Veterinary council seeks urgent restoration of govt. funding

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By Felicia Imohimi

The Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN) has appealed to the Federal Government to urgently reverse the removal of the council from government funding for effective and efficient veterinary practice regulation.

VCN Vice-President, Prof. Matthew Adamu, who made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said the reversal would boost operational efficiency of the council.

Adamu said that VCN was not a revenue generating agency rather a council saddled with the responsibility of coordinating and overseeing the training and practice of the veterinary profession for the well-being of humans.

He said that the removal of VCN from government funding in 2023 based on implementation of the 2022 Oronsaye’s committee report was impacting negatively on the council’s regulatory mandate with regard to wholesome practices.

NAN reports that Steve Oronsaye panel on the restructuring and rationalisation of federal agencies, parastatals and commission recommended the merging, subsuming and scrapping of agencies with similar functions.

The don said that staff members of the council were currently passing through hardship as they had yet to receive their salaries from January to date due to lack of personnel overhead cost and capital funding.

“Government has been the major funder of the council; unfortunately, last year, government, through Oronsaye’s Committee report, decided to take away VCN from budgetary funding including personnel overhead cost and capital funding.

“VCN is the oldest regulatory professional body in the country saddled with the responsibility of training and practice of veterinary medicine in the country.

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“VCN is the oldest regulatory professional body in the country saddled with the responsibility of training and practice of veterinary medicine in the country.

“Its responsibility of training veterinary medicine in the 11 accredited veterinary schools in Nigeria and the practice of veterinary medicine across the 36 states and FCT is suffering because of lack of funding.

“We appeal to government to quickly bring back council to government funding so that we will be able to live safely and healthy without having diseases that will affect our animals and equally get to human population.’’

Adamu said the implication of the council’s removal from the Federal Government budget was that it would affect the profession, affect human health and the environment as a whole.

The vice-president, who identified veterinarians as essential health workers, said issues concerning the council’s should be prioritised in order to guide against exposing the populace to infectious diseases.

The academic said that VCN was supposed to regulate abattoirs operation across the country.

He, however, regretted that the council staff members were unable to carry out such responsibility at the moment due to paucity or lack of government funding.

According to him, the implication of non-regulation of abattoirs and other veterinary premises is that if a diseased animal is slaughtered the health and well-being of human will be jeopardised.

Adamu said that 80 per cent to 90 per cent of diseases affecting human emanated from animals.

“If the country is able to take care of animal health effectively humans will live healthy and safe.

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“Government should revisit VCN’s removal from budgetary funding and reverse it as was done to Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) and other regulatory bodies.

“The reversal will do a lot of good to the nation in terms of public health.

“Most diseases affecting a human, that is, 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the epidemics the world has suffered in the past 40 years are from animals and if we are able to take care of animals problem human lives will be saved.

According to him, ‘One health’ is practiced globally at the moment and the principle is human, animal medicine and environment interaction because diseases do not operate in a vacuum; it is an interaction between the three.

“Therefore, if government decides not to fund the council and we run into problem in regulating veterinary medicine practice, we are bound to run into serious challenge as a nation, ” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

FUA/CJ/

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Edited by Chijioke Okoronkwo

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