Thursday 21 July 2022

20th National Professional Conference Communique




Tag: Nursing Education Reformation Summit


Theme: Progressive Nursing & Midwifery Education and Practice Reforms: Who, How, When?


UGONSA highly appreciates all our invited dignitaries that graced the occasion, notably the special guest of honour – Chief Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii (AnyiChuks), PDP flag bearer for the 2023 Ebonyi State gubernatorial election, ably represented by Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu (Enyi waa Uzo); the Guest of Honour, Dr. Emeka Onwe Ogah, AOV, The Chief Medical Director, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AE-FUTHA); The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Eunice Nwonu, Ex-Senior Lecturer Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus; The Father of the Event, Comrade Mike Nnachi, The National President National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); Mother of the Event, Nur. Franca Okafor, GANV, Director Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, the Registrar/Secretary General of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Nurse Umar Faruk Abubakar Wurno (represented by Nurse Alex Ezeh – the South-East zonal Director, NMCN), Mrs. Chukwu Cecilia, The Director Nursing Services, Ebonyi State; Professor Chika Ugochukwu; Dr. Georgina Ibeneme; Dr.Peace Iheanacho; Lady Lilian Uhiara; Captain Afam Ndu and others. The association is also very thankful to the Government and good people of Ebonyi State for providing a peaceful atmosphere for our 20th National Professional Conference and Scientific Update and the Ebonyi State Chapter of UGONSA for a well-organized hosting. Above all the association is thankful to God Almighty for his abundant grace throughout the conference.

The opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was held on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The participants donned the conference T-shirts for the opening ceremony, and the flag-off of the event was done by the special guest of honour – Chief Dr. Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii (AnyiChuks), PDP flag bearer for 2023 Ebonyi State gubernatorial election, ably represented by Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu (Enyi waa Uzo). The event was chaired by Chief (Hon). Solomon E.O. Egwuenu, UGONSA National President. There were goodwill messages from the dignitaries.


Book of Abstracts of the 20th UGONSA Conference; Volume 4 & 5 of “The Nursing Scope Journal” and a press statement on the 2023 general election vis-à-vis advising Nigerians to shun politicians with an odious penchant for medical tourism and urging for the implementation of proper placement of bachelor of nursing science degree holders round the country were the key conference publications.


GANV (Grand Ambassador of Nightingalic Virtues) was awarded to two nurses, namely, Nurse Obianuju Francisca Okafor and Lady Lilian Uhiara. Other categories of awards were also bestowed on other deserving nurses. GANV is the highest award grantable to Nurses for distinguished services and outstanding impact in advancing the collective aspiration of the Nursing Profession. The GANV was awarded to Nurse Obianuju Francisca Okafor, the Director Nursing Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria. Dubbed the "Dame of Proper Placement," Nurse Obianuju Francisca Okafor, GANV, was also inducted into the prestigious UGONSA hall of fame. Her critical intervention when UGONSA confirmed that the Proper Placement Memo was yet to be transmitted to the National Council on Establishments (NCE) a few days prior to the 42nd NCE meeting, where the memo was first considered before its approval in the 43rd meeting, earned her the famous title "Dame of Proper Placement”. There would have been no proper placement to celebrate today had the 42nd NCE meeting gone without the proper placement memo. UGONSA and the unborn generation of nurses owe her eternal gratitude for her critical role in the journey for the actualization of proper placement. Her induction into the UGONSA hall of fame has placed her in the league of other “Hall of Famers”, notably Mrs. Victoria Gowon (wife of former Head of State, Gen.Yakubu Gowon), Arch. Bishop A.O. Obarisagbon (the Pioneer President and Founder of GNAN, now known as UGONSA) and Mrs. A.O. Olanipekun (former Registrar, Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria). The other GANV recipient. Lady Lilian Uloma Uhiara, GANV, was the 2nd National President of UGONSA, who pioneered the UGONSA international journal, "The Nursing Scope ". Even in retirement, she has remained dedicated to courses that improve the fortunes of the profession.


Those whose abstracts were accepted by the 'Abstract Review Committee'Committee and listed for presentation and who met the set criteria for presentation were scheduled for presentation. Congress was on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

Congress and Resolutions

During the congress, an election was held, and new national executives were elected. The portfolios of the new executives are as follows:

National UGONSA Executive Members

        1.  Ojo, Idowu Opeyemi, National President                                Ekiti State

        2.  Eteng, Philip Okori, National Secretary                                  CrossRiver State

        3.  Afoi, B. Barry, Deputy National President North                    Kaduna State

        4. Nwodo, Chijioke, Deputy National President East                  Enugu State

        5. Ojone, Matthew, Deputy National President West                  Ondo State

         6.  Adewale, Kola, Assistant National Secretary West                Oyo State

         7. Ndu, Afam, Assistant National Secretary East                        Anambra State

         8. Averson Pius, Assistant National Secretary North                  Nasarawa State

          9.  Edeh, Cecilia Ofoke, National Treasurer                               Ebonyi State

          10.  Charles A. Oloriegbe, National PRO                                   Delta State

          11.  Musa, Bulus, National Provost                                             Bauchi State

           12.  Edeh, Perpetual Ngozi, National Financial Secretary         Ebonyi State

           13.  Egwuenu, E.O. Solomon, Ex-Officio Member                  Delta State

            14.  Nshi, I. Goodluck, Ex-Officio Member                             Ebonyi State

           15.  Onwusonye, Chioma Ume, Ex-Officio Member                Abia State

           16.  Ade, Osasuyi, Ex-officio Member                                      Edo State

The congress also discussed a number of issues affecting the health and well-being of Nigerians, growth, development, and advancement of the nursing profession, and university graduates of nursing sciences. After exhaustive deliberations, the following positions were taken:

    1. The congress-in-session deplored the deteriorating security situation, unemployment, and increasing level of poverty in the country and urged President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors to live up to the expectation for which they were elected by doing more in securing the lives and properties of the populace, creating employment & empowerment opportunities, and alleviating the scorching poverty in the land.

      2.      Congress strongly frowned at medical tourism and emphasized that the $2 billion (1.1 trillion naira) wasted on medical tourism annually is enough to rejig our health system and make a competing payment to the healthcare professionals that will dissuade those currently practicing in the country from contemplating going abroad and compel those that have left for greener pasture to return home. On the upcoming 2023 election, congress charged Nigerians to get their permanent voter’s cards (PVC), prepare to vote out, and never vote for any politician who has a penchant for embarking on medical tourism abroad, noting that Politicians whose pastime is medical tourism have testified that they do not believe in the Nigerian system. As such, if our health system is not good for them, our political system should also not be good for them.

     3.    The congress-in-session applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for being nursing friendly and very considerate to issues affecting the nursing profession, notably, the approval of nursing internship in his first tenure and now proper placement in his second tenure. Congress also thanked the Head of Civil Service of the Federation for releasing the circular for the proper placement of graduate nurses that was approved by the National Council on Establishment (NCE) at its 43rd meeting held in Abuja in January 2022 and strongly called for its speedy implementation in all health institutions where nurses work. Congress mandated the newly elected UGONSA National executives to see that the proper placement circular is implemented in the favour of all University Graduates of Nursing irrespective of the mode of study (whether direct entry, part-time, open university, or distance learning, etc.) across the country.

     4.   The Congress-in-Session frowned at the non-recognition of higher qualifications in nursing, such as M.Sc and Ph.D. Nursing in the schemes of service for the nursing officer and called on the government, the National Council on Establishments and appropriate authorities to recognize the importance of advanced education in nursing practice and thus commence remuneration of nurses that acquired additional higher qualifications in nursing accordingly by availing a befitting place for M.Sc and Ph.D. in Nursing in the schemes of service for nursing officers.

     5. Congress recalled that the current board of Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), through the Registrar Nurse Farouk Umar, issued a circular Ref No. N&MCN/EDU/CIR/44/VOL.1/62 dated February 15, 2019, wherein it declared that by 2023 all schools of nursing shall be upgraded to award Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degrees and that all post-basic schools shall be upgraded to award master’s degrees in their respective nursing specialties. Congress noted that we are now in 2022, just one year away from 2023 set by the NMCN as when both basic and post-basic courses shall become respectively licensable and registrable only at the baccalaureate and post-graduate levels and called on the NMCN to live by its words and ensure that this laudable promise does not elude the profession come 2023.

       6.  Congress observed a minute silence for Late Nurse Justina Obioma Ejelonu, GANV (the nurse that saved Nigeria from Ebola), and all nurses that died in active service and urged members of the nursing community not to rest on the oars until a befitting national posthumous honour is bestowed on her as she represents the face of the unrecognized daily sacrifices nurses make for this country.  

      7.   Congress-in-Session strongly frowned at the politicization of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the NMCN and queried why UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Updates “where the best of scholars (including Professors, Ph.D. holders, Master’s degree holders), researchers and administrators in the nursing profession gather to exhibit and review scientific works and underlying theories of nursing practice to improve nursing knowledge and skills, for enhanced qualitative evidence-based care” will not be granted 3 CEUs whereas religious organizations are granted same for their prayer summits. Congress noted that UGONSA Professional Conferences and Scientific Updates attract both national and international abstracts and strongly called on the NMCN to purge itself of CEU politicization and base the granting of CEUs purely on the academic and professional merit of events rather than on connections of the event organizers or their closeness to those in the helms of affairs in the council.

     8.   Congress reiterated the age-long commitment of UGONSA to unity in the profession and willingness to work with any group on issues that will bring progress to the profession. Congress equally urged UGONSA to remain upright and stand up to any policy detrimental to the growth and development of the profession irrespective of the group or individuals championing such or the quarters where such emanate.

      9.     Congress emphasized that UGONSA has no bearing with aggrieved “NANNM members” who opted out of NANNM sequel to their grievances that were not properly handled and frowned strongly at the insinuations that they were all UGONSA members. Congress noted that while a few fractions of them may be UGONSA members, none of them held any elective or appointive position in UGONSA, and their genuine grievances bordering on the choking and inhumane 3% checkoff dues have no bearing whatsoever with UGONSA. Congress reiterated UGONSA's admonition to NANNM to always have a genuine, open, and honest dialogue anchored on respect and love with its aggrieved members rather than resorting to intimidation tactics and thereafter starts throwing tantrums and blames at UGONSA for a situation it wittingly mismanaged which UGONSA knows nothing about.    

     10.  Congress mandated the zonal leadership of UGONSA to form their cabinets within six months of their election and ensure that states and units within their zones are active and functional. Congress also barred UGONSA executives at all levels from handling the issues of or responding to any graduate nurse who is not a registered and financial member of the association. Congress strongly admonished graduate nurses that are not registered and financial members of UGONSA to desist from commenting on UGONSA issues or asking help from the association. 

     11.  Congress strongly frowned at the continued subjugation of Nursing Services as a division in the department of Hospital Services under the headship of a Physician and called on the Federal government to implement, without further delay, the Yayale Ahmed presidential committee report on harmony in the health sector, which inter alia recommended a fully-fledged autonomous Department of Nursing Services in the Federal Ministry of Health. Congress equally called on the Federal Government to upgrade the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) to a “grade A” regulatory agency.

    12.  Congress advised nurses to key into the spirit and letters of “Progressive Nursing & Midwifery Education and Practice Reforms” by pursuing higher education in nursing to enable the profession to be sufficient in manpower that can add significant value to all facets of nursing services, be it clinical patient care, public health promotion, nursing education or nursing administration.

      13.  Congress re-emphasized its earlier call on all stakeholders in the nursing profession to recognize the non-negotiable need for unity and come together to pursue a common goal to promote the professional growth, advancement, and development of nurses and the nursing profession.

      14.  Congress-in-Session called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the amendment of the Establishment Act of the Nursing & Midwifery Council of Nigeria and commended the seven-man committee of reliable think tanks set up by UGONSA at its 19th Conference in Kaduna for a good job in reviewing the Act and creating a document that was forwarded to the NMCN, the national leadership of NANNM, and Senator Hassan Gusau which greatly helped the profession to effectively make its case before the National Assembly.

      15.  Congress commended the fight against quackery by both the establishments and individuals in the profession and called for sustained action in this regard. Congress reiterated that individuals and hospitals that were discovered to be promoting and engaging in quackery be named, publicized, and shamed in both social and conventional media to continue to acquaint the public with the dangers of their malpractices and nefarious activities. NMCN was equally urged to produce professional seals for every nurse and collaborate with GSM providers to create an SMS code for on-the-spot identification of all the nurses in any setting in Nigeria.

     16.  Finally, the congress agreed and approved that the next (.i.e., 21st) UGONSA National Professional Conference and Scientific Update will hold at Ondo State, Nigeria.

Communique Drafting Committee Members

Nur. Afoi, Barry B.                               Kaduna State Chapter                            -Chairman

Nur. Ogwu, Chukwuma Ali                 Akwa Ibom State Chapter                      -Secretary

Nur. Amachu-Ayeni Titilayo               Ondo State Chapter                                -Member

Nur. Bulus Inusa                                   Nasarawa State Chapter                          -Member

Nur. Adewale Adekola                          Oyo State Chapte                                    -Member





CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE G.I. NSHI

National President                                                           National Secretary

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