Nigeria: Lagos Nurses Stage Protest Against New Verification Guidelines

Nigeria: Lagos Nurses Stage Protest Against New Verification Guidelines

By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria

On Monday, nurses affiliated with the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Lagos voiced their dissent against recently introduced verification certification guidelines by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).

The protest, held outside the NMCN office in Yaba, saw a significant turnout of nurses brandishing placards and rallying with solidarity chants.

The contentious circular issued by the NMCN last week stipulated that nurses seeking verification for foreign nursing boards or councils must possess a minimum of two years of post-qualification experience. Additionally, the council increased the duration and cost of the verification process.

The announcement sparked widespread outrage on social media platforms, with nurses and other healthcare workers condemning it as a violation of their professional rights.

During the protest, nurses vocalized their demands, calling for the immediate withdrawal of the circular and urging that the verification process be made free of charge and completed within a 48-hour timeframe.

Speaking on behalf of the protesting nurses, Olamide Thomas Abioidun, representing the Naija Nurses Forum, emphasized the need for the NMCN to reconsider its new guidelines and reopen the verification portal.

Abioidun asserted, “We are licensed nurses under the NMCN, and it is unacceptable for our regulatory body to require us to seek authorization letters from hospital administrators for our own verification. This is a violation of our rights, and we demand that the NMCN Registrar, Nurse Farouk Abubakar, reverse these guidelines.”

In addition to demanding the reversal of the guidelines, nurses called for better placement within the federal health system, proper remuneration, and hazard allowances.

While the NMCN cited efforts to prevent a shortage of nurses in Nigeria due to a mass exodus, Abioidun argued that the new guidelines would exacerbate the situation. She highlighted the plight of unemployed nurses in Nigeria and those working in underpaid positions in private hospitals, urging the registrar to address these issues.

Furthermore, Abioidun expressed concern for Nigerian nurses abroad who are affected by the verification portal shutdown.

The protest underscores the frustrations of nurses grappling with bureaucratic hurdles and inadequate support in their profession.

This demonstration reflects the ongoing dialogue between healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies regarding policies that impact the nursing workforce and healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

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