There are revelations that a certain recruitment company called NES Health Care was behind the attempt to fly 58 Nigerian doctors stopped from going to the UK.
Yesterday, the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, disclosed that it stopped 58 Nigerian doctors from leaving the country to the UK in a chartered flight after they could not provide valid visas.
The recruitment company promised the doctors that they will earn between £51,384 (N25.1m) and £98,112 (N47.9m) per year depending on the experience they have.
This earnings were apart from the special allowances and other perks such as free meals they were expected to get on the job.
This is according to the advertorial by NES Health Care, a UK-based firm that helps over 150 private hospitals to recruit doctors from all over the world.
The advertorial reads in part, “Are you a doctor with ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and anaesthesia experience, looking for a better work/life balance? At NES Healthcare we can offer you this with one of our ICU RMO positions.
“You will be working in a private Hospital group, and we have various locations around the UK. The rotation is one week on duty then one week off + accommodation and meals are provided free of charge during your on duty week.
“To apply you will need a minimum of three years post-graduate experience and have 18+ months of ICU and Anaesthesia experience. Salary is from £51,384 to £98,112 dependent on experience. Contract is for a minimum of one year. You will need to hold full GMC Registration with a licence to practice, or be eligible to apply.”
The firm states that its aim is to successfully address the acute shortage of doctors in the UK and to do so in a way that simultaneously reduces overall expenditure.
It is not clear if the company is really genuine and why it tried to fly doctors out of the country without valid visas.
According to a statement by Sunday James, NIS Public Relations Officer, in a statement on Friday said 56 of the doctors had no visa for entry into the United Kingdom.
“The 58 medical doctors were refused departure in line with Section 31 subsection 2a and b, on powers conferred on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service by the Immigration Act 2015, to prohibit departure of any person under the conditions stated in the Act.
“The chartered flight approved for landing in Nigeria was to carry 42 medical doctors for a training program but they were 58 with only two having visa for entry into UK, a situation that calls for refusal of departure.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service as the agency saddled with control of entry and departure from Nigeria of persons will not allow individuals or groups of well-educated Nigerians who should know the procedures for travelling out of their country and the requirements, which include having a valid visa for entry into a destination country to leave.
“This is to avoid refusal of entry and repatriation back to Nigeria amidst COVID-19 pandemic and spreading of same as well as flouting the Federal Government’s directive on restriction of international flights unless for essential reason as approved by government.
“There is no official communication to the Service from the Ministry of Health in Nigeria or any known medical body notifying the NIS of the travel of this number of medical doctors. The aircraft has departed for London without the medical doctors.
“The Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, is taking this opportunity to advise Nigerians to always adhere to travel protocols and ensure they have valid passports with valid visa to the country they intended travelling to before going to any airport, seaport or land border control to avoid refusal to depart.”