The Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) Faruk Abubakar reports that 42,000 nurses have departed the country in the past three years.
Faruk’s remarks followed the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) demonstration against the Council’s newly revised certification verification procedures.
In a circular, the NMCN stated that candidates wishing to have their certificates verified by international nursing boards and councils must have two years of qualifying experience in addition to paying a non-refundable application fee.
Speaking about the rationale behind the Council’s release of the guidelines, he noted that the country’s nursing shortage in recent years is the reason the development is in accordance with worldwide best practices.
“Let me make it clear today, in the last three years over 42,000 nurses left this country and the country needs them,” he said on Tuesday’s edition of Channels Television’s The Morning Brief.
“Government policies especially the present Renew Hope Agenda, a lot of policies are coming onboard, the Federal Ministry of Health came up with so many policies where Nigerian healthcare system will be improved.”
He maintained: “Now if we allow every Nigerian to leave as they graduate, who is going to handle our healthcare services? Who is going to provide these services? We are Nigerians and it is our responsibility to these services.
“So, we are not against anybody travelling but Nigerians must be served and must be provided with this quality healthcare since we are producing the quality and best nurses that are working anywhere in the world.
According to him, the Council has gotten several complaints about the relocation of nurses from the country. But he said such relocations should be done rightly.
“Just last year, a number of nurses were found with fake documents in America and when we did a background search, about eight of them were not in our database, they hadn’t collected their verification letter or letter of good standing and they faked the documents,” he said.
“We don’t want to recall the individual because it will dent the image of the country. So we decided to strengthen the verification process before they leave and that’s what we did.”