AROLHD calls for a Review of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria’s Certificate Validation & Travel Restrictions for Nurses and Midwives

The Advocate of Rule of Law and Human Dignity (AROLHD) expresses its deep concern regarding the recent decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) requiring nurses and midwives to have two years of post-qualification experience before their certificates can be validated for work abroad. Additionally, we urge the NMCN to revisit its policy restricting travel outside Nigeria for newly qualified nurses and midwives.

We believe these regulations unfairly restrict the fundamental rights of Nigerian nurses and midwives. The right to freedom of movement, enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and international human rights law, guarantees individuals the ability to travel freely within and outside their country. Imposing arbitrary restrictions on this right, without demonstrably legitimate justification, raises serious concerns about the protection of individual liberty.

Furthermore, requiring two years of experience for certificate validation disregards the individual aspirations and career goals of newly qualified nurses and midwives. It creates a discriminatory barrier, potentially delaying their access to better opportunities and professional advancement abroad. This policy could also discourage young talents from pursuing careers in nursing and midwifery, exacerbating the already existing staffing shortages within the Nigerian healthcare system.

Instead of imposing restrictions, AROLHD urges the NMCN to focus on creating an environment that empowers and retains valuable nursing and midwifery workforce. Accordingly, we recommend as follows:

  • Addressing the root causes of brain drain:Implement better working conditions, competitive salaries, and career development opportunities to incentivize nurses and midwives to stay in Nigeria.
  • Investing in continuous professional development:Provide ongoing training and education programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of nurses and midwives, meeting the evolving needs of the healthcare system.
  • Streamlining bureaucratic processes:Simplify and expedite certificate validation procedures, eliminating unnecessary delays and burdens on nurses and midwives seeking opportunities abroad.
  • Encouraging open dialogue and collaboration:Work collaboratively with nurses and midwives, their representative bodies, and other stakeholders to develop regulations that are fair, effective, and respect the rights and aspirations of these critical healthcare professionals.

AROLDH calls upon the NMCN to review its current regulations and engage in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders to explore more sustainable and rights-based solutions. We believe that prioritizing the well-being and rights of nurses and midwives is essential for strengthening the Nigerian healthcare system and ensuring equitable access to quality care for all.


Adebanji Dada, Esq.
Lead Director

About Advocate of Rule of Law and Human Dignity (AROLHD):

AROLHD is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the principles of justice, rule of law, and the protection of human dignity. Through advocacy, education, and community engagement, we strive to create a world where all individuals are treated with fairness, equality, and respect.

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