Licensure To Practice In Nigeria


The Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap 221 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1990, (hereinafter referred to as “The Law”) states as follows:

“(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no medical practitioner or dental surgeon shall practice as a medical practitioner or dental surgeon as the case may be, in any year unless he had paid to the Council in respect of that year the appropriate practicing fee…”
“(3) The Council may, with the approval of the Minister from time to time, vary the practicing fees prescribed under subsection (1) of this section”.
“(5) Any medical practitioner or dental surgeon who in respect of any year and without paying the prescribed fee practices as such shall be guilty of an offence”.
It is thus obvious that registration of any practitioner in an appropriate category is NECESSARY, BUT NOT A SUFFICIENT CONDITION, for legal medical or dental practice in Nigeria.


Deriving from the foregoing sections and relying on other inherent powers conferred on it by the Law, the Council has set out the following guidelines on the implementation of the Law on medical and dental licensure:

1. Every registered medical practitioner or dental surgeon is required to pay the appropriate practicing fee to renew his license for the ensuing year before the 31st day of December of the current year.

2. A practitioner wishing to renew his license is required to obtain, complete properly and submit to the Council the application form for renewal of licenses.

3. With effect from January 1998, a doctor wishing to renew his practicing license shall be required to provide a satisfactory evidence of having participated in suitable continuing medical or dental education programme. The details of this requirement are contained in the Guidelines for Continuing Professional Education for Medical and Dental Practitioners in Nigeria.

4. A doctor who is aged 70 years and above shall pay a practicing fee amounting to 25% of the fee payable by a doctor of more than ten years post-qualification experience.

5. A registered medical practitioner or dental surgeon who has failed to pay the practicing fee for any year shall not be included in the published Register of Medical and Dental Practitioners for that year.

6. A practitioner who fails to pay his practicing fee within the stipulated period shall be required to pay a 100 % surcharge on the fees, without prejudice to any other sanctions prescribed for such default m the Law A doctor who has defaulted for more than two years may in addition be requested to pay a default penalty.

7. A practitioner who has failed to pay his practicing fee for any year shall not practice medicine or dentistry anywhere in Nigeria.

8. A practitioner who is in default of the payment of practicing fee for any year shall be deemed not to be in good standing and in the event of his needing any certification or reference from the Council, he must in the first place restore himself to good standing by clearing all his outstanding indebtedness.

9. A practitioner who is in default in the payment of his practicing fees shall not be entitled to any privileges due to a registered and licensed medical practitioner or dental surgeon, the status of his registration notwithstanding.

10. Any employer who engages the services of an unlicensed Doctor is liable in law for criminal breach of the law and may be prosecuted. To this end, it is the responsibility of every employer of Medical Practitioner or Dental Surgeons to ascertain and ensure that the person s they employ are registered and licensed by the Council, whether they are Nigerians or Non-Nigerians, and in whatever place of employment within the territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

11. A licensed practitioner is by that fact a full fledged member of the Nigeria Medical Association and is expected to participate actively in the activities of that Association in the best interest of the profession.

12. A practitioner who has paid for his annual license is expected to make necessary effort to collect his license either from the offices of the Council or from the State Offices of the Nigerian Medical Association and other recognized associations of medical doctors and dental surgeons.