The Federal Government has frowned at some medical doctors who flee the country after graduating from medical school without giving back in service to the country (Nigeria) they trained ‘for free’ at public expense.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige who disclosed this at the 2022 Budget Defence of his Ministry at the House of Representatives on Wednesday in Abuja therefore recommended bonding of medical and other health workers so they can serve the country before leaving for anywhere.
“Medical education in Nigeria is almost free. Where else in the world is it free? The Presidential Committee on Health should come with a proposal for bonding doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and other health workers, so that they don’t just carry their bags and walk out of their country at will when they were trained at no cost.
“In London, it is 45,000 pounds a session for medical education in cheap in universities. If you go to Edinburgh or Oxford, you pay $80,000. If you go to USA you pay $45,000 but if you go to the Ivy leagues, you pay $90,000 for only tuition, excluding lodging. You do it for six years. So, people in America take loans.
“We can make provisions for loans and you pay back. If government will train you for free, we should bond you. You serve the country for nine years before you go anywhere,” the Minister said in a statement issued by Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan.
Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given a waiver for employment in health, defence and paramilitary to ensure that those who leave for greener pastures were replaced.
Ngige explained that the waiver was granted by the government despite an embargo on recruitment into public service.
The Minister said to address the incessant labour crises in the county, the government would introduce mandatory training for newly elected labour leaders at the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS).
He said the proposed training will equip the labour leaders with the knowledge of Labour laws and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions to curb the incessant industrial disputes in the country.
Ngige also revealed that his Ministry has made provision for the establishment of Rapid Response Labour Desk Offices across the 36 States of the Federation to help nip some of these industrial crises in the bud.