Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has restated its resolve to begin a nationwide strike from today over the refusal of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to withdraw its circular demanding that clinical lecturers in medical schools must possess a PhD degree as a prerequisite for career progression.
Addressing a press conference in Jos, the Plateau State capital, yesterday, the consultants who had given an ultimatum to NUC since January to withdraw the circular, said there was no going back on the strike, which will involve total withdrawal from teaching undergraduate medical students. It, however, added that it will continue to attend to patients in the hospitals.
President of MDCAN, Professor Kenneth Ozoilo, said: “We are deeply appalled by the fact that the NUC, through no less a personality than its Executive Secretary (ES), would stoop so low as to resort to lies and outright falsehood to advance its vested position. Referring to a media publication in which NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, was quoted as saying that the circular never prescribed PhD as a requirement for them (clinical lecturers) to teach in the colleges of medicine, Ozoilo said, “This is a distortion of the contents of the circular.”
He added that the claim by the NUC executive secretary that the circular only said that PhD is desirable but not necessary for progression in medical education “is an outright lie.” Ozoilo said: “Page 1 paragraph two line five of the NUC circular NUC/ES/138/VOL.63/52 of December 24, 2019 explicitly stated that the PhD is for career progression, especially for those in the academia. The implication of this is that those who wish to lecture must acquire a PhD to be able to advance in the system where heretofore, they did not.