THE NMA BUILDING LEVY?
[A Numbered Article For Easy Understanding]
The NMA recently set the deadline for the NMA building levy payment at 31st July, 2020 with a considerable amount of threats that are intricately tied to the licensing body of medical practice in Nigeria – MDCN.
NMA @nmanigeria with the full support of the MDCN (who, unfortunately, does not run an official Twitter account) agreed in December, 2018 to impose on ALL Nigerian medical doctors a building levy for of N20,000 or N40,000 depending on the years of practice.
The levy was said to be for the quick erection of a building on the much contested-at-court land given to NMA by the government.
So doctors who are less than 10 years in practice are to pay N20,000 and those 10 years or more, N40,000 only.
This is aside from the N24,000.00 only paid annually by every Nigerian doctor as NMA dues.
All of which embellish the huge percentage (70%) of the annual practicing licence fee paid to NMA by the MDCN.
Indeed, because MDCN and NMA are two separate bodies set up under two separate constitutional acts, they have no relationship.
The MDCN is a regulatory body established by the Government while NMA is a welfare organisation with a largely voluntary membership.
It is therefore concerning that the NMA decided to tie the payment of something as secondary as an “NMA building to the ticket to medical practice that is the licence.
This you would see in the screenshot below.
Well, in clearer terms this would mean that if you haven’t paid for the NMA building levy then you are not licensed to practice medicine in Nigeria.
Therefore the healthcare of the Nigerian populace depends on the ability of the Nigerian doctors to spare 20K/ 40k.
Considering the number of registered medical doctors in Nigeria (around 74,000) and assuming each of them paid an average of N30,000 only, The NMA should have at least 2 billion Naira in the NMA Levy coffers – more than enough to start any building’s foundation.
Yet, we do not have any categorical information on the state of the building for which we are taxed.
We do not also know how long the NMA would continue to levy medical doctors in Nigeria.
We do not know how long Nigerian doctors would continue to be threatened.
Need I say, the NMA is an organisation formed in order to cater to the welfare of Nigerian doctors and to an extent the health of the Nigerian populace.
And if among the much more debilitating issues the Nigerian doctors and health sector in general face every day including inadequate funding of the health sector, enormous brain drain, poor infrastructure, difficulty in getting internship and residency placements etc., the NMA considers a building pressing enough to tamper with the practice of Nigerian doctors, then there’s a problem.
I think it’s only fair that the NMA tells her members, in the 18 months of the levying, how much has been realized; how far our problems have been solved etc., rather than keep demanding more and more money from underpaid doctors with a gun to their heads!