By Martins Ifijeh
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has called on Nigerian pharmacists to develop drugs that will tackle the health challenges peculiar to tropical Africa using local resources and endowments.
Speaking through the State’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Omodele Osunkiyesi during the investiture of six professionals into the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacists, he said pharmacists have an important role to play in the wellbeing of the society, hence the need to step up its commitments to the health of Nigerians and Africans in general.
Commending the Academy for its drive to improving the quality of training for pharmacists, he said the level of commitment towards research will stand it out in good stead.
On his part, the special guest of honour, Dr. Christopher Kolade, who was also decorated at the investiture, said those honoured have truly distinguished themselves in the pharmaceutical profession and the quality of their performance in the various positions that they occupy.
He said generally, leadership performance was a need the nation can no longer postpone, hence the need to recognise and engage only those who have made marks in the previous positions they occupied.
“Sadly, the constitution that gives political office holders access to elections does not require them to show any evidence of performance in any previous positions of respectable responsibility. A true professional voluntarily commits himself to the values, standards and disciplines of his profession which are based on equity and fairness with Integrity and accountability as an inescapable imperative in the discharge of their duties,” Kolade said.
President of the Academy, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that pharmacy has long embraced a paradigm shift in focus, as drugs are no longer the focus and locus of the practice, patients have now assumed the centre of attention with clinical and public health pharmacy as the new order.
Furthermore, he noted that the selection exercise of awardees was a rigorous and meticulous one. “The awardees, drawn from a diverse sector that includes academia, private and public sector, possess intensively impressive profiles as well as the mindset and disposition that resonate soundly with the Academy’s mission and raison d’être. I believe they would further enrich the quality and depth of the Academy’s interventions in society.”
The newly inducted fellows include Pharm Elijah Mohammed, Registrar of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria, Hajia Amina Bala-Zakari one time acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Olu Akanmu, Senior Vice President/ Divisional Head of Retail Banking, First City Monument Bank Plc.
The high point of the night was the conferment of a life time achievement award on Prof. Julius Okojie, who while at the helm of the NUC saw to the accreditation of new patient-driven