The Federal Ministry of Health said Nigeria could face shortage in health workers by 2030, when it would need some 149,852 doctors and 471,353 nurses.
In a speech marking the International Day of Midwives, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole cited a 2016 scientific modelling projecting estimates of health workers.
At the current growth rate of doctors and nurses, by 2030, only 99,120 doctors and 333,494 nurses would be available, the projection shows.
"This implies a shortage of about 50,120 doctors and 137,859 nurses. This translates to 33.45% gap in doctors' supply and 29.25% gap in nurses' supply," Adewole said.
"This shortfall will make the country health system vulnerable if there is no urgent and concrete plan to address the situation."
Against the World Health Organisation's ratio of 2.3 health workers per 1,000 population, it is estimated Nigeria had a shortage of 40,000 health workers in 2006.
Adewole said recent figures suggest the shortage has more than tripled to 144,000, making it the seventh highest shortage among 57 countries facing critical shortage of workers.