Ganiyu Johnson, a Nigerian lawmaker representing Oshodi Isolo II Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, has explained the rationale behind the bill seeking to retain medical doctors in Nigeria, Vanguard reports.
Recall that Johnson had, last week, proposed a bill, seeking to ensure Nigeria-trained medical or dental practitioners must work in the country for a minimum of five years before they are granted full licenses or travel abroad.
Johnson spoke in an interview on The Morning Show of Arise Television on Thursday.
According to the lawmaker, the bill aimed at curtailing the influx of Nigerian-trained medical and dental practitioners to foreign countries has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill, sponsored by a member representing Oshodi Isolo II Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives Ganiyu Abiodun Johnson, was read on the floor of the House on Thursday.
It was titled “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).”
The bill was proposed as part of effort to cut down on the increasing number of doctors leaving Nigeria in search of better opportunities abroad.
Johnson argued that it was fair for medical practitioners who had benefited from taxpayer subsidies to undergo mandatory service for a minimum number of years in Nigeria before taking their skills abroad.
Majority of lawmakers supported the bill, although some called for flexibility and options in the proposed law.
However, a member of the House, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta opposed the bill on the grounds that it amounted to enslavement to tie a doctor down for five years in Nigeria post-graduation before seeking employment overseas.
Despite this opposition, a majority voice vote passed the bill for a second reading.