Dr Paul John ,,08083658038,Port Harcourt


S4(1) of the Nigerian constitution as amended vests the legislative powers of the federation on the National Assembly, which constitutes the House of the Senate and the House of Representatives . Subsections 2 through 4 of the above mentioned section of the Nigerian constitution statutorily empowers the National Assembly to make laws for peace, order and good governance of the federation. One important question is, do our federal legislators understand the laws they make for the health sector .This is importance because in Latin we say,  Nemo quod dat non-habet, which means when translated ,one cannot give what one does not have . In sane climes the lawmakers are people that have either distinguished themselves or versed in a particular area of life hence they are knowledgeable of the laws they make but in Nigeria our lawmakers are those who can outsmart their opponents in an election. It is still fresh in our memory how senator Orji Uzor Kalu asked Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad during the latter’s screening at the National Assembly how the Judiciary should be bringing laws for the National Assembly to enact . It is clear that such senator does not know sources of law and the concept of case laws and judicial precedents . He is ignorant of the meaning of written and unwritten laws .

Former Nigerian CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad

First, I want to specially thank Hon. Nkem Abonta who not only opposed the proposed bill but also described it as offensive during the House plenary. It may interest Honourable Johnson and his fellow lawmakers to know that brain drain is not only restricted to medical doctors as the banking sector seems to be the worst hit by this ‘tsunami’ because most of their software engineers and other relevant workers have since emigrated out of this country hence the present ‘network’ issues and poor services in our banks today. In view of this, I will encourage Johnson and his fellow lawmakers to sponsor more bills to stop other Nigerian professionals from leaving the country until after five years and another bill that will stop our public servants or political office holders from travelling abroad for medical tourism. Is it not an affront to the good people of Nigeria for a Nigerian federal minister of education to have all his/her children schooling abroad?

Nigeria’s National Assembly

I want to first remind the House of Representatives that Section 1(3) of the Nigerian constitution, as amended, is clear on the supremacy of the Nigerian constitution and must always prevail when it clashes with any othe law .It states that If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this (Nigerian )Constitution, this (Nigerian ) Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. Having laid the foundation for the supremacy of the Nigerian Constitution over other laws in Nigeria, let us quickly go to S.34 of the Nigerian Constitution, which talks about the right to dignity in human person. S 34(1b) states that no person shall he held in slavery or servitude while S 34 (1c) states that no person shall be required to perform forced of compulsory labour. The next question is what is a forced labour? Forced labour occurs when individuals are compelled against their will to provide work or service through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. I want to quickly remind Johnson and his colleagues that S.34(2)  of the Nigerian constitution does not include medical doctors as part of the people that will be exempted from S34(1) of the constitution .


The Labour Act, enacted by the Nigerian National Assembly, is clear on how to terminate a contract of employment as contained in Section 11 of the Labour Act . It should be noted here that this section 11 of the Labour Act is in line with section 34  of the Nigerian constitution . Section 11(1) of the Labour Act states that either party to a contract of employment may terminate the contract on the expiration of notice given by him to the other party of his intention to do so. Section 11(2 & 3) of the Labour Act goes further to state how such termination of contract of Labour will be executed. This is because there are factors that determine the efficiency of supply of Labour, one of the factors is the state of mind of the employee. No employee will be efficient in a work place he is no interested in and there is no law that can stop that.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives


Honourable Johnson goofed in this area as it is clear that he does not know how medical doctors are trained in Nigeria. The responsibility of paying for UTME registration is on the prospective medical students and the same thing applies to their registrations for O’ level examinations. It is the students that pay their university tuition fees, hostel fees, buy their textbooks and other learning materials. The medical students feed themselves and cater for other sundry expenses during their undergraduate medical training, so where comes the so-called tax-payers’ money mentioned by Honourable Johnson in his argument as each doctor pays a certain fee to the federal government establishment (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria ) yearly in the name of Annual Practising Licence .

The Nigerian constitute must be supreme and its provisions must have binding forces over all persons and authority with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Section 42(1a)  of the Nigerian constitution states that a citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

  • be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject . In view of this , Nigerian citizens from the medical community should not be made to serve the country for five years after the compulsory one year National Youth service for no other reason other than they are from the medical community .


The first question is what causes the brain drain? It is disheartening that a medical doctor after practising in Nigeria for more than ten will still remain as a tenant and cannot even buy a car of his choice or take up his immediate family financial responsibility .Sequel to this; we want Johnson and his colleagues to start sponsoring the following bills:

  1. A bill to reduce the monthly salaries of our Federal lawmakers and the proceeds from such exercise will be added to the salaries of all healthcare workers in the country.
  2. A bill to reduce the monthly and yearly allowances of our federal lawmakers and the proceeds will be used for the welfare of the Nigerian citizens in line with Section 14(2b) of the Nigerian constitution.
  3. A bill to reduce the sitting allowances of our federal lawmakers so that the proceeds from such exercise will be used to buy medical equipment for our public hospitals.
  4.  A bill to compel  banks to give loans of up to 100 million naira or more to any medical doctor where the only collateral will be the medical certificate and the doctor’s National ID card ,Driver’s licence, or International Passport
  5. A bill for compulsory car and house loans to medical doctors immediately after graduation because any doctor that is repaying loans will not think of travelling out of the country


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