Nurses from both public and private hospitals in Lagos State staged a protest on Monday against the newly introduced guidelines for certificate verification.
Under the banner of the Naija Nurses Forum, the nurses expressed dissatisfaction, describing the guidelines as oppressive. They called on the Federal Government to reopen the verification portal without imposing additional conditions.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) issued a memo dated February 7, 2024, outlining revised guidelines for certificate verification by nurses and midwives. According to the memo, eligible applicants must have a minimum of two years post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing license.
Addressed to various institutions, the memo sparked discontent among nurses, prompting them to demand a reversal of the new guidelines within 48 hours. The protest took place on the streets of Lagos, spanning from Harvey Road to UNILAG Road, to Neuropsychiatrist Hospital in Yaba. The aggrieved nurses were visibly demonstrating their displeasure, singing and carrying placards as part of the protest.
Some of the placards read: “We no gree for NMCN free Nigeria Nurses”, “Nurses no be slaves No to a letter of good standing from anybody”, “We are not here to fight we just want the policy withdrawn”, “Let nurses breath, say no to NMCN verification rules”.
Speaking with our correspondent, the coordinator of the forum, Thomas Abiodun, described the new verification guidelines as a way to frustrate nurses from seeking greener pastures.
According to her, the directive is an infringement on nurses’ basic human rights and is embarrassing to the profession.
She stated, “The directive is very embarrassing. It’s an attempt to frustrate the nurses from seeking greener pastures and self-development. It is really embarrassing but we will take measures to look at it.
“We are saying no to this and we want the government to reverse this within 48 hours. We want them to revisit these guidelines, it is wrong and wicked.”