• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nurses sue NMCN over new certificate verification rules

Dissatisfied Nigerian nurses are challenging new guidelines set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) for verifying certificates for nurses seeking to work abroad.

The dispute stems from a circular issued by the NMCN on February 7, 2024, requiring applicants to have two years of post-qualification experience before their certificates can be verified by foreign boards. The guidelines came into effect on March 1, 2024.

In response, nurses in Abuja and Lagos staged protests. Eight nurses then filed a lawsuit on behalf of their colleagues against the NMCN, the minister of health, and other relevant parties at the National Industrial Court in Abuja.

The complainants, including Desmond Aigbe, Kelvin Ossai, and others, are seeking an injunction to prevent the implementation of the new guidelines until the court decides.

Their lawsuit argues that the NMCN’s requirements infringe on their right to pursue better career opportunities and training abroad. They request the court to suspend the implementation of the “revised guidelines for verification of certificates”, and prevent the defendants from hindering nurses’ rights to emigrate for work.

Order the NMCN to continue processing certificate verification requests within seven days of application.

At the proceedings on Wednesday, counsel for the complaints, Ode Evans, told the court that he had just received the preliminary objection filled by the first and second defendants some moments ago.

He pleaded with the court to adjourn the matter to enable him reply to their applications.

Evans said, “I confirmed the receipt of the application from the first and second defendants this morning. We shall be asking for a date to enable us to file our responses.”

Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae adjourned the matter till May 20, 2024, for a hearing.