Thompson and Grace Medical University (TGMU), a “world class medical university” will promote scientific research and boost Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI), key stakeholders of the project have said.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the medical university took place in Akwa Ibom on Friday, playing host to a delegation of Nigerian and German government officials as well as professionals in the medical field.
Confirming support for the project, Bernhard Schlagheck, German ambassador to Nigeria, who was represented by Christopher Wenzel, head of corporation of the embassy, said Germany is concerned about health service delivery in Nigeria.
Uwe Koch-Gromus, a professor at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Germany, said TGMC is poised to lead medical research in Africa based on its proposed partnership with the German university.
“TGMC is a good strategic partner that my institution needs in the area of medical research which is lacking in most institutions in Africa,” he said.
Commenting on the value the medical university will bring to the Nigerian economy, Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom state governor who was represented by Moses Frank Ekpo, his deputy, said the project will attract FDI and create thousands of jobs.
“As from projected statistics, I am told that when fully operational, this medical city has the capacity to accommodate up to 35,000 workers in what appears to be one of the biggest foreign direct investment drives in this part of the world,” he said.
“Our state government fully identifies with this project and will continue to do whatever is required to provide the convivial environment for the success of this great initiative.”
Isaac Thompson Amos, managing director, Thompson & Grace Investment Limited, principal promoters of the medical university, said partnership with top research institutions in Germany and the US would “create a healthcare model where people can work, live, learn, heal and play.”
He said the project was hinged on “three critical and closely-related needs in healthcare and medical education in Nigeria.”
“They include the need for qualified healthcare professionals in Nigeria; the need for world-class medical university capable of innovative research and development (R&D) in Nigeria and Africa; and the need for affordable and accessible healthcare services in Nigeria,” he said.
TGMU is expected to be fully operational by 2020.