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Nurses protest at National Assembly over verification guidelines

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) is calling for the intervention of the National Assembly to halt the ongoing verification exercise by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), which they argue infringes on their fundamental rights.

This appeal follows recent amendments to the verification process for certificates by the NMCN, sparking a protest by nurses and midwives at the National Assembly complex in Abuja. During the protest, participants displayed placards and demanded the reopening of the previously shut verification portal.

The nurses and midwives are advocating for a verification process that should not exceed 48 hours and should be provided at no cost. Alexis Isioma, speaking on behalf of the protesters, criticized the new guidelines as unnecessary, stringent, and burdensome, highlighting that they include excessive requirements such as obtaining authorization letters from senior colleagues or Chief Medical Directors. She expressed concerns that these regulations have caused members to miss critical opportunities, such as educational scholarships abroad.

“In November, a circular announced revised verification rules which impose that a nurse must work for two years before eligibility for verification or further studies, particularly for those with scholarships abroad,” Isioma explained. “Moreover, the verification now might take up to six months and requires a letter of recommendation from the head of the department we are working with. Since the portal’s closure in November, no one has been verified.”

In response, Amos Magaji, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, assured the protesters that the National Assembly would intervene, contact the relevant authorities, and ensure that their concerns are addressed.

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