Following a statement by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, on the proliferation of unaccredited institutions training students in medicine and dentistry, some concerned Nigerians on a social media platform have called on the council to publish the list of institutions accredited to offer the courses in the country.
They made the call on Penpushing Platform, on Monday, in response to the claim by the MDCN that it had become aware of institutions in Nigeria and abroad offering the courses without being accredited to do so by the council or relevant regulatory bodies.
The Council had in a statement by its Registrar, Abdulmumini Ibrahim, stressed that it remains the only regulatory body for the practice and training of dentistry and alternative medicine in Nigeria, as contained in the enabling Act Cap M8LFN 2010 as amended.
“The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) wishes to inform parents and guardian of prospective medical doctors and dental surgeon, their wards and the general public to note the following important announcements.
“The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) is the regulatory body for the practice and training of Medicine, Dentistry and Alternative Medicine in Nigeria as contained in the enabling Act CAP M8 LFN 2010 (as amended). Council accepts (for registration and licensing) only qualifications obtained from Accredited Training Institutions both in Nigeria and abroad.”
The Council said its attention had been drawn to cases where unsuspecting parents of prospective medical and dental students were being lured into registering their wards in unaccredited training institutions and graduates of such institutions are bringing certificates to Council for registration.
The Council said it was aware that an institution in Benin Republic, Houdegbe North American University, Benin, was issuing such certificates. It said the institution was not accredited by the government of Benin Republic to offer courses in medicine or dentistry and that its certificates are therefore not recognized by the MDCN.
The Council stated that anyone with certificate from an unaccredited institution cannot practice medicine and dentistry in Nigeria.
It said registration and licensing are “not a right but a privilege solely reserved by MDCN, in accordance with the provision of the enabling Act, Cap M8 LFN 2010 (as amended).”
The statement also emphasised that the council would continue to ensure that only medical or dental graduates of approved institutions are registered and licensed to practice medicine and dentistry in Nigeria.
The council urged members of the public to visit its website, www.mdcn.gov.ng for medical and dental training and practice in Nigeria, to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous agents.
Responding to the statement, participants on the PenPushing social media platform said it was necessary for the council to take a further step by publishing details of approved institutions, in the interest of parents and their wards.
A participant, Bolu Olu-Esho, noted many institutions without approval to offer courses in medicine and dentistry have been running advertisements to lure students, without restraint by government.
‘If the council could go further and list the recognised public and private institutions recognized to offer the training, then parents would appreciate it”, another participant on the platform, Albert Ashipa, said.
Also speaking, Dele Odule noted that many students have fallen victims to the unaccredited institutions because of the “epileptic nature of our educational system and the desperation of average parents to send their children to higher institutions.”
“Imagine graduates of such institution coming back to Nigeria and being told they cannot practise. What follows is cry of unemployment. Parents, do your research”, Mr. Odule said.