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Lagos Nurses Protest, Call for Reversal of New Verification Guidelines

Nurses under the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Lagos chapter, on Monday protested the new verification certification guidelines released by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, NMCN.

The protest at the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, NMCN, office in Yaba, witnessed a large turnout of nurses who carried placards and chanted solidarity songs.

In a circular last week, the NMCN announced that nurses seeking verification to foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years post qualification experience. The Council also reviewed upward the period and cost of the exercise.

The circular elicited outrage on social media, with nurses and health workers describing it as a violation of their rights.

The protesting nurses, who carried placards and banners listing their demands, demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular, and that the verification process should be made free and be completed within 48 hours.

Spokesperson for the nurses, Olamide Thomas Abioidun, who said she was representing the Naija nurses forum, called on the NMCN to reverse the new verification guidelines and reopen the verification portal.

Reading out their demands, Abiodun said, “We are here to condemn the verification portal shutdown by the NMCN without prior notification. We are also here to condemn the new guidelines set by the NMCN for verification.

“We are nurses licensed by the NMCN lawfully so we should not be expecting our own regulatory body to refer us back to any head or CMD to give us authorisation letter for our own verification.

“That is totally wrong and an act of human rights violation, so we are calling on the NMCN Registrar, Nurse Farouk Abubakar to reverse the new verification guidelines. She should work towards proper placing for nurses in the Federal health system

“We are also calling on the NMCN registrar to work towards proper remuneration for nurses. We are calling on the Registrar to work towards proper hazard allowance for nurses in Nigeria.

Abiodun who stated that although the NMCN said it was working towards the prevention of shortage of nurses in the country as a result of the mass exodus of nurses, lamented that the step taken by the NMCN was counterproductive.

“Lots of nurses are in Nigeria are unemployed or working in private hospitals earning poorly, or being used in unauthorized ways by the private hospitals. We expect the NMCN registrar to fight for all these. We say no to the new verification guidelines.”

She lamented that Nigerian nurses in the Diaspora are affected by the shutdown of the verification portal.

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