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Certificate Verification Guidelines: Nurses drag health minister, others to NIC

The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the Minister of Health among other have been sued over the new certificate verification guidelines.

 

Some dissatisfied nurses, on behalf of their colleagues, dragged the Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare; the Federal Ministry of Health; and the Attorney General of the Federation before the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja.

The complainants in the suit marked: NICN/ABJ/ 76/2024, are Desmond Aigbe; Kelvin Ossai; Catherine Olatunji-Kuyoro; Tamunoibi Berry; Osemwengie Osagie; Abiola Olaniyan; Idowu Olabode, and Olumide Olurankinse.

They are urging the court to restrain the defendants or their agents from implementing the NMCN circular pending the determination of the suit.

The nurses also urged the court to suspend the commencement of the new guidelines.

The reliefs sought partly read, “An interlocutory order restraining suspending the commencement of the 2nd Defendant” “REVISED GUIDELINES FOR VERIFICATION OF CERTIFICATE(S) WITH THE NURSING AND MIDWIFERY COUNCIL OF NIGERIA” earlier proposed to take effect from the 7th of March, 2024, as indicated on the 2nd Defendant’s circular dated 7th February, 2024 pending the hearing and determination of the Claimants/Applicants Originating Summons in this suit.

“An interlocutory order restraining the Defendants, their Partners, parastatals, subjects, counterparts. agents, servants, privies, assigns, or whoever, acting for. with or on behalf of the Defendants from taking any further step that may hinder, restrict, or infringe on the constitutional rights and freedom of nurses and midwives in Nigeria from emigrating to the country to seek better career opportunities and training abroad.

“An interlocutory order of the court mandating the 1st & 2nd Defendants to continue to carry out verification of certificates or any documents requested by applicants, their other intending colleagues, and other members of the Nursing and Midwifery profession within 7 days from the date of such application pending the hearing and determination of the Claimants/Applicants Originating Summons.”

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 to 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.”

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

She ordered that the hearing notice be served on the Federal Ministry of Health and the Attorney General of the Federation, who had no legal representation in court.

Recall, the NMCN had on February 7, 2024, issued a circular revising the guidelines for requesting verification of certificates for nurses and midwives.

The council stated that applicants seeking verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils must possess two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practising licence.

The new guidelines came into force on March 1, 2024.

As a result of this, nurses in Abuja and Lagos protested to demand the reversal of the new guidelines.

 

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