal role in supporting the adoption and implementation of digital health technology in Nigeria.

He described the summit as an avenue with a unique platform to explore how Islamic financing and digital health technology can intersect and drive Nigeria’s primary healthcare transformation agenda.

While supporting the need for Nigeria to review its dependence on budget as the only source of healthcare financing, Dr Stanley Ukpai called on stakeholders at the summit to find alternative funding sources to diversify its domestic funding sources to fiancé health. The summit was attended by participants from Islamic Development Bank, academia, the business community, and technology firms, among others.

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