Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has described the bill currently being considered by the National Assembly seeking to restrict the migration of Nigerian doctors as ‘unworkable’.
According to The PUNCH, he stated this while answering questions from journalists after the extraordinary Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja on Monday.
Ngige while reacting to questions about a threat by resident doctors to embark on a five-day warning strike over perceived attempts to ground medical and dental graduates nationwide for five years before being granted a practising licence, he said that the proposed negates extant Labour laws.
“Nobody can say they (doctors) will not get a practising licence until after five years. It will run contrary to the laws of the land that have established the progression in the practice of medicine.
“The Bill in the National Assembly cannot stop anybody from getting a full licence. That Bill is a private members’ bill. In the National Assembly, they attend to private members’ Bills and executive Bills.
He explained that the government submits executive bills to the National Assembly bearing the executive’s signature.
“It is either sent by the Attorney-General of the Federation or by the President, but usually from the Attorney-General of the Federation. So, it’s not an executive Bill, it’s a private member’s Bill.
“That document is, as far as I am concerned, not workable. Ab initio, I don’t support it and I will never support it.
“As I said before, it is like killing a fly with a sledgehammer. They should think of other ways if they are trying to check brain drain, there should be other ways.”
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