(By Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis)
The Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, recently held its first annual alumni lecture and luncheon in honour of the 2012/2013 graduating students.
The lecture, held at the Old Great Hall of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), witnessed a massive turnout of Pharmacy students, as well as eminent pharmacists and professors in the country, including Prof. Fola Tayo, pro-chancellor & chairman of council, Caleb University;Pharm. Matthew Akinyemi, chief pharmacist of LUTH; Pharm. Wale Oyenuga, managing director of Cipla Evans; Pharm. Ade Popoola, managing director of Reals Pharmaceuticals; and Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria.
Dean of the faculty, Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, explained that the lecture was organised to bring prominent and successful alumni of the faculty together so they can share their wealth of wisdom and experience with staff and students.
“Lecturers are also chosen among the alumni who have repeatedly proven themselves with tremendous achievements at the highest levels in their respective fields,” she said. “In this way, both the students and faculty benefit, in terms of alumni support and overall exposure.”
Addressing the alumni, the dean noted that the faculty anticipated that they should be able to educate and encourage fresh Pharmacy graduates on opportunities and challenges that await them as professionals.
“As alumni, you must be ready to put back into the system that made you; to create a synergy between you, our students, the faculty and the university; embrace giving; in truth as men of honour, we join hands to make the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, a proud and excellent centre of reference,” she remarked.
Corroborating the dean’s assertions, Prof. Fola Tayo praised the resilience of the 2012/2013 graduating students, while equally affirming that things are no longer as rosy as they used to be in the health sector and in the nation, as a whole.
“Watching the drama performed by the students today made me weep inside,” he said.”It exposes the level of corruption in the society. Please, don’t join corrupt people in the health sector.”
Using his own experience over the years to challenge the participants, the professor, who retired as a don in the same Pharmacy faculty of UNILAG, declared that despite having worked in all the various aspects of Pharmacy, those who know him can readily vouch that he had never been fraudulent.
“For over 50 years, I insisted exclusively on doing the right thing. One thing you should know is that no amount of money will be enough for you. As you steal, you will definitely develop an appetite to steal more. But always remember the motto, ‘As men of honour…’” he stressed.
Guest speaker at the event, Pharm. Oyenuga, who delivered the lecture, “Successful Pharmacy Practice: Priming the New Graduates,” described the graduate pharmacist as a highly favoured professional, who already has greatness deposited in him.
According to him, the key to unlocking the inherent potential, while navigating the professional terrain, lies in continuous effort, not necessarily strength or intelligence. In his words, “choice, not chance determines success.”
L-R: Pharm. Ike Onyechi, managing director of Alpha Pharmacy; Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, a Fellow of the PSN; Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos; Prof. ‘Fola Tayo, pro-chancellor & chairman of council, Caleb University; and Pharm. Wale Oyenuga, managing director of Cipla Evans, cutting the alumni lecture cake.