Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Pharm. Elijah Mohammed, and other notable personalities in the society, including the vice-chancelor, University of Ibadan (UI) , Prof. Abel Idowu Olayinka; Prof. Oluwatoyin Odeku, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, UI; Pharm. (Alh) Ahmed Yakasai, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), and Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, chief executive officer, and founder, Drugfield Pharmaceuticals, have urged young pharmacists in the country to avoid putting monetary gain above the profession, saying a call to pharmacy profession is a call to service.
The dignitaries spoke at the recent induction and oath-taking ceremony for 55 graduands of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
In his remarks, PCN registrar, Pharm. Mohammed, charged the newly robed pharmacists to distinguish themselves from those who had gate-crashed their way into the profession and ensure they put Pharmacy first in whatever they do.
The PCN boss congratulated parents of the graduands for encouraging them to complete the first phase of pharmacy training, saying that the second phase entails undergoing a mandatory one-year internship training programme under the supervision of a registered pharmacist at an accredited internship training facility.
“Those of you who have resolved not to do your internship anywhere else, except government-owned parastatals, are only wasting your time. You are in this profession because you have answered a divine call to service, so it is better you desist from putting monetary gain above professional service,” Mohammed stated.
He further urged the graduands to get acquainted with the code of ethics of Pharmacy, adding that strict compliance with the code is very important for anyone who wants to practice successfully in the country.
“There should be a difference between you and the charlatans out there and this is the only way the society can benefit from our services,” Mohammed counselled.
Stressing that the intruders’ primary concern is making money at all cost, Mohammed noted that this was the precursor of fake drugs in Nigeria.
He further warned: “As young professionals, please ensure you do the right thing always, because if you are caught in a desperate attempt to use your licence in unethical practice, you will be in trouble.”
In his address, the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Abel Olayinka, charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution, adding that they should be found worthy in character and in the discharge of their responsibilities.
He noted that in the history of the faculty, over 850 pharmacists had graduated and had started contributing in several ways to the development of pharmacy practice in particular and Nigeria as a whole, adding that pharmacy practice is an integral part of healthcare and cannot be substituted in the healthcare sector.
The university don, while congratulating the faculty on the recent accreditation of pharmacy programme in the university by the PCN, said his administration would continue its strive for development in the institution and ensure that the status of the university remains the first in the country.
Presenting the 55 graduands for the oath-taking and induction ceremony, the dean of the faculty, Prof. Oluwatoyin Odeku, who disclosed that the induction was the first to be conducted by her since her assumption of office as dean, urged the graduands to continue to uplift the banner of the university wherever they found themselves.
She further implored them to always be professional in their conducts, beginning with their internship, adding that they should not be money conscious, but rather possess the zeal to save lives and satisfy the professional ethics of Pharmacy.
While administering the oath, PCN registrar, Pharm. Mohammed, urged the newly inducted pharmacists to abide by the ethics of the profession. He also advised them to develop leadership and interpersonal relationship skills, which he said were vital in pharmacy practice.
While delivering the keynote address, Pharm. Olakunle Ekundayo, explained that Pharmacy is more than just a profession, describing it as a calling and occupation that opens the way to several career opportunities for people to excel in life and fulfil their God-given purposes.
The industrial pharmacist, who spoke on the topic, “It Is Written”, further admonished the graduands to be ready to position themselves for leadership roles, adding that whatever happens to them in life can be determined by them as nobody would be responsible for their life careers.
Speaking further, the respected pharmacist listed several areas of practice in pharmacy where the graduands can practice, which included, academic pharmacy; community practice pharmacy; chain drug store pharmacy; hospital practice pharmacy; industrial based pharmacy; police and military pharmacy; managed care pharmacy; regulatory affairs pharmacy; government practice pharmacy; research and development pharmacy among others.
Congratulating the graduating students, Pharm. Ahmed Yakasai, president, PSN, who was represented by Pharm. Abiodun Ajibade, chairman, PSN, Oyo State, explained that aside from the induction which is marking the end of the graduands’ sojourn in the university, it also marks the beginning of their career in pharmacy profession.
The number one pharmacist in the country however appealed to them to ensure they keep the pharmacy flag flying wherever they go, adding that the academic excellence they recorded in pharmacy school will not be a determinant of a successful career in real life, but rather their zeal and hunger to succeed at all cost.
The high point of the event was the award of the much-coveted prize for the best graduating student, which was won by Adenike Rachael Adelakun.
In all, 15 graduands came out with first class honours and were featured on the ‘Roll of Honour’. They included, Adenike Rachael Adelakun, with a CGPA of 6.8, out of 7; Chibuzor Maureen Okoro, 6.8; Funmilayo Mosadijeofa Owolowo, 6.7; Rukayat Ohuene Audu, 6.7; Yemisi Mary Oyetunde, 6.6; Abosede Akinkuowo, 6.5; Blaise Omo-Sowho Uvie, 6.5; Anuoluwapo Esther Odunsanya, 6.5; Tolulope Stephen Babalola, 6.2; Adeola Tunmike Omotuyi, 6.2; Jeremiah Adewuyi Alade, 6.1; Shukuralilahi Abidemi Adewusui, 6.0; Emmanuel Ayodeji Agbebi, 6.0; Joshua Tosin Salako, 6.0; Dolapo Asisat Sanusi, 6.0.
Other dignitaries at the event included Prof. Emilolorun A Ayelari, deputy vice-chancellor, Administration; Pharm. Lanre Tiamiyu, president, Pharmacy Alumni, University of Ibadan; Pharm. Yejide Oseni, zonal director, PCN, South West Zone; Prof. Olabode Popoola, vice-chancellor, University of Osun State (UNIOSUN), and Pharm. (Dr) Lolu Ojo, former national chairman, NAIP, among others.