Nurses and midwives in the country on Wednesday lamented the deactivation of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria’s verification portal since December 2023.
The nurses, who spoke with our correspondent, alleged that the deactivation of the portal by the council is an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities.
The NMCN is the only legal, administrative, corporate and statutory body charged with performing specific functions on behalf of the Federal Government to ensure the delivery of safe and effective Nursing and Midwifery care to the public through quality education and best practices.
The council is mandated by law to regulate the standards of Nursing and Midwifery education and practice in Nigeria and to review such standards from time to time to meet the changing health needs of the society.
The NMCN had in a memo on December 22, 2023, informed the General Manager of Exaro Enterprise Solution Limited, to close the verification portal.
The memo, obtained by our correspondent was titled, ‘Closure of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria’s verification portal.’
The memo which was signed by Godwill Stella partly read, “I am directed by the Registrar/CEO, Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria to inform you to close the verification application portal by 4:00 pm today, being 22nd December 2023.
“Please note that the notice for reopening the verification portal will be communicated to you in due course.
“Please accept the assurances of our Registrar/CEO’s highest regards.”
When our correspondent logged into the portal on Wednesday, it was discovered that the “licence verification” button beside the “Reissue licence” button had been deactivated.
The deactivation of the portal has, however, raised concerns among nurses and midwives practising in Nigeria and outside the country.
A nurse, Jude Chiedu, said, “The lack of communication and transparency surrounding the council’s decision has left many nurses feeling uncertain about their professional future.
“Nurses perceive the council’s actions as an attempt to hinder their freedom to pursue career opportunities elsewhere.
“I can’t process any registration with any foreign board of nursing if the council does not verify that I have a valid license to practice nursing.”
Another nurse, Felix Obasi, said the council did not inform its members of the reasons for the portal closure.
Obasi said, “It’s been a nightmare, more so with the fact that there was no official reason as to when the portal will be reopened, and why it was initially closed.
“I am stuck in the whole relocation process. We all feel the heat as we are wasting so much time; deadlines are not met, and a lot of money has been put into this process.
“We need to know when the portal will be reopened so we can progress on our respective careers as much as we want.”
Another nurse, Florence Chi Omega, took to her X handle, @NurseZemira to ask the nursing council to address the issue.
She said, “I can’t stress enough the importance of providing a clear and detailed explanation for the deactivation of the verification portal and the need for a swift resolution or alternative measures to address the ongoing issue.”
When contacted, the Registrar of the council, Faruk Abubakar, said he was out of town and would not speak on the phone.