Olaopa advocates better funding for pharmacy schools
– Lauds OAU Pharmacy Faculty at 50
(By Adebayo Oladejo)
The Group Managing Director of Evans Medical Plc. and Chairman, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN),Chief Bunmi Olaopa, has said that for schools of pharmacy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole to effectively fulfil their mandates and compete favourably with others schools of pharmacy in the world, there is need for them to be adequately funded.
Olaopa who disclosed this while delivering the keynote address at the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, held from 27 February to 2 March, however lamented thatthe allocations and grants given to the schools were dwindling daily, prompting the need to devise alternative means of getting the much needed resources.
The PMG-MAN boss stated that a good example of such alternative avenues is the establishment an endowment fund for the schools, coordinated by a Board of Trustees as well as management company which will be responsible for growing the fund by investing it. He added that many great institutions globally thrive through such initiatives.
“For example, the Harvard University Endowment Fund was valued at 30.7 billion dollar for the fiscal year that ended 30 June 2012. The fund is managed by Jane Mendillo, president and chief executive officer of Harvard Management Company,” he said.
Also in his address, Olaopa stated that there was a compelling need to bridge the gap between the schools of pharmacy and the pharmacy profession, adding that all stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector must collaborate to make this a reality.
He also bemoaned the scarcity of pharmacists in the industrial sector, noting that the trend could have negative impact on the pharmaceutical profession in the nearest future. “The implication is that non-pharmacists are likely to move in and become ‘experts’ in critical areas of manufacturing to the detriment of the profession in the immediate future,” he said.
While paying tributes to OAU pharmacy school at 50, Olaopa said Nigeria was indebted to the faculty for producing so many illustrious alumni and patriots who had contributed to the nation in various capacities. According to Olaopa, such alumni include: Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, former minister of health; Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, former chairman, Economic Summit Group and retired chief executive officer, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc; Sir Ifeanyi Atueyi, publisher, Pharmanews; Prof. (Mrs) Mbang Femi-Oyewo, pioneer dean, OlabisiOnabanjo University; Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, vice-chancellor, Enugu State University; Dr. Joseph Odumodu, director general, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON); Prof. Kolawole Timothy Jaiyeoba, vice chancellor, Bishop Ajayi Crowther University; Lady Eme Ufot Ekaette, former senator, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and Mallam Sam Nda-Isaiah, publisher, Leadership newspapers, among others.
“It is an undeniable fact that of the 16, 835 Registered Pharmacists that we have in Nigeria as at October 2013, according to the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), many of them were trained at OAU, while many more were trained by those trained in Ife, so it is joyful to testify that graduate pharmacists from OAU have been delivering quality pharmaceutical and healthcare services to the people of Nigeria and beyond” Olaopa disclosed.