Tension is escalating within the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) as members express their discontent and threaten a showdown with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) over new guidelines for the verification of certificates.
Nurses and midwives allege that the deactivation of the NMCN verification portal in December 2023 is an attempt to hinder their career opportunities abroad and could be linked to the government’s plan to curb health workers’ migration.
The NANNM previously reported that over 75,000 nurses and midwives had left Nigeria in the last five years due to poor wages, lack of decent work environments, and increasing insecurity in the country.
In response to the ongoing brain drain in the healthcare sector, the NMCN issued a memo on February 7, 2024, revising the guidelines for certificate verification.
The memo outlined that eligible applicants must have at least two years of post-qualification experience and emphasised a refundable fee for verification.
The revised guidelines have sparked outrage among nurses, who see it as an infringement on their fundamental rights and an embarrassment to the nursing profession.
Nurses in Lagos are reportedly planning a protest at the NMCN office in Yaba, and a similar protest is scheduled in Abuja on February 12, 2024.
Nurses on social media platforms have voiced their concerns and mobilised support against the new verification rules, highlighting the need for improved hospital facilities and higher salaries rather than focusing on restrictive licensing procedures.
The implementation of the guidelines is set to take effect from March 1, 2024.