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Bill Preventing Doctors From Travelling Abroad For Five Years Passes Second Reading

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House Of Reps Passes Independent Candidacy Bill Into Law

A bill aimed at preventing Nigerian-trained medical or dental practitioners from traveling abroad immediately has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill is part of the measures to halt the increasing number of medical doctors leaving Nigeria for other countries in search of ‘greener pastures.’

The title of the amendment bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, reads, “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap. M379, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to mandate any Nigeria-trained Medical or Dental Practitioner to Practise in Nigeria for a Minimum of Five (5) before being granted a full licence by the Council in order to make Quality health Services available to Nigeria; and for Related Matters (HB.2130).”

Johnson told the House that it was only fair for medical practitioners, who enjoyed taxpayer subsidies on their training, to “give back to the society” by working for a minimum number of years in Nigeria before exporting their skills abroad.

The majority of lawmakers supported the bill, though a number of them called for flexibility and options in the envisaged law.

One member, Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, opposed the bill on the grounds that it was more like enslavement to tie a doctor down for five years in Nigeria, post-graduation, before seeking employment in a foreign country.

Chukwuani Victoria is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist who's passionate about storytelling with years of experience in the industry. She holds a BSC in Biology and also obtained a postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos. She likes to read, research, hang out with her friends and play scrabbles.