Commissioner for health in Ogun State Tomi Coker and her predecessor Babatunde Ipaye have clashed over the accreditation of the schools of nursing and midwifery.
Coker had announced on Wednesday at a press conference in Abeokuta that the accreditation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) also came with an upgrade of the schools of nursing and midwifery to collegiate.
Ogun has at least nine schools of nursing and midwifery.
She said, “The last accreditation team was in Ogun State in 2017 wherein we got provisional accreditation, which had been the trend in the history of our Schools of Nursing and Midwifery.
“The two-year expiration for all the schools was in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, made it impossible for the NMCN accreditation exercise in 2020. Hence, the exercise took place in July 2021. I am therefore delighted to inform you that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria has given full accreditation to all Schools of Nursing and Midwifery for the first time in the 45 years history of Ogun State.”
However, Mr Ipaye released a statement saying the schools had already been accredited.
Mr Ipaye, who was the commissioner for health during the administration of Ibikunle Amosun, said five schools of nursing and midwifery in the state got accreditation on July 10, 2017, after a delegation of the Nursing Council of Nigeria visited them.
“Prior to this, the three schools of nursing had been shut down and were under lock and therefore had not trained nurses for years,” he said.
“After the visitation, the accreditation team described the School of Midwifery Abeokuta as the best and most equipped in Nigeria.”
Mr Ipaye also added that the bill to convert the schools to colleges of nursing was passed by the seventh Assembly of Ogun State, and was signed into law in 2017 prior to the accreditation visit by the nursing council.
“The Honourable Commissioner that declared arrogantly that the schools had existed for 45 years without full accreditation should make public the bill that converts these schools to degree-awarding institutions,” he said.
The website of the School of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria said two of the nine nursing and midwifery schools in Ogun State – Department of Nursing Science, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, and School of Psychiatric Nursing, Aro, Abeokuta – got full accreditation in November 2017 and January 2018 respectively.