The Oyo State government, the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACPN, and the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, are currently at loggerheads over who controls veterinary clinics and drugs in the State.
The pharmacists are arguing that drugs are under exclusive list.
They explained that all forms of drugs can only be regulated by the federal government through the National Assembly legislation.
But, the State government is claiming that it has the right to regulate the sale of animal drugs and veterinary clinics in line with the recently passed law in the State.
DAILY POST gathered that Oyo State House of Assembly had earlier passed Oyo State Veterinary Practice Premises Registration Regulation Bill 2018 into law.
Our correspondent learnt that the law was passed in order to regulate the sale, storage and dispensing of animal drugs and veterinary clinics in the State.
The State government, in line with the provisions of the law, on Monday, 28th August, 2023, sealed FinRel Pharmacy Supermarket and Bakery located at Olorunsogo area in Ibadan, the State capital.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye in a statement made available to DAILY POST said that the pharmacy was operating an illegal veterinary pharmacy and engaging in veterinary clinical services without proper registration with the State government.
Olaleye claimed that the pharmacy did not comply with the provisions of the law.
Pharmacists in the State are not happy with the development. They noted that the State government does not have any right to regulate drugs in the state.
It is in contravention to NASS legislation – Pharmacists
The Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria, ACP, in its response, declared the passage of the Veterinary Practice Premises Registration Regulation bill into law by the Oyo State House as a contravention to the National Assembly legislation.
The association described the law passed as an affront to the federal government’s exclusive power.
ACPN Chairman in Oyo State, Pharmacist Adebayo Gbadamosi made this declaration while addressing a press conference in Ibadan, the State capital, on Friday.
Gbadamosi insisted that some sections of the law passed by the House of Assembly are an affront to the federal government’s exclusive power on drugs.
Gbadamosi, while describing the action of the ministry as illegal, explained that only the federal government through the National Assembly has power to legislate and determine who sells drugs, be it for human beings or animals.
Gbadamosi called on the police and other security agencies in the State not to allow the ministry to use them to promote illegality.
He maintained that sealing and harassment of members of the association by the ministry of agriculture and rural development could lead to a crisis in the State.
Gbadamosi called on the State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde to intervene on the matter.
“Gentlemen of the press, it has become imperative that the Association of Community Pharmacist of Nigeria, ACPN, a technical arm of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, PSN, addresses the general public on the unfortunate actions of the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, VCN, through the officials of Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the past few months on the members of ACPN using a law passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly without due process of proper public hearing and inputs from various sectors of the State that the law would ultimately affect.
“Some sections of this law passed by the Oyo State House of Assembly are an affront to the National Assembly legislation which cannot be subsumed under the Oyo State House of Assembly legislation.
“Drug matters just like national security are under the federal government’s exclusive legislation and this includes both human and animal medicines.
“It is only the National Assembly that has the right to legislate on such matters and where any state dabbles into it, the outcome if contrary to the National Assembly’s position, the provision of the National Assembly naturally supersedes. The State’s House of Assembly has power to legislate on matters on concurrent legislative lists, but in this case not drugs.
We will not allow anyone to put citizens’ health in danger- Oyo government
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has vowed to continue with the enforcement of the law.
It condemned the action of the owner of the pharmacy, who allegedly broke the seal on his business premises, after he was found guilty of violating the veterinary premises law.
Commissioners of Information and Orientation, Prince Dotun Oyelade and his counterpart from Agriculture and Rural Development, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye made these declarations in a statement jointly signed and made available to DAILY POST.
The duo said that appropriate legal actions will be taken against the management of the pharmacy.
They added that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s action was premised on its efforts to curtail any outbreak of animal to human disease (zoonotic).
“The present government in the State would not allow any person or group of persons’ selfish interest and unprofessional acts to put the health of the general public at risk.
“The officers from the Ministry were denied access to the FinRel Pharmacy vaccine storage. FinRel Pharmacy did not register as a veterinary pharmacy as captured by the Oyo State Veterinary Premises Law, 2017 and has not equally registered as Veterinary clinic as required by section 3, subsections 1 of the Private Veterinary Premises and Veterinary Establishment law of Oyo State, 2017.
“The FinRel Pharmacy Manager, named Pharmacist Rachel, confirmed that they sell, treat and administer vaccines on animals at the Pharmacy. The officers were equally denied access to the pharmacy veterinary logbook that is expected to contain all the veterinary activities of the pharmacy.
“Sequel to the above, FinRel Pharmacy Veterinary Doctor was invited for investigation by the Oyo State Committee on Regulations of Veterinary Premises and Veterinary Establishment on 16th of August, 2023 at the office of the Director, Veterinary Services of the Ministry.
“During the investigation, the FinRel Pharmacy Veterinary Doctor, Dr. Ayorinde Benjamin with VC RG No 10257 agreed that he was still in the employment of FinRel Pharmacy and that he was the same person in the said viral video treating Dog at FinRel barbecue spot, which is a public health risk to the people of the State. The said Dr. Ayorinde however, apologised for his unethical and unprofessional conduct, saying it was at the directive of his employer,” the statement read.
We don’t subject professional matters to media trial- Veterinary doctors
Meanwhile, Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association, NVMA, has said that it does not subject issues related to professional matters to media trials.
General Secretary of the association in Oyo State, Temidayo Bakare stated this during an engagement with DAILY POST.
Bakare in a short reaction sent to DAILY POST, insisted that getting the association’s reaction was not needed.
He maintained that there are regulatory bodies to handle the matter.
Bakare said, “Getting my reaction to the matter is not needed at this point.
“The regulatory authorities are working. It is better we allow them to do their job.
“If you are interested in having copies of the laws regulating Veterinary Practice in Oyo and the entire country, I can share that with you. You will find them useful.
“As professionals, we don’t subject issues pertaining to professional matters to media trials. We have regulatory bodies saddled with that responsibility. Let’s allow them to do their job.”