By Chris Chimezie
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has assured that he will not retrench any civil servant in the state despite the economic downturn.
Akeredolu made this known during a courtesy visit by the Veterinary Council of Nigeria (VCN), as part of activities marking the Council’s 2017 Continuing Education Seminar programme in Akure.
He said there was presently a shortage of manpower in all sectors in the state, hence, the decision to keep all staff at their work.
The governor attributed shortage of Veterinary Doctors in the state to shortage of funds and bureaucratic bottlenecks.
While stressing the importance of veterinary doctors in the society particularly towards livestock keeping, Akeredolu promised to employ more as soon as the state becomes buoyant economically.
“As soon as we get over our perennial financial problems, we will make efforts to employ more Veterinary Doctors into the state civil service,” he said.
Earlier, the leader of the team and former President of the Council, Prof Gabriel Ogundipe commended the state government for its concern for the health of the people of the state by constructing a Semi Automated Modern Abattoir.
He said the Council decided to come to Ondo State in order to show people the example of a good Modern Abattoir .
Ogundipe observed that more than 70% of all infectious disease that affects man, comes from animals and advised that adequate treatment be given to them in order to prevent diseases from being transmitted from animals to man.
He explained that Veterinary Doctors are those that deal with all animals, dead or alive, living in the land or in the sea.
“We treat them when they are sick and examine them before consumption”, he said.
The team leader hinted that the continuous education which the Council organizes every year is to improve knowledge and skills of practicing Veterinarians nationwide as well as acquaint them with quality control system.
Ogundipe who is also the Chairman of the Continuous Education programme, said the theme of the exercise is “Sustainable Veterinary Control System For Livestock and Livestock Products in Nigeria”.
“We decided on this theme because Nigeria as a country, have realized that there is a limit to what Petroleum can do. We have enjoyed it. It had sustained the country for long. The product does not have the attention it had before, alternatives are being found and we are getting to a point where we need to diversify.
“Manufacturing companies have flooded the market, producing cars that are not using petrol, thereby reducing the value of the product”, he explained.
The main focus of diversification, according to him is agriculture and called for the improvement of the sector which also involved animal agriculture and can only be successful, if the quality control system is strong and effective.
Ogundipe who lamented that Ondo State has only nine Veterinary Doctors and eight Health Superintendents, stated that it would be difficult for them to cope, treating animals at the clinics as well as attending inspection meetings in local governments.
“We want to strengthen Veterinary services so that it can perform its role creditably well in Ondo State. The Governor should help us improve the employment situation of Veterinary Doctors in the state”, he appealed.