Federal Teaching Hospital Gombe,
Ashaka Road 0037 Gombe State
Patriotic Nigeria Nurses and Midwives Forum
UPDATE ON WITHDRAWAL OF FTH GOMBE NURSES
On 31st of October, 2016 we the junior nurses including staff Nurses, Nursing officer I & Nursing II wrote to the management of FTH Gombe and NANNM withdrawing our financial contribution and participation in NANNM activities. This news went viral after it first broke on nursingworldnigeria and many people in the nursing family kept wondering why that decision was necessary for this category of nurses. We may like to use this opportunity to clarify and led bare issues that culminated to this action for the benefit of the entire nursing profession.
1. We may like to categorically confirm that the news was true and we stand by our decision.
2. The issues that resulted to this action are as follows:
(a) Teaching Allowance
It could be recalled that since April 2014, nursing officers who are on CONHESS 7&8 has been denied their legitimate teaching allowance despite its presence in the 2009 consolidated health salary structure. Since the stoppage of this allowance, no effort has been made by NANNM at te national level to restore it. This iLicences never been any priority to NANNM even in their national meetings probably because it doesn’t affect most senior nurses.
It may interest most nurses especially those working in the federal institution that they are legally not members of NANNM simply because of the following reasons;
I) the constitution of NANNM stated that an individual who qualify as a registered Nurse and has been enrolled into the register of Nursing and Midwifery council of Nigeria is eligible for membership of NANNM
ii) that the membership of NANNM shall be open to all Nurses (meaning it is optional)
iii) It requires that an individual who wish to associate with NANNM must apply by filling a specified form which shall be approved by the NANNM approved body at the Secretariat
iv) After approval of membership, that individual is required to pay a certain dues to sustain his/her membership.
v) The registered person is entitle to a copy of NANNM constitution, membership card and registration number.
Unfortunately, all this procedures are not usually followed by NANNM and nurses are charged monthly dues once they are employed by the government without actually enrolling them into the NANNM nominal register. Nurse erroneously start paying dues without membership registration and without accountability and transparency. This is a fraud, it is illegal and most be urgently discontinued with immidiate effect. It is currently going on in many institutions that is why we requested for immediate stoppage of any deductions from our salaries.
We keenly wish NANNM will explain to Nigeria Nurses why they have been collecting a huge percentage of dues from various branches without even knowing the actual number of people enrolled as members. If NANNM is aware that many people paying dues to them are not enrolled on the nomical register why have they not corrected this for all this years? Is that not a fraud or a scam practice?
(c) Double qualification
In many institutions, promotions beyond the rank of NOI are based on RN/RM qualification which means a Registered Nurse either male or a female most obtain a midwifery qualification before been considered for promotion beyond NOI. For example in FTH Gombe about 81 Nurses sat for 2016 promotion exams about 60 are junior nurses on the rank of NOI and below, but out of this number only less than 10% have double qualification even if the management will consider other post basics other than RN/RM as specified in the scheme of service. This is why the promotion has not been released upto now. The fact is that, the management cannot even afford to release these bulk of nurses to go to school due to current personnel shortage.
Why implement a policy that can hamper productivity?. This policy seem to be counter productive because in Nigeria male Nurses are not usually offered admission into school of midwifery to obtain midwifery qualification and even if they will you don’t expect every nurse to be a midwife because certainly you need general nursing practitioners to be able to run some units and wards in the hospital. this policy should be totally expunged from our scheme of service. This particular policy have stagnated a lot of nurses on same position for many years, yet they are not given the chance to even seek for admission. unfortunately, NANNM doesn’t seem to care about the devastating effect of this policy to junior nurses in their career progression. The issue was never presented even when the National council on Establishment met in August, 2016. With this, we believe that NANNM does not have us at heart, they don’t even understand the problems of this profession left alone to solve them.
(d) Career progression
The problems and anomalies in nursing education cannot be over emphasised however, we do not intend to discuss the issue of nursing education today, that is a topic for another day. But we are concerned why nurses who have obtained Bsc in allied health courses such as community health or public health will not be allowed to progress in their promotions. Nursing degree is the most scarced course of study in Nigeria Universities. If NMCN want nurses to obtain Bsc in Nursing, why can’t they restructure the whole nursing education system such that a RN only need a year or two top up course to obtain degree in nursing instead of the current boring 4 years after General Nursing.
(e) Transparency and Accountability
We questioned why we kept on paying exorbitant fees to the national body without any accountability. NANNM runs a close government you don’t even understand what exactly the national body is doing. NANNM don’t even have a open website where one will go and get every information about their activities. They do everything in secret and we only see those at the top getting richer and richer. All we see is conference here, conference there without any tangible outcome.
(f) Licence Renewal
It is very unfortunate that corruption have gradually crawling into the NMCN in terms of renewal of professional licence. When you don’t know anybody, your renewed licence expires before it gets to your. We ccan’t figure out the reason why renewal of professional licence take a longer time, some times as long as 12 months or more. Once you are given a receipt, you don’t see the licence until it is 6 to 8 months to expire. Arbitrary review of licensing fees is unbecoming and unfortunately, NANNM who claim to represent our interest and as a member to NMCN seem to ignore all this anomalies. Why should NMCN stick to MCPDP workshop as the only workshop recognized workshop for renewal of professional licence. We believe this policy should be relaxed so that nurses can also attend some national and international workshops in other to renew their licence. The policy discourages nurses from attending other workshops.
(g) Representation of FHI in NANNM
All the nurses in the 56 federal institutions in Nigeria are under FHI and it is on record that we contribute a significant junk to NANNM finances. Unfortunately, NANNM using her faulty constitution and structure have successfully sidelined nurses under FHI in national discuss and decision making. Any structure that allow only 9 people to decide for more that hundred thousand nurses across the 36 states is a faulty one. NANNM must be restructured to allow equal opportunity for both nurses in FHI and NANNM in terms of positions. Zoning is a standard procedure in any governance to provide a equal platform, why cant NANNM adopt it?.
NANNM should as a matter of urgency form a decision making committee which will comprise of the executives of all units and branches to decide on issues that are deemed to be national in nature, such as nationwide strike. Such decisions must be subjected to votes by all stakeholders present not only the national executives. We believe the absence of this structure is why NANNM decision is always lopsided and FHI demands are always kept in view or placed under the carpet while her members languish in frustration and humiliation.
3. We may like to urge NANNM at all level to embrace change and let the nursing profession grow to her highest destiny.
4. We may like to assure NANNM that we are going make everything legally possible within our power to upgrade our dear profession to the greater heights. We also hope that NANNM will realise and quickly join us in this patriotic movement.
Patriotic nurses forum would have loved to see the type of Comrade Linus Sabulu (of blessed memory) leadership style in NANNM
God bless Nigeria Nurses
God bless Nigeria.
Muhammad Ahmad Saddiq