The Senate Committee on Health on Tuesday commenced an investigative hearing regarding allegations levelled against the acting Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN, Tajudeen Sanusi.
The allegations against Mr. Sanusi ranged from extortion to massively failing Nigerian students who schooled abroad and recently sat for the MDCN examination.
Mr. Sanusi was earlier invited by the committee but failed to show up. His not answering phone calls put across to him further angered the members of the committee who took turns to scold him, stating that he had no respect for authorities.
In his defence, Mr. Sanusi apologised and claimed that he was not with his phone for two days, adding that by the time he got the letter of invitation, he had already concluded plans to travel out of town.
The Chairman of the committee, Lanre Tejuoso (APC, Ogun Central) explained that Mr. Sanusi was invited because of petitions from students and parents accusing him of incompetence as well as conducting exams for students under a non-conducive environment.
He was further accused of collecting N130,000 from each student for the exam, against the N75,000 charged last year; making inappropriate comments like: ‘After all they are children of privileged Nigerians’; failing over 423 out of the 696 students that sat for the examination; doctoring the results on the Council’s website and even ordering that the website be shut down.
Mr. Tejuoso also lamented the deplorable state of the school, adding that students and parents had complained of overcrowding; that is, assigning too many students to a ward.
When asked to respond to the allegations, Mr. Sanusi said he had not seen the petition as he “only read it online”.
He asked to be given time to study the petition and prepare himself to face the panel again.
Speaking on the MDCN’s plan for the ‘failed’ students, he said they will have to take another exam in April next year; a decision which the panel was not pleased about, stating that it was unfair to the students.
When asked how much was made by the council as well as how much is left in the council’s account, the Acting Registrar said the council made about N84 million and after paying N5 million to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), it has about N70 million. He said he would need to talk to the Accountant General for clarification.
Weeks ago, some doctors had questioned their poor exam results and described their failure as a ploy by the Acting Registrar to undermine foreign trained doctors.
They alleged that irregularities characterised the entire process of the examination from registration to the writing of the examination proper.
Some of the irregularities they alleged include: lack of coherent preparation for the students, no cohesive curriculum and marking scheme, high cost of verification and registration fees, among others.