Nigerian nurses protest in Abuja against Nursing Council’s harsh verification guidelines limiting their freedom of practice

Monday, February 12, 2024
 – The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives on Monday staged a protest in Abuja against what they described as stringent verification certification guidelines released by the Nigeria and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

The nurses said the new rules were an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities.

They urged the council to address issues affecting their welfare including salary scale, shortage of staff, and other rights.

The protest which took place at the headquarters of NMCN’s office located at the life camp paralysed activities there.The protesters demanded to see the registrar of the council.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters a nurse advocate, Cynthia Adeyeri, said, “The reason we are here today is to give our registrar Mr. Farouk a letter and to register our displeasure on the verification rules that were released on February 7th.

“We are saying no to you, making us work for two years in Nigeria before we can leave. No to getting a letter of good standing from our Chief Medical Director before we can leave.

“We have poor healthcare infrastructure and that is why people are leaving. They want to go where they have better pay.

“So increase our pay and make our system conducive.”

A circular signed by the Registrar of the council, Dr Faruk Abubakar, read, “A non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal. This shall cover the cost of courier services to the applicant’s institution(s) of training, place of work, and foreign board.

“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing licence. Any application with a provisional licence shall be rejected outright.

“The council shall request a letter of good standing from the chief executive officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institution attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN.

“Please note that the council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”

The council also stated that applicants must have active practising licences with a minimum of six months to the expiration date, and processing of verification applications would take a minimum of six months.

The implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024.

While addressing the protesters, the registrar, Abubakar, promised that the council would look into their grievances and demands just as he appealed for calm.

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