Nurses to embark on strike over controversial certificate verification

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) says its members will embark on a nationwide strike any moment from now following the expiration of the 48-hour ultimatum given to the Nigeria and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) over the stringent certificate verification guidelines.

This is contained in a statement signed by Thomas A.O (RN) on behalf of the Naija Nurses Forum on Thursday.

The nurse on Monday, February 12, 2024, staged a peaceful protest at the head office of NMCN in Abuja and Lagos to demand the review of the verification guidelines which they said would hinder their freedom to practice.

The statement noted that the verification exercise should not take more than 48 hours, according to international standards as applicable in other countries.

The statement also called for the immediate withdrawal of the new circular and the reopening of the verification portal without conditions.

The nurses said they would have no option but to embark on an industrial action since the council had failed to meet their demands.

Other demands of the nurses are improved nurses’ welfare; increased hazard allowance; improved working conditions and increased support for professional development opportunities.

The statement said, “It is no longer news that nurses in Lagos and Abuja held a protest on Monday, 12th February 2024, against the inability of nurses to access the verification portal and the new verification guidelines. The verification was suspended on the NMCN portal in December 2023.

“This is an act of unaccountability and irresponsibility on the part of NMCN registrar and other Nursing leaders including the NANNM president.

“As if that was not enough, a circular was released last week through the official Twitter handle of the regulatory body, stating new verification guidelines with lots of stringent rules which are not only absurd but also barbaric and unexpected of a regulatory body. The registrar has portrayed himself to be an autocratic and oppressive leader so also does the minister of health.

“Also, we want to use this medium to inform nurses that NMCN establishment act needs to be reviewed while the regulatory body should be an independent one and not under the Federal Ministry of Health anymore, as the current status quo and dependency will continue to enslave nurses!

“This is an eye opener for nursing leaders to work towards our professional body’s independence. It is time for us to resist all forms of oppression against nurses and work towards our liberation as certified professionals.

“We are in unwavering solidarity with nurses in Oyo, Ondo and Bayelsa states that are holding their protests today against oppression of nurses and other state chapters currently organizing massive actions at chosen dates nationwide.

“We had given NMCN an ultimatum of 48 hours to meet our demands, which elapsed on Wednesday, 14th of February 2024. We will embark on nationwide protest if the federal government fails to meet our demands.”