Sunday, 24 May 2020

UGONSA CLARIFIES CROSS RIVER STATE ON ELIGIBILITY FOR DIRECTORSHIP IN NURSING





The Honourable Commissioner of Health,
Cross River State Ministry of Health Headquarters,
Calabar, Cross River State.

Sir/Madam,

CLARIFICATION ON ELIGIBILITY FOR DIRECTORSHIP IN NURSING: BNSc/BSc NURSING IS THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATION FOR ATTAINING THE DIRECTORATE CADRE IN NURSING: NO PROFESSION IS ALLIED TO NURSING AND NURSING IS ALLIED TO NO OTHER PROFESSION

Nightingales’ greetings from our members comprising nurses with minimum qualification of first degree in Nursing!

2. The report reaching us that some ineligible candidates are allowed by the Cross River State Ministry of Health to ply the directorate cadre of Nursing, on the basis that they possess degrees “allied” to nursing, prompted our reaching out to you for succinct clarification on eligibility for directorship in nursing.

3. It is our considered belief that some persons might have misled the ministry to indulge in such an unconscionable act which utterly conflicts with the prevailing laws and extant rules guiding promotions to the directorate cadre of nursing, hence the need to formally call the attention of the Ministry to the extant provisions. 

4. The nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the statutory regulatory body for nursing in Nigeria, and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) had verily clarified, via several memos and circulars, that nursing is a profession on its own recognized nationally and internationally and is not allied to or with any profession, and that eligibility for promotion to the directorate cadre in nursing is sine qua non of possession of first degree in nursing (Kindly refer the documents marked and attached as Annexure A, B & C).

5. The Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) had also affirmed the position of the NMCN and FMOH with circulars such as the one released after the 36th National Council on establishment (NCE) meeting (which Cross River State was part and parcel of) held in Akure, Ondo State, in the year 2012 that led to vacation of the circular Ref No. CND.100/S.6/Vol II/115 of 1st December, 2006, which wrongly imported the term “allied” in the nursing lexicology in Nigeria and the one that was released in the year 2016 after the 39th NCE meeting in Minna, Niger State, which approved a unified schemes of service with the nomenclature “NURSING OFFFICER” for all nurses but with an unequivocal caveat that career progression beyond the post of Chief Nursing Officer MUST be subject to acquisition of first degree in nursing   (Kindly refer the documents marked and attached as Annexure C, D & E).

6. It is therefore silly and preposterous for ineligible persons to mask under the toga of “degrees allied to nursing” to present themselves for promotion to the directorate cadre of nursing against the statutory dictate that eligibility for such can only and would only be conferred by possession of first degree in nursing.

7. Such ugly occurrence requires that we verily put the ministry on notice that there are no such things as “degrees allied to nursing” just as the nursing degree is not allied to any other degree as the attached referenced documents clearly indicate.

8. While we are not against any nurse aspiring to reach the zenith of his/her career, we are totally against using such to truncate or water down professionalism in nursing as the purveyors of the “allied degree” seem desperate to. 

9. We wish to humbly request that you challenge those flying the inordinate kite of  “degrees allied to nursing” in Cross River State to also furnish you with information on degrees that are allied to other professions such as Medicine, Law, Engineering, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Physiotherapy, and so on. 

10. Promotion of RN/RM diplomats to directorate cadre of nursing with degrees other than nursing degree is not only a blatant aberration to all principles of professionalism but an open defecation on the extant laws especially as the so-called “allied courses” have their own separate schemes of service which have never and will never recognize possession of first degree in nursing as eligibility for running their directorate cadres.

11. It patently defies rationality and logic how the purveyors of “degrees allied to nursing” and their promoters come to erroneously conceive that a single degree can grant an individual the eligibility for promotion and career progression in two separate and distinct professions and how they managed to lure the Cross River State Ministry of Health into this crooked conception.

12. We therefore courteously call on the Ministry to immediately correct the mistake of promoting ineligible candidates to the directorate cadre of nursing and forthwith desist from making such a grievous mistake again as mistakes are meant to be corrected and not to be repeated.

 PRAYER

Having humbly called your esteemed attention to the impervious fact that no profession is allied to nursing, just as nursing is not allied to any other profession, we hereby respectfully call on your esteemed office to

1. immediately void all the wrongful promotions of the so-called “allied degree holders”, into the directorate cadre of nursing.

2. promote qualified and eligible candidates possessing a minimum of first degree in nursing, .i.e. Bachelor of nursing Science (BNSc) degree or B.Sc Nursing, as prescribed by extant law, into the directorate cadre of nursing.

Please accept the assurances of our esteemed regards.
Signed:

       CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                       NURSE P.O. ETENG
            National President                                                                  Ag.National Secretary
CC
Her Excellency, the First Lady Cross River State.
Head of Service, Cross River State.
Chairman, Governing Board Cross River State College of Nursing & Midwifery Sciences.
NANNM, Cross River State Council.

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Thursday, 14 May 2020

NURSES' UNDER-PLACEMENT: UGONSA WRITES CROSS RIVER STATE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION











The Chairman,
Civil Service Commission,
New Secretariat, P. M. B. 1048, Calabar,
Cross River State (CRS).

Attention:
Dr. (Mrs.) Irene Aniyom,
Permanent Secretary,
Civil Service Commission,
New Secretariat, P. M. B. 1048, Calabar,
Cross River State.

Sir,
APPOINTMENT OF DOCTORS AND NURSES FOR MINISTRY OF HEALTH IN CROSS RIVER STATE: KINDLY RECTIFY THE PLACEMENT ERROR MADE ON THE POST FOR THE GRADUATES OF BACHELOR OF NURSING SCIENCE (BNSc) DEGREE IN THE EXTERNAL/INTERNAL ADVERTISEMENT

Nightingales’ greetings from our members (nurses with a minimum qualification of first degree in nursing).

2   2. With regards to your recent External/Internal Advertisement, Ref No. CRS/411/Vol.XIX/133 dated 27th April 2020, on the above subject matter, please kindly note that the current entry point for Registered Nurses (RN) with a Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree into the Civil Service anywhere in Nigeria is Nursing Officer I [Grade Level 09 (.i.e. CONHESS 08)] and not Nursing Officer II as advertised.

2    3. We hereby availed your esteemed office the relevant documents and circulars from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), and the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) that detailed and specified the extant entry point of graduates of B.N.Sc degree to be Grade Level 09 (.i.e. CONHESS 08) post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps). These documents include the following: 

(a). Circular, Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 dated September 8, 2016, from the 
       office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) (attached herewith as Annexure A).

 (b). Circular, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June 2017, from Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) [attached herewith as Annexure B].

 (c). Circular Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018 from FMOH (attached herewith as Annexure C).

(d). Circular Ref No. C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February 2019 from the FMOH (attached herewith as Annexure D).

(e). Circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April 2002 from the office of the HCSF (attached herewith as Annexure E).

(f). A letter by the FMOH to a Chief Medical Director (CMD) on entry point placement of graduate nurses on CONHESS 08 (attached herewith as Annexure F).

(g). The Implementation Guide for Internship Programme for graduates of B.N.Sc degree from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the statutory regulatory body for nursing in Nigeria ( page 6 attached herewith as  Annexure G).

(h). Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in Great Britain from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (attached herewith as Annexure H).

PRAYER

We most respectfully demand that your esteemed office
1   1.  modifies its current advert for employment of nurses to include Nursing Officer 1 [.i.e. Grade Level 09 (CONHESS 08)] as the entry point for Registered Nurses with B.N.Sc degree in line with the provision of the extant circulars.

2 2. upgrade the existing nursing officers possessing B.N.Sc degree who were employed before 8th September 2016  but are still below the new base of Grade Level 09 (i.e. CONHESS 08) effective from 8th September 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation .i.e. Annexure A) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (.i.e. Annexure E).

3 3. upgrade all graduate nurse who were wrongly employed below the new base of CONHESS 08 after 8th September 2016 to CONHESS 08 effective from the date of their employment as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 (i.e. Annexure E).

Kindly accept the assurances of our esteemed regards!


                                                                     Signed:
                                                                                                        

CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                   NURSE P.O. ETENG
               National President                                                         Ag.National Secretary
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Wednesday, 6 May 2020

COVID-19: NURSES ADVISE WHO; COUNTRIES ON HOW TO DEFEAT THE DISEASE

Nurses under the aegis of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) have saluted the World Health Organisation (WHO) and countries of the world for their efforts so far on COVID-19 and specially thanked the citizens of the world for their great sacrifices in accepting to shutter their means of livelihood and giving-up some of their fundamental human rights and usual activities of daily living (ADL) in compliance with governments stay-at-home order made to contain the spread of coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19.

In its nursing week message signed by its National President, Chief (Hon) S.E.O Egwuenu and Ag. National Secretary, Nurse P.O. Eteng, the association worried that despite lockdowns, number of cases is still flaring-up and gave advice on additional measures it believed will make a great difference if added to the ongoing measures adopted for the fight against the disease.

It said, “when countries started a massive shut down of their economies in February and March 2020, the hope was that within two weeks, or at most one month, the spread of the virus would be contained since the incubation period of the novel coronavirus is between 2 and 14 days.

“But a look at the more credible data coming from the US and Europe show that the rate of infection and deaths are still on the high side even as, perhaps out of lockdown fatigue and biting hardships, economies have started to be reopened.

“The U.S. for example just had its deadliest day from the virus so far on May 1, 2020 recording 2,909 deaths according to CNBC news (of May 2nd, 2020) at a time when the country just started reopening parts of its economy and easing stay-at-home order. The toll of this deadliest day of COVID-19 so far witnessed in the U.S. rivals that of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which claimed the lives of 2,973 people in one day, according to a government commission report cited by the CNBC news, yet nobody can for certain predict what holds for future contagions and fatalities from the virus.

“The questions that should agitate our minds are, why is the virus still spreading ferociously despite widespread lockdowns and social distancing practiced for months? If it was still spreading vigorously with strict restrictions of lockdown and social distancing what will the picture be when restrictions are lessened or removed?

“Being a professional association of nurses, the frontline healthcare workers that have the most personal round-the-clock close contact with patients, including the COVID-19 patients, we have observed that despite that nurses could not afford to maintain social distance with confirmed COVID-19 patients as they must come to a very close range of the patients to care for them,  the rate of infections among nurses is still lower than that of the general population that practiced social distancing probably due to some things which may be more potent than social distancing that is more common on the nurses' side than they are with the general population which we believe if made universally abundant to the general population might make them be more elusive to the virus as the nurses.

“As the pandemic panned out, some world-power countries which many other countries were looking-up to for strategies and guidelines such as the US, France, and Britain focused more attention on producing and stock-piling ventilators to the extent that the U.S. for example, invoked its Defense Production Act to force automobile companies to start producing ventilators.  This action subtly made some countries that were looking up to the U.S. for strategies to adopt in the fight against COVID-19 to assume that having ventilators was the ultimate solution to the problem hence the frenzy with which many countries were falling over each other to get hold of ventilators as if ventilator was the COVID-19 messiah.

“As enormous energy was focused on producing and acquiring ventilators, groceries and markets were allowed to run severely dry of basic hygiene items such as disinfectant wipes, toiletries and alcohol-based hand sanitizers and no Defense Production Act was invoked to produce them in an abundant quantity to balance the need for their increased usage orchestrated by COVID-19.

“As stimulus packages were legislated upon, nobody deemed it fit to legislate on making it compulsory for basic hygiene items to be available to all the people all the time while the COVID-19 crisis lasts. 

 “While so much campaign was made in preaching the practice of basic hygiene especially hand hygiene, the capacity for people to effectively do so was not concomitantly enhanced thereby allowing severe scarcity of basic hygiene items to create a weak link in the chain of preventive measures that the virus maneuvered through to continue to spread.

 “When contrasted with the situation for nurses who, despite very close round-the-clock personal contacts with the victims of COVID-19, still have a lower rate of infection and deaths compared to the general population it becomes quite understandable that the meticulous hygiene practices made by nurses while donning face masks and other PPEs such as regularly wiping surfaces with disinfectant wipes, and regular hand hygiene practice of combining hand washing with alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR), in a nutshell, makes a great difference.

“The point we are trying to highlight is that it is not enough to just preach to people to practice meticulous hand hygiene without leveraging them the ability to effectively do so vis-à-vis adequate provision of basic hygiene items such as disinfectant wipes, toiletries, ABHR, and so on.

“The battle we are currently waging against COVID-19 cannot be won by bullets or by ventilators but by effective hygiene practices which should be done with basic hygiene items complimenting regular hand washing with soap and water. Therefore the bulletproof everybody should be universally provided with at this auspicious moment is disinfectant wipes, toiletries, alcohol-based sanitizers and any other thing needed for effective hand hygiene to efficiently complement hand washing with soap and water.

“Now is, therefore, time for countries to invoke their Defense Production Acts or whichever means possible for mass production and free mandatory distribution of disinfectant wipes, toiletries, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and masks (regular masks or those made from clothing materials) to the general public and as well make the use of facemask in the public compulsory with punitive actions against defaulters.

“The WHO, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC (US)] and the CDCs of other countries should as a matter of urgent importance recommend these measures as mandatory for speedy implementation across the globe – the statement concluded.
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Thursday, 30 April 2020

UGONSA COMMEMORATES NURSES & MIDWIVES ON MAYDAY 2020

The year 2020 was declared the year of the nurses by the World Health Organization (WHO) in honour of the irreparable sacrifices Nurses & Midwives make to keep mankind safe & healthy in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern-day nursing.

However, this year that was supposed to be a year for celebrating the hard work and sacrifices of nurses had turned out to be a year nurses have to work hardest to preserve mankind sequel to the outbreak of the ravenous COVID-19 that is threatening the existence of man.

Since its inception in the 1880s, Labor Day has been marked as a special occasion to honor all workers. But for the year 2020, it is a special day to salute nurses in a unique way. Nurses have made unprecedented sacrifices this year which happen to be a year declared as their own and thus verily deserve to be celebrated in a special way.

UGONSA therefore specially felicitates with Nurses & Midwives all over the world whose efforts make a huge difference in the various healthcare delivery systems of the countries of the world. This year’s Labor Day is a well-deserved day of special tributes for Nurses & Midwives.

To Nurses & Midwives, we say that you deserve a big celebration for standing up for mankind every time. Even though this is a day for you to have relaxed, unwind, and enjoy the company of your families & friends, you have chosen to sacrifice leisure & recreation to remain at the forefront of the war against COVID-19 and other diseases to save and preserve mankind. What on earth can be enough to pay you back? We can only pray God to continue to be the source of your strength, resoluteness, and reward!

For the Nigerian environment where your devotion and contributions towards the prosperity, strength, and well-being of the country are barely acknowledged, we use this occasion to assure you that we shall never let you down. We shall use all our vigour to ensure that utmost importance is attached by the government to the hard work and sacrifices you make to keep the country healthy & safe. We shall continue fighting vigorously for you until you are granted equal rights and equitable treatment in our health system and beyond.

In the memory of our dear mother Nightingale, UGONSA dedicates May Day 2020 to the tribute and honour of the unending sacrifices & contributions of Nurses & Midwives to making the world a better place. We enjoin all Nurses & Midwives to continue in line with the slogan of UGONSA, “make a positive change!”, to shine a positive light of hope on mankind wherever you maybe.

Long Live Nigerian Nurses  & Midwives. Happy May Day 2020!!

Signed

Chief (Hon). S.E.O. Egwuenu                                                    Nurse P.O. Eteng
      National President                                                                                  Ag. National Secretary
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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

COVID-19 HAZARD ALLOWANCE: NURSES CALL FOR EQUITY





Nurses under the auspices of University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has hailed the sacrifices of Nigerians who have endured excruciating lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the frontline health workers who have put their life on the line to tame the ravenous scourge of the virus. They however called for equity in the handling of anything concerning the frontline health workers’ hazard allowance whether COVID-19 related or not.

In a statement jointly issued by its National President, Chief (Hon) S.E.O. Egwuenu,  and Ag.National Secretary, Nurse P.O. Eteng,  the association emphasized that long before COVID-19 berthed in Nigeria, it has been demanding for an upward review of health workers’ hazard allowance and have severally characterized as a systemic injustice the fact that frontline health workers that swim in an ocean of hazards are paid N5,000 as hazard allowance across board whereas university lecturers that stay in classrooms which are far less hazardous than hospitals receive a hazard allowance that is 500% higher than what the healthcare workers receive.

“Our call for the upward review of the hazard allowance has been for an equitable review. But it is very unfortunate that equity has been set aside now that COVID-19 has forced the Federal Government (FG) to respond to the critical issue of unfair hazard allowance payable to health workers.

“A review of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the leaders of the health sector inter-professional associations (Nigeria Medical Association [NMA], Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria [PSN], National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives [NANNM] and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) with the FG, in what was termed ‘a special COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance’ shows that it was marred with inequity and favouritism.

“By declaring that the N5,000 hazard allowance will be replaced by 50% of the consolidated basic salary of the COVID-19 frontline healthcare workers, the MOU insidiously favoured medical doctors more than other healthcare workers especially the nurses who are the cornerstone of care in the hospitals that stay round-the-clock in the patients’ bedside and have the highest exposure to healthcare-related hazards.

“As at date, Nurses are the most marginalized and the least paid among the core healthcare professionals such that a House Officer who is a medical intern that just left school and yet to do NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) earns more than a Principal Nursing Officer who has spent more than 12 years in the Civil Service post-NYSC.  

“When the very fat consolidated salary structure for the doctors is indexed with the paltry sum given to nurses as their consolidated salary it becomes very clear that doctors have been insidiously favoured while the nurses who are the most exposed to healthcare-related hazards among the health workers have again been shortaged in the schemes of things.

“Equity demands that those that are more exposed to hazards should receive a higher hazard allowance.

“With that, if 50% of the doctors’ fat consolidated basic salary is paid to them as hazard allowance, 100% of the nurses’ meagre consolidated basic salary should be paid to nurses as hazard allowance since their consolidated salary is a minute fraction of the consolidated salaries paid to doctors and at the same time they are more exposed to healthcare-related hazards than other members of the healthcare team.

“That both the Minister of Health and the Minister of Labour & Employment who represented the FG were all medical doctors should not have been an avenue for lacing the MOU in inequity and professional favouritism.

The association called on the FG to review the MOU and make the special COVID-19 hazard allowance for nurses 100% of their consolidated basic salary and appealed to nurses to continue to be resolute in discharging their duties donning appropriate PPEs despite the provocative development.

“We hereby call on the FG to review the MOU and make the hazard allowance of nurses a 100% of their consolidated basic salary to reflect their close range and round-the-clock exposure to healthcare related hazards. We further admonish that at a critical time like this, what is needed to defeat the virus is equity and unity and not favouritism anchored on professional chauvinism.

We call on nurses to continue to be resolute in selflessly delivering frontline qualitative care to Nigerians despite the deliberate provocations by the government and appeal to government to scale-up provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) for the frontline health workers. We once again wish to remind nurses not to do away with our earlier warning of ‘no PPE no work’ – the statement concluded.
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Saturday, 28 March 2020

NIGERIAN IMMIGRATION SERVICE (NIS) JOB ADVERT: UGONSA SENDS PETITION TO THE FMOH

The University graduate of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA), the professional association of nurses with a minimum qualification of Bachelor degree in nursing has reported the CDCFIB to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) over the ill-treatment meted on its members by the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI). The wordings of the letter, Ref No. UG/NAT/20/FMOH/01 dated 24th March 2020, which was addressed to the  Honourable Minister of Health with attention to the Director, Human Resource FMOH and copied to the Director, Nursing Services FMOH, is hereby reproduced below: 

The Honourable Minister of Health,
Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH),
New Federal Secretariat Complex,
Phase III, Ahmadu Bello Way,
Central Business District,
P.M.B 083, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria.

Attention:
The Director, Human Resource FMOH,

A PASSIONATE APPEAL FOR YOUR URGENT INTERVENTION TO END THE PERENNIAL INJUSTICES NURSES SUFFER IN THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF INTERIOR

Nightingales greetings from our members!

We highly commend the proactive and astute effort of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) towards tackling the novel coronavirus disease (COVID – 19) pandemic that recently berthed in Nigeria. We also commend the inclination of the FMOH under your watch to fostering sense of equity, fairness and inclusiveness among our healthcare professionals to strengthen the harmonious work relationship the Ministry has diligently promoted in our healthcare delivery system.

2.    However, we wish to call to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), the perennial ill-treatment nurses have received and are still receiving from the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI), which is grossly at variance with the efforts of the FMOH to foster sense of belonging, equity, inclusiveness and fairness among our healthcare team.

3.  As at date, the FMOI, through its parastatals [the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB)], has singled out Registered Nurses (RN) with Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc) degree as the only university graduates of the core healthcare disciplines to be placed under the inspectorate cadre whereas the university graduates of other core health disciplines are placed on the superintendent cadre.

4.      In the year 2018, when we noticed the ugly occurrence in an advert for recruitment made by the CDCFIB for recruitment into the Prisons Service (now Correctional Service) we initially thought it was a mistake, possibly made out of lack of adequate information on the extant placement of RN with BNSc degree in the Federation’s Services by those at the helms of affair in the board (CDCFIB).

5.      In the said advert (made vide Daily Trust Newspaper of Monday 30 April, 2018)  the position for all Registered Nurses (RN), including RN with BNSc degree, was listed in the inspectorate cadre as Inspector of Prison (IP) Nursing , CONHESS 06  whereas the University Graduates of other core healthcare disciplines such as Medicine and Pharmacy were listed in the superintendent cadre as Superintendent of Prison (SP) Medical/ veterinary, CONMESS 02  (respectively for medical and veterinary Doctors) and as Deputy Superintendent of Prison (DSP) Pharmacy, CONHESS 09 (for Pharmacists) [Please kindly refer Annexure A for the said Correctional Service job Advert].

6.      Giving them the benefit of doubt that it was not intentionally done, we humbly approached the FMOI and the CDCFIB {vide our letter Ref No. UGONSA/018/FMOI/01 dated 18th May, 2018} and the Nigerian Correctional Service (then Nigerian Prisons Service) {vide our letter Ref No. UGONSA/NAT/19/CG/NPS/01 dated 4th March, 2019} with detailed explanation of the extant placement of RN with BNSc degree in the Federation’s services praying for correction of the mistake of not listing RN with BNSc degree on the Superintendent cadre as was done for the University Graduates of other core healthcare professions.

7.      The Nigerian Correctional Service in her response to our letter {vide Ref No. NPS 114/S.33/1/86 dated 25th June, 2019} acknowledged that our demand was genuine but averred that it has forwarded our complaint, for the necessary action, to the CDCFIB on whose purview it lies to make the correction. [Please kindly refer to the Nigerian Correctional Service’s response hereby attached as Annexure B].

8.      As we awaited the correction from the FMOI, having written them a reminder {vide our letter Ref No.UG/NAT/19/ FMOI/01 dated 4th March, 2019}, came the unequivocal confirmation that the earlier action of the CDCFIB [whereby all Registered Nurses (RN), including RN with BNSc degree, were listed in the inspectorate cadre in the Nigerian Correctional Service job advert], was not a mistake but a deliberate plot not to obey the extant law, rules and regulations as it concerns the placement of nurses with degree in nursing in the Services of the Federation.

9.      This is because in August 2019, the CDCFIB made another advert (this time for recruitment into the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC , online via their website https://cdfipb.careers/jobs/civil-defence) in which [despite the unambiguous clarifications we have made to them] they also listed all registered nurses, including the University Graduates of Nursing Science (.i.e RN with BNSc degree), under the inspectorate cadre whereas the University Graduates of other core healthcare disciplines so advertised were listed in the superintendent cadre.

10.  For example, in the advert Medical Doctors, Dentist and Optometrist (who are all University Graduates like the RN with BNSc degree) were listed in the Category A [.i.e. the superintendent cadre] as Superintendent Corps (SC) Medical Doctors/ Dentist/ Optometrists, CONMESS 02 respectively whereas their counterparts in nursing [the University Graduates of Nursing Science, i.e. RN with BNSc) were listed in the Category B (.i.e. the inspectorate cadre) as Inspector of Corps (IC) CONHESS 07. [Please kindly refer Annexure C for the NSCDC job advert].

11.  Not deterred by their confirmed deliberate action of wanton marginalization and debasement of our dear nursing profession, we once more respectfully approached the CDCFIB {vide our letter Ref No. UG/NAT/19/CG/ CDFIBP /02 dated 19th August, 2019} with all the extant circulars requesting them to obey the extant law and be fair to the graduate nurses by placing them on the same superintendent cadre where they placed the university graduates of other core healthcare disciplines.

12.  To ensure that the matter was not again swept under the carpet we reported it to the current Minister of Interior vide our letter to him shortly after his inauguration {Ref No. UG/NAT/19/FMOI/02 dated 30th September, 2019}.

13.   Despite all the well-documented efforts we have made to make the CDCFIB [and the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI) that oversees it] to do the right thing, it is becoming clearer that they are more inclined to breaking the law than obeying it for inexplicable reasons other than that the people involved are nurses, who in their own resolve must be marginalized, traumatized and debased because of their professional leaning.

14.  This is evident in the latest advert made by the CDCFIB on March 13th, 2020 for recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) via the NIS website, https://immigration.gov.ng/advertisement-for-vacancies/, where they again listed the University Graduates of other core healthcare professions on the superintendent cadre except the university Graduates of Nursing Science [please kindly refer Annexure D for the current CDCFIB advert for recruitment into NIS].

15.  With the latest repetition of such aberrant and provocative act of willfully portraying the nursing degree as subservient to other degrees in the current advert for employment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), despite having been adequately informed about the right thing, we are hereby crying out very loudly that we have lost hope and trust in the commitment or ability of the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI) and the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) to rise above pettiness or primordial sentiments and elaborate equity & fairness to all Nigerians irrespective of professional leanings.

16.  It is incontrovertible that whatever qualified the University Graduates of other core healthcare professions to ply the superintendent cadre also qualifies their counterparts in nursing to ply same cadre. On the alternative, the CDCFIB and the FMOI should furnish us with information on what qualified the university degree of other core healthcare professions to ply their superintendent cadre that does not qualify the university degree of nursing to ply same cadre.

17. It is pertinent to point out for example, that the fact that both professions of Nursing and Pharmacy are on parity in Nigeria as is the case in Great Britain (Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) Award, 1981) and admission requirements & course duration for both nursing and pharmacy for the first degree in the university are similar, portends that the first degrees of both professions [i.e. Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) and the Bachelor of Nursing Science (BNSc)] shall be accorded similar measure in the schemes of things. 

18.  The hope of our deeply traumatized members now lie on our mother Ministry, the FMOH as our defender of last resort, who has been with us through thick and thin to make a timely intervention and save the nursing profession from the unwarranted brutality, debasement and marginalization at the hands of the FMOI and the CDCFIB which our members now find extremely difficult to endure any longer.

PRAYER
We most passionately pray the Ministry of Health, our mother Ministry, to intervene on behalf of the graduate nurses that have been severely shortchanged, without reprieve, by the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI) and the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) vide placement, remuneration, and career progression, by engaging and urging the FMOI and CDCFIB to

1   1. employ the university graduates of nursing (.i.e. RN possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) on the superintendent cadre as is done for the university graduates of other core healthcare disciplines.

2    2. correct the career pathway of the graduate nurses already employed in the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services from the inspectorate to the superintendent cadre.

3 3. implement Grade Level 09 as the entry point for Registered Nurses (RN) possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree in line with the provision of the  extant circulars of the Nigerian Government.

4  4. upgrade to Grade Level 09 the existing Nurse Officers possessing B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree who were employed before 8th September, 2016  but are still below the new base of Grade Level 09 effective from 8th September, 2016 (being the date of release of the circular REF No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 by the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation) as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002.

5   5. upgrade all graduate nurses (i.e. RN with B.N.Sc/B.Sc.Nursing degree) who were wrongly employed below the new base of Grade Level 09 after 8th September, 2016 to Grade Level 09 effective from the date of their employment as prescribed by the civil service circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002.


List of Annexures
A.     Annexure A: Advert for recruitment into Nigerian Correctional Service (formerly Nigerian Prisons Service) made by the Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board (CDCFIB) on Daily Trust Newspaper of Monday 30 April, 2018.

B.     Annexure B: The Nigerian Correctional Service response to UGONSA request for Proper Placement of graduate nurses {vide Ref No. NPS 114/S.33/1/86 dated 25th June, 2019}.

C.     Annexure C: The CDCFIB advert for recruitment into the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC , made online in August 2019 via their website https://cdfipb.careers/jobs/civil-defence

D.     Annexue D: The CDCFIB advert on March 13th, 2020 for recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) via the NIS website, https://immigration.gov.ng/advertisement-for-vacancies/

E.     Annexure E: UGONSA letter to the Federal Ministry of Interior (FMOI) and the CDCFIB on proper placement of graduate nurses {vide letter Ref No. UGONSA/018/FMOI/01 dated 18th May, 2018}

F.      Annexure F: UGONSA letter to the Nigerian Correctional Service (then Nigerian Prisons Service) on Proper Placement of graduate nurses {vide letter Ref No. UGONSA/NAT/19/CG/NPS/01 dated 4th March, 2019}

G.    Annexure G: UGONSA reminder to the FMOI on proper placement of graduate nurses {vide letter Ref No.UG/NAT/19/ FMOI/01 dated 4th March, 2019}.

H.    Annexure H: UGONSA complaint to the CDCFIB on CBCFIB’s breach of extant law in its advert for recruitment into NSCDC {vide letter Ref No. UG/NAT/19/CG/ CDFIBP /02 dated 19th August, 2019}.

I.       Annexure I: UGONSA complaint to the current Federal Minister of Interior on breaching the extant law by the CDCFIB on placement of graduate nurses {vide letter Ref No. UG/NAT/19/FMOI/02 dated 30th September, 2019}.

J.      Annexure J:  Circular, Ref No. HCSF/EIR/CND/S.100/ST/97 dated September 8, 2016 from the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF).

K.    Annexure K: Circular, Ref No.C6093/T/13 dated 19th June, 2017, from Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).

L.     Annexure L: Circular Ref No. C.6093/T/16 dated February 20, 2018 from FMOH

M.   Annexure M:  Circular Ref No. C2920/5.3/C.2/1/155 dated 5th February, 2019 from the FMOH.

N.     Annexure N: Circular, Ref No. B63279/S.7/II/T/273 dated 24th April, 2002 from the office of the HCSF.

O.    Annexure O: A letter by the FMOH to a Chief Medical Director (CMD) on entry point placement of graduate nurses on Grade Level 09.

P.      Annexure P: The Implementation Guide for Internship Programme for graduates of B.N.Sc degree from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), the statutory regulatory body for nursing in Nigeria.

Q.    Annexure Q: Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy in Nigeria, as is the case in Great Britain from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria

Signed



                                                                                               

CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                             NURSE P.O. ETENG
       National President                                                  Ag. National Secretary


CC:
Director, Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH)
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