Lagos, Abuja nurses protest certificate verification guidelines

Nurses in Lagos and Abuja have called for the immediate reversal and withdrawal of the new circular on certificate verification by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

The nurses on Monday, February 12, converged on NMCN’s office in Abuja and Yaba, Lagos.

The Nation reports NMCN in its revised guidelines noted that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising licence.

This was disclosed in a memo dated 7 February and signed by the NMCN Chief Executive Officer and Registrar, Faruk Abubakar.

This development generated widespread criticism among Nigerian health workers on social media. They described it as a violation of human rights.

The protesting nurses on Monday, adorned in their scrubs, held aloft placards and banners listing their demands.

The protest in Lagos disrupted vehicular movement around the Yaba axis.

The nurses demanded an immediate withdrawal of the circular. They are also asked that the verification process should be completed in 48 hours and also be made free.

The aggrieved nurses also demanded an increase in remuneration and hazard allowance.

The representative from the NMCN Lagos office who addressed the nurses, acknowledged their requests assuring that their demands would be forwarded to the Abuja branch for consideration and prompt resolution within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, in Abuja, the Registrar of NMCN, Dr. Faruk Abubakar who addressed the nurses, requested a formal letter outlining their demands.

He assured that their concerns would be addressed in a few days.

Various statistics show that over 5,000 Nigerian medical doctors have migrated to the UK between 2015 and 2022.

According to data documented by the Development Research and Project Centre (dRPC), 233 Nigerian doctors moved to the UK in 2015; the number increased to 279 in 2016; in 2017 the figure was 475, in 2018, the figure rose to 852, in 2019 it jumped to 1,347; in 2020, the figure was 833 and in 2021, it was put at 932.

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