– As Kofoworola Onagbola emerges best graduating student
(By Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis)
It was an atmosphere of great jubilation as parents, guardians, friends and representatives of the pharmacists’ community gathered to witness the induction and oath-taking ceremony of 141 graduates of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos.
Under the chairmanship of Pharm. Michael Oyebanjo Paul, chairman of Mopson Pharmaceuticals, the glitzy occasion for the graduating 2012/2013 set was held at the New Great Hall, University of Lagos, Idi Araba on 8 May, 2014.
In attendance were Prof. Olukayode Amund, dean of Students Affairs, UNILAG; Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG; Pharm. (Dr.) Moyosore Adejumo, director of pharmaceutical service, Lagos State Ministry of Health; Pharm. (Mrs) Emily Olalere, director, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN, Lagos zonal office); Pharm. Gloria Abumere, registrar, PCN; Pharm. Margaret Obono and Pharm. Steve Okoronkwo, managing director of Al-Tinez Pharma, who was also the keynote address speaker.
In his keynote address, tagged “Innovation: Key to Excellence in Pharmacy Practice,” Pharm. Okoronkwo urged the graduands to embrace innovation in all its ramifications in the practice of their profession. Defining innovation as “the application of better solution that meets new requirements, unarticulated needs or existing market needs”, Okoronkwo noted that innovation is at the core of excellent pharmacy practice.
“In Nigeria today, innovation in pharmacy practice has become very imperative in the light of changes in the drug regulation and drug distribution framework,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Prof. Odukoya remarked that the ceremony of induction and oath-taking represented a commencement rather an end. According to her, the event was to honour the brilliant class of 2012/2013 which represented the best of the Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG.
“We look forward to the class of 2013 continuing our traditions of excellence, innovation and new relationship with the faculty as professional colleagues, alumni and life-long friends,” she intoned.
On her part, Pharm. (Mrs) Gloria Abumere, registrar, PCN, assured the graduands that the attainment of a university degree in Pharmacy was the beginning of a great and bright future for them, adding that they would now be provisionally registered by the PCN so they could be allowed to practise.
She also noted that the production of additional 141 pharmacy graduates from the institution would help to address the paucity of pharmacists in the healthcare system of the country.
During the award presentation ceremony that marked the climax of the event, Kofoworola Rebecca Onagbola was singled out for special recognition for being the best graduating student of the 2012/2013 set. Among other prizes , she won the PCN Prize for Best Graduating Student; Faculty of Pharmacy Dean’s Prize; Pfizer Science Prize and Pill Box Pharmacy Gift.
In an emotion-laden voice, Onagbola noted that it had been five challenging, roller-coaster years for her.
“It is with God’s help, hard and commitment that this day has become a reality for me,” she said. “One cannot but acknowledge the role of our dean and lecturers in shaping and moulding us all through the years. I salute my parents for believing in me and to my fellow course mates, I say a big congratulation! I appreciate the sense of responsibility and teamwork we share.”
Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG started as a school within the College of Medicine in 1980, with three departments: Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, and Pharmacy and Biopharmacy.
The school was officially recognised by the Pharmacists Board of Nigeria (now PCN) in May 1984 as an academic institution authorised by laws to train and graduate degree holders in Pharmacy.
The school produced its first Bachelor of Pharmacy graduates in September 1984 and attained the status of a full-fledged faculty on July 29, 2003.
L-R: Pharm. Gloria Abumere, PCN registrar; Pharm. (Dr.) Moyosore Adejumo, director of pharmaceutical services, LSMOH; Prof. Olukemi Odukoya, dean of the faculty; Pharm. (Mrs) Emily Olalere, director, PCN (Lagos zonal office); Prof. Olukayode Amund, dean of Students Affairs; and Prof. Cecilia Igwilo, a don in the faculty during the induction ceremony.