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DSS denies pursuing doctors who want to escape to Saudi Arabia



The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied reports in the media that it dispersed a long line of doctors in Abuja who were at the Sheraton Hotels to present their credentials to a Saudi Arabia recruitment panel.

Hundreds of Nigerian doctors have converged at designated spots in Abuja and Lagos in the past week, to submit their resumes to a team of Saudi Arabia recruiters, as poor working conditions, strike actions, and irregular pay forces Nigeria’s highly skilled health professionals to seek greener pastures abroad.

On Friday, August 27, a couple of media platforms reported that DSS operatives stormed the Sheraton Hotels venue of the Abuja recruitment exercise to disperse the doctors.

However, DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, says the reports are a tissue of lies.

DSS denies pursuing doctors who want to escape to Saudi Arabia

DSS denies pursuing doctors who want to escape to Saudi Arabia

His statement reads as follows: “The attention of the Department of State Services has once again been drawn to a falsehood being circulated in the media that it dispersed doctors attending a Saudi Arabia organised job interview at the Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, yesterday 26th August, 2021.

“Though this is illogical and does not add up, sections of the media that reported it did not care to verify the news before going to print. No further evidence was also adduced to prove that the DSS carried out such operation at the hotel.

“It is obvious that the news is only designed to embarrass the organisation.

“Journalists and other media practitioners are enjoined to cross check their facts and ensure that they do not use their platforms to mislead the public or undermine national security.”

In a recent televised interview, Labour Minister Chris Ngige who is a medical doctor himself said there is nothing wrong with Nigerian doctors abandoning their nation and fleeing to better run countries.

“We have surplus in the medical profession here. It’s my area. Who says we don’t have enough doctors in Nigeria? We have more than enough. Quote me. There is nothing wrong with our doctors leaving.

“They go out, sharpen their skills, they earn money and send them back home here. We have foreign exchange earnings from them–not from oil,” Ngige said.

The minister added that if there is nothing wrong with Indians and Pakistanis coming to Nigeria to teach, no one should criticize the federal government if Nigerian doctors emigrate abroad.

“Indians taught me,” Ngige added for emphasis.


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