The members of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives proudly associate and felicitate with all workers in Nigeria on this year commemoration of WORKERS’ DAY. Labour creates wealth of the nation and is the bedrock of nation building and sustainability of her development. The Nigeria Nurses in general reaffirm our belief and trust in the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress leadership; in unity we shall salvage our nation.
This year’s theme of the Workers Day celebration is “Labour Relations in Economic Recession: An Appraisal”. This shows and confirms the dignity of labour which is in consonance with the ethics of Nurses and Midwives. Dignity of labour in Nursing and midwifery practice is centered on service to humanity without ethnic, religious, socio-economic class, and races bias. The Founder of International Council of Nurses, Ethel Bedford Fenwick said, “I ventured to contend that the work of Nursing is one of humanity and all the World over”. The International Workers' Day, also known as Labour Day in some places, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes every year on 1st of May.
In consolidation of the affirmation that "labour creates wealth", it is the relentless efforts of workers in the country that creates the wealth for the nation; and it is the right of the workers to defend the wealth so created by us, through our sweat, hard work, dedication and supreme sacrifices as the case might be. The sacrifices climaxed at the brutal and inhuman treatment of the great Eight Haymarket Martyrs named Anarchist; they are Albert Parsons, August Spies, Samuel Fielden, Oscar Neebe, Michael Schwab, George Engel, Adolph Fischer, and Louis Lingg. We urge Nigerian workers to remember that the great martyrs were convicted not because of being found guilty of any actions capable of destroying humanity but based on their belief in fighting for the working class and on their ideological stands. May their sufferings be ransom for our future.
Today 66 countries celebrate workers day worldwide. The Nigerian celebration started with public holiday originating with the solidarity and comradeship spirit of His Excellency, AbdulKadir Balarabe Musa of Kaduna state leading the way of declaring public holiday to commemorate the workers’ day, today, it is a celebration with nationwide public holiday. It is pertinent to call on the political class to follow the line of this great Nigerian politician to ensure retaining issue of minimum wage on the exclusive legislative list and expedite action on new minimum wage for Nigerian working class.
It pertinent to say here that nationhood development depends largely on how any country rates and treats their Nurses and Midwives as nationhood development is predicated on human resources development in nursing and midwifery services. “The wealth of our Nations depends on the health of our populations and the health of our populations depends on nursing” (Judith Sharman, President of ICN, 2017). Therefore it is important to call on the government of the day to quickly adopt the new education reforms in Nursing and provide resources, legislation, goodwill, and necessary logistics to ensure its uptake across the three tiers of government in Nigeria so as to be in conformity with the world best practices.
The leadership of this association hereby appreciates all Nigeria Nurses and Midwives for their patience, hard work and selfless service to humanity. We urge them to continue to do their best despite obvious limitations. Challenges plaguing the health system in Nigeria include amongst many, acute shortage in human resources for health especially Nurses and Midwives, inadequate facilities and lack of equipment.
The association is hereby calling on the Federal Government to hasten the process of the official gazetting and release of the Unified Scheme of Service/Internship for Nurses and Midwives. We also reassure our teaming members that the Association will not leave any stone unturned until this is achieved. We therefore call on the agencies of government to prevent industrial unrest by doing the needful.
The Association is compelled to warn the Federal Ministry of health on certain steps being embarked upon which is capable of causing and fueling industrial unrest in our health sector. These include stagnation, demotion, re-designation of nurses even when there is an approved scheme of services for nurses and midwives of this country and non-payment of teaching allowances for our members on grade levels 7 and 8 in our federal health institutions.
Furthermore, the federal ministry of Health should note that it is glaring that our Association is committed to the reduction in maternal and infant mortality rates in this country; however, we are concerned about the haphazard adoption and quick implementation of task shifting that has inculcated the typical ‘Nigerian factor’. Today in Nigeria, the task shifting policy is not in conformity with the WHO principles and practices; it is lopsided and can best be described as task deprivation for nurses and midwives. This has led to a situation where professional duties and responsibilities are being shifted without due consideration of the conditionality for task shifting. Today in Nigeria there are many Nurses and Midwives roaming the streets either unemployed or under employed, yet nurses’ professional duties are being shifted to non-nurses. Also, the Internship scheme is capable of providing nurses and midwives to complement the drastic shortage in nursing and midwifery personnel; this is more cost effective and guarantees quality, efficiency, and safety in health care services of Nigeria, rather than training other health care practitioners who have their own separate responsibilities to contribute to the health care system. The Association hereby implores Government to take as priority the emergency need for employment of Nurses and Midwives at all levels of health care services in the country.
Furthermore, the leadership of NANNM wishes to appreciate Nurses and Midwives on their role in curtailing communicable diseases in the country. The relentless efforts of Nurses and Midwives comes to mind in curtailing EVD and recently Lassa fever and recently are promising to curtail Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis outbreak in the country. The Association will continue to work for better care for the victims of CSM epidemics and will therefore continue to donate drugs and medicaments to the government and people of regions where the epidemics is prevalent.
The entire Nigeria Nurses and Midwives hereby felicitate with the two trade centres in Nigeria i.e. Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress for the anti-corruption campaign and their resolution to deepen democracy and fight poverty in the country. Nigeria Nurses and Midwives are in full support of the proposed new minimum wage by NLC and TUC.
In addition, the Association commends the philosophy of the Change Agenda of the federal government under the leadership of our amiable President Mohamadu Buhari, particularly the area of fighting insurgency, corruption and efforts at addressing economic crises in Nigeria.
We call on the federal government to quickly address the hideous activities of the kidnapers, menace of the herdsmen and provision of adequate infrastructures and security of life and properties in our health institutions in the country.
There is no doubt that the present economic situation in the country is biting on Nigerians especially the working class, worsened by nonpayment of salaries in some states and local governments. We call on Mr. President to immediately address issue of disharmony in Health Sector for the benefit of Health care consumers and the nation at large.
The Association urges the Federal government in the spirit of International Workers day celebration, which entrench harmony and emancipation of the working class, to address the lopsided health policy and composition of Board of Management of federal health Institutions.
Also, the Association appreciates the Federal government on the reconstitution the Board of Management for Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, and the appointment of a substantive Registrar/Secretary General of the N&MCN. The Federal government is also called upon to support the efforts of the Association/N&MCN in the establishment of National post graduate college of Nursing to meet the human resources need in the practice of Nursing services.
Finally, the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives call on various state Government to enact enabling laws to facilitate the upgrading of all schools of Nursing to Colleges of Nursing and provide adequate infrastructure, qualified personnel and enabling environment to accommodate Nursing education reform in the country.
Long live NANNM
Long live NLC and TUC
Long live Federal republic of Nigeria.
Nurse Abdulrafiu Alani Adeniji
National President NANNM
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