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Withdraw circular on certificate verification, Lagos nurses tell

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The Lagos State Council of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives has called for the immediate reversal and withdrawal of the new circular on certificate verification by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

The council reached this resolution at its emergency state executive council meeting on Friday in Lagos.

The council noted that it would consider other measures if there is no positive intervention by the close of business on Monday, February 12, 2024.

The NMCN  had on Tuesday released a circular on the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives in the country.

The circular was released after PUNCH Online reported that the council deactivated the verification portal in December 2023.

In the new circular by the NMCN, nurses and midwives must have a minimum of two years post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising licence.

Nurses, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews, alleged that the deactivation of the portal by the council was an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities abroad.

They also said it was not unconnected to the plan of the Federal Government to reduce the number of health workers travelling out of the country to seek greener pastures.

The circular signed by the Registrar of the Council, Faruk Abubakar, read in part, “A refundable fee per application shall be paid for verification to foreign boards of nursing as specified on the portal. This shall cover the cost of courier services to the applicant’s institution(s) of training, place of work, and foreign board.

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“Eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising licence. Any application with a provisional licence shall be rejected outrightly.

“The council shall request a letter of good standing from the Chief Executive Officer of the applicant’s place(s) of work and the last nursing training institution attended and responses on these shall be addressed directly to the Registrar/CEO, NMCN. Please note that the council shall not accept such letter(s) through the applicant.”

The council also stated that applicants must have an active practising licence with a minimum of six months to the expiration date, and processing of verification application takes a minimum of six months.

It added that the implementation of the guidelines takes effect from March 1, 2024.

Meanwhile, a statement signed by the Secretary of the Lagos State Council of NANNM, Toba Odumosu, questioned certain aspects of the circular and expressed reservations about its intent and impact on the progress and welfare of its members.

“The SEC called for the immediate reversal and withdrawal of the new circular on certificate verification by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

“The SEC urged the NMCN to fully digitalise the verification process, including the transmission of decisions to other regulatory councils.

“The SEC called on NMCN to provide the verification service at no extra cost while optimizing and automating its key processes for a 48-hour turnaround,” the statement read in part.

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The SEC also called on the Federal Government to immediately constitute the NMCN board to ensure proper representation of the interests of nurses and midwives in key decisions.

“Acknowledging the immense hardship faced by nurses and midwives in Nigeria, the SEC urged the government at all levels to prioritise improving the working conditions, working environment and better remuneration of nurses as effective measures to curb the mass outward migration of members.

“The SEC directed units to hold general meetings to sensitise members, urging them to allow the association’s mechanisms to exhaustively address the issue before considering further measures.

“It was also resolved that the State Council would consider other measures if no positive intervention by COB on Monday,” it added.



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