An Address By The Hon. Minister Of Health, Dr E. Osagie Ehanire, At The Inauguration Of The Governing Board Of Nursing & Midwifery Council Of Nigeria (Nmcn) Held On Monday, 16th November, 2020 At Statement Hotel, Abuja

Protocol

It is my pleasure to address this gathering of respected citizens on the occasion to inaugurate the Governing Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

2.      You may recall that the last Governing Board served for three (3) years from 2017–2020 and completed its tenure in April this year, which necessitated the composition of a new Governing Board for 2020 – 2023. A set of criteria were taken into consideration according to the Act, to ensure that the Board nominations were guided by sound stakeholder consultations and equity, to produce the highly qualified and experienced men and women, sitting before us today, charged with overseeing governance of the Council.

3.    This ceremony marks one of the most significant steps to giving the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria a new and strong image toward excellence in Nursing Practice and Education. Nursing is a profession of pivotal importance in the Health System, which in Nigeria is still growing to meet our needs.

4.    The Governing Board is a creation of statutes, and their responsibility is to give policy direction to the Management of the Council. It is important that members thoroughly study the history and the Act establishing the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, as well as the relevant policy documents of the Ministry of Health, for a good understanding of responsibilities that go with this appointment, because Government expects nothing but the best of the Board to be inaugurated here today. As a paramount implementing entity of the health sector, the Nursing Council is geared to achieving developmental goals of government, that will depend on your performance at the helm of affairs. I therefore, enjoin you all to commit to achieving this mandate faithfully.

5.    The roles you are being called upon to play revolve around setting the highest standards for control of quality and discipline, which are the elements required for positive change to take place. Your appointments are to be taken as an opportunity to make contributions toward those goals, and to uplift Nursing and Midwifery Education and Practice.

6.    The World Health Assembly, which is the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), in designating year 2020 as the Year of Nurses and Midwives, coinciding also with the 200th birthday anniversary of Florence Nightingale, certainly fulfilled the desire of millions of members of these professions for a global platform to recognize their sacrifices and reposition the profession for greater heights.

7.    I charge you therefore, as Chairman and members of the Governing Board, to bring about the most desired change in the shortest possible time. The management will do everything to acquaint you with the rules of engagement as contained in the enabling Act of this Council, but I shall remind you that, except where expressly stated by law, Board appointments are part time with periodic meetings. The Management of the Council will perform day-to-day Council administration, with your due oversight as and when necessary, but with no direct engagement or hindrance. Allowances and entitlements as Board Members are guided by extant government circulars that will be shared with you in due course, along with other relevant documents. Please acquaint yourselves with all the information for proper guidance.

8.    It is the expectation of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, that this Governing Board will also help put measures in place that will strengthen the Council's resource base, increase internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and improve effectiveness and efficiency of resource utilization, in line with Government Financial Regulations. It is helpful to advise from onset that procurement and award of contracts are not part of Board function: they are strictly guided by provisions of the procurement Act 2007, as provided by the Bureau of Public Procurement.

9.    Ladies & Gentlemen, you can all imagine the crucial role of nurses in the current national covid19 pandemic response. Moreover, a primary vision of the President that involves nurses is achieving Universal Health Coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. Your task to oversee the affairs of this public service professional body is delicate, but you have each been carefully selected, based on your capabilities and experiences for this assignment. The Ministry of Health desires that you pursue the goals and mission of this administration and scale up recruitment of nurses and midwives, improve training and encourage job retention, to strengthen and stabilize the workforce to meet national needs.

10.    As a new Board, you need be reminded that you represent the Federal Government to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, to guide it to achieve its values and mandate as a statutory body charged with delivery of safe and effective Nursing and Midwifery care to the Nigerian populace. It is an advantage that many of you are seasoned public servants with good understanding of the workings of government. But you will notice that a few new things have been introduced into governance over the years with regard to policies, procedures and processes, which you will surely adopt, to deepen your understanding of emerging issues

11.    The Administration, needless to say, has zero tolerance for corruption, a stance you are expected to uphold and defend. The President's Next Level agenda emphasizes transparency and accountability in the affairs of Health Institutions.

12.    Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my singular honour and privilege to hereby inaugurate this Governing Board and to congratulate you one and all as Chairman and members of the Governing Board of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

13.    Thank you for your attention.

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