A group of nurses and midwives in Abuja, under the umbrella of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), staged a peaceful protest on Monday at the office of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN).
The protesters were unhappy with the new verification certification guidelines issued by the council, which they said would limit their career prospects and mobility.
The NMCN had released a circular on February 7, 2024, revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurse and midwives.
According to the circular, applicants must have active practicing licences with at least six months before expiration, and verification applications would take a minimum of six months to process.
The circular also stated that the new guidelines would take effect from March 1, 2024.
The protesters demanded that the council should address the issues of their welfare, salary scale, staff shortage, and other rights, instead of imposing restrictive verification rules. They also accused the council of deactivating the verification portal on its website since December 2023.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, such as “Address unemployment among nurse, address quakery, address nurses welfare”, “No to verification rules. Stop frustrating the Nigerian nurses, we are going through a lot already, Protect nurses, protect healthcare”, “NMCN, we say no to the verification rules”, and “NMCN, don’t reduce nurses”. They also sang songs of solidarity and expressed their displeasure over the council’s actions.