Nurses in Nigeria Oppose New Certificate Verification Directive
Members of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Nigeria are pushing back against a recent directive from the Nigeria Nursing and Midwives Council (NMCN) regarding certificate verification, urging for its immediate withdrawal.
The NMCN had issued a circular on Tuesday outlining guidelines for certificate verification for nurses and midwives in the country, following reports that the council had deactivated the verification portal in December 2023.
According to the new directive, nurses and midwives must possess a minimum of two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing license. The council emphasized the need for applicants to have an active practicing license with at least six months remaining until expiration. Additionally, the processing of verification applications would take a minimum of six months.
The move by the NMCN has sparked outcry among nurses, who see it as an impediment to their ability to pursue career opportunities abroad. They allege that the deactivation of the portal is linked to the Federal Government’s efforts to reduce the emigration of health workers seeking better prospects overseas.
In response to the directive, nurses have initiated various actions to challenge the decision. Daughter of Zion Nwaikuku launched an online petition urging the registrar of the council to reinstate the portal immediately. The petition, hosted on Change.org, has garnered over 10,000 signatures, underscoring the widespread concern among nurses regarding the issue.
Furthermore, Reuben Zirahgi Markus initiated a survey portal to gather opinions on the reasonableness of the directive outlined in the circular.
While some nurses in Oyo State had planned a protest at the council’s office in Ibadan, the Speaker of the Oyo State Youth Parliament, Israel Fawole, clarified that the protest would not proceed without formal notification to the police. However, Fawole emphasized the determination of nurses to resist what they perceive as injustice.
State chapters of the NANNM in various regions including Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Kaduna, Yenagoa, Ondo, and Plateau have petitioned both the nursing council and their association’s headquarters to demand the withdrawal of the circular.
President of the NANNM, Michael Nnachi, condemned the directive and called for dialogue between the association and the council to address the concerns raised by nurses.