JUST IN: Abuja nurses protest new certificate verification guidelines

The Nigeria and Midwifery Council of Nigeria's new verification certification guidelines sparked a protest on Monday by nurses operating under the auspices of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Abuja chapter.

The nurses asked the council to address issues related to nurses' welfare, salary scale, staffing shortage, and other rights, expressing their dissatisfaction over what they perceived as an attempt to restrict their ability to pursue career opportunities.

The demonstration that our correspondent observed took place at the NMCN headquarters in Abuja. On February 7, 2024, the NMCN published a circular updating the procedures for requesting certification verification for midwives and nurses.
The verification portal on the NMCN website had been inactive since December 2023, prompting the release of the council's circular.

A non-refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal, according to a portion of the circular signed by Dr. Faruk Abubakar, the council's registrar. This will pay for the cost of courier services to the applicant's job, foreign board, and training facility.

"A minimum of two years of post-qualification experience must have elapsed from the date the permanent practicing licence was issued for eligible applicants." Any application containing a temporary licence will be categorically denied.

The registrar/CEO of the NMCN will receive responses to the council's request for a letter of good standing from the applicant's last nursing school attended as well as from the chief executive officer of their place(s) of employment. Please be advised that the letter(s) through the applicant will not be accepted by the council.

The council added that verification application processing would require a minimum of six months and that applicants must have valid practicing licences with at least six months remaining on their expiration date.

It further stated that the guidelines' implementation will begin on March 1, 2024.

On Monday, the midwives and nurses at the NMCN office were seen carrying placards throughout the building and singing.
A few of the statements on the signs said things like, "#No to verification rules," "Address unemployment among nurses," and "Address quakery, address nurses welfare." Stop annoying Nigerian nurses; we've already been through a lot; safeguard nurses; safeguard healthcare; refuse the verification rules; and, among other things, "Don't reduce nurses, NMCN."

Details to follow.