LAGOS, NIGERIA, September 9, 1999 —
endorsed an improving business climate in Nigeria by making two new investments – a healthcare firm that will build five new clinics in Lagos, and a company that will produce low-priced, quality tires locally.
IFC will invest US$581,000 in Hygeia Nigeria Limited, a health services business, to establish five model clinics and upgrade facilities at Lagoon Hospital in Lagos. The new clinics will extend the managed care coverage for the company's existing and potential clientele. The sponsors are Professors E.A. Elebute and O.W. Elebute, highly regarded health specialists in Nigeria. IFC will make an equity investment of $200,000 and loan of $381,000. The $2.1 million project will improve the company's technical, environmental, health, and safety standards.
IFC will also invest $1.3 million in Hercules Manufacturing Nigeria Limited to produce retreaded tires for commercial fleet operators at about half the price of new tires. The company will use the "cold" process to make retreads comparable in quality to new tires, competitive in both price and quality with imported retreads. The project will create 78 jobs and reduce the need for imports. The sponsor of the $3.2 million project is Hercules Tyres Limited, which exports commodities and imports truck tires. The company is owned by Messrs. Ashok Kumar, Rohit Nandal, and Gwadebo Ayanwuyi. Since retreading and recycling conserve rubber resources, the project also has significant environmental benefits.
Mr. Akbar Husain, IFC's resident representative for Nigeria, said that both new investments in Nigeria constitute a clear signal to the private sector that IFC is willing to support viable projects there. He added that the investments reflect IFC's priority for supporting small and medium enterprises.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.