Eminent pharmacist and Chairman of Board of Trustees of the Professional Excellence Foundation of Nigeria (PEFON), Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, has decried the proliferation of charlatans posing as professionals in the Nigerian society.
Speaking on the theme “The Need to Renew Spirit of Professionalism in the Professional Class” at a luncheon lecture organised by PEFON, Adelusi-Adeluyi, explained that there is need to sanitise the society if Nigeria is to move forward.
The event which took place on 20 August, 2015 at Hotel Victoria in Saka Jojo area of Victoria Island, Lagos, attracted high profile professionals from all walks of life.
According to the former minister of health and social services, “We are all leaders in our right. Let me state a fact that government at all levels cannot provide all the people need. We truly need to renew spirit of professionalism as the theme suggests.”
Continuing, he said: “A professional is a professional! We cannot fail to note however that there are too many fake pharmacists, accountants, engineers and others in our society today.”
A Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), Adelusi-Adeluyi maintained that professionals in all disciplines must revisit the issue of professionalism as way of self-regulation, adding that government would only see them as true professionals if they sanitise their professions accordingly.
“That is why I like the Rotary 4-way test which states : Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships and will it be beneficial to all concerned? “However, there should also be an enabling environment for professionals to thrive. PEFON may be young today, but it has huge benefits for the future,” he stated.
Sharing similar sentiments, one of the keynote speakers, Chief Steve Onu, immediate past president, Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, described a professional as a person who has been trained with specialised knowledge after intensive academic preparation as an expert in a given traditional profession or vocation.
The definition notwithstanding, Onu said it sometimes baffles him why banks are susceptible to distress, roads collapsing soon after construction and states unable to pay salaries, pensions and gratuity.
“The answers to the questions are not farfetched. It is either our professionals are not allowed to do their jobs professionally, are compromised, or have not internalised the attributes of professionalism,” he said.
Reacting to a question from the audience, Engr. Ibikunle Ogunbayo, past president, Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) warned the public to be careful of the “The boss is always right” syndrome.
“It is a wrong assumption that has a way of landing one in trouble. How many of us recall what happened to the Second World War prisoners of war whose only excuse was that they were following orders? Even though they were not sentenced to the gas chamber, they were summarily executed for their crimes against humanity. Where we break the law, we should be ready to accept the consequence,” he said.
Towards the end of the lecture, Sir (Dr) Oladipupo Bailey, founder of PEFON, proposed a toast to celebrate the 75th birthday of Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.
While describing the pharmacist as a man of integrity, honour and absolute humility, Bailey disclosed that he was further impressed by the manner President Muhammadu Buhari eulogised him on national television.
In the said broadcast, Buhari commended Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi’s “remarkable entrepreneurial and leadership skills which propelled him to the chairmanship of the Oodua Investment Group and also led to transformation of his well-known Juli Pharmacy into the first indigenously promoted company to be quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Bailey declared that PEFON was about the only organisation that aims to bring distinguished professionals from all walks of life under the same umbrella.
PEFON which has Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, managing director of Juli Plc as chairman, board of trustees, aims to identify Nigerian professionals home and abroad who have excelled in their chosen fields.
Also in attendance were Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited; Hon. Bala Bawa Kaoje, immediate past president of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN); and Kunle Aderinokun, an associate editor at THISDAY newspaper.
It would be recalled that last year’s induction of Sir Atueyi increased the number of pharmacy professionals in the fold of PEFON fellowship to six. The other five are Dr (Mrs) Stella Okoli, chairman, Emzor Pharmaceuticals; Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, managing director of Juli Plc; Dr Michael Oyebanjo Paul, chairman, Mopson Pharmaceutical Limited; Dr Nelson Uwaga, former PSN president and president of Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM); and Pharm. Olumide Akintayo, PSN president.