‘Nigeria’s System Harsh on Talents’

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Peter Uzoho

President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy and former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, has decried the harsh condition of things in the country, saying “if our system were not inclement to talent we would be celebrating a bountiful harvest of geniuses in all the fields of human endeavour.”

Adelusi-Adeluyi, was the guest speaker at the 1st Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Annual Lecture in Pharmacy held at the J.F. Ade-Ajayi Auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka, organised by the Board of Trustees of Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Annual Lecture in Pharmacy in collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG, entitled: ‘Private Public Partnership as A Vehicle for Sustainable Pharmaceutical Education’.

The former minister stated that Nigeria is punching “miserably” below its weight in the hierarchy of world economies and politics, and that none of the country’s tertiary institutions come near the top 500 University League Table. According to him, “an estimated 50 per cent of our people live in extreme poverty. Youth unemployment hovers around 45 per cent (70 per cent for the far-North). The poverty is heartbreaking. Our per capita GDP is less than $3,000 as compared to Singapore’s $55, 252.”

He noted that it is only by investing in science and in young people can Nigeria forge a better future, stressing that without science and innovation, Africans will never overcome their millennial servitude. “And the African Renaissance of our dream will become a mere phantasmagoria,” he said. Adelusi-Adeluyi also noted that Nigeria must create an ecosystem that enables science and innovation to flourish, and encourage talents while building a merit-based society.

Stressing on the imperative of developing a proper private public partnership (PPP) strategy in the tertiary education sub-sector, Adelusi-Adeluyi noted that such PPP policy would need to address specific objectives such as improving the quality and relevance of tertiary education, adding that it would also need to be inclusive and incorporate informed views from the private sector and key regulatory/oversight agencies.

He described late Mrs. Frederico Abimbola Omololu-Mulele, who donated an endowment of 36 million each for two memorial lectures in the university as a trail-blazer, saying she contributed significantly to the educational progress of children at all levels. The two lectures are the late Ladipo Mobolaji Abisogun-Afodu Memorial lecture in Pharmacy (in honour of her late father) and the Abimbola Omololu-Mulele Memorial Lecture in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (in her honour).

Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Rahmon Ade Bello, represented at the occasion by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academy and Research, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said the annual lecture in Pharmacy would promote the growth and dissemination of knowledge in the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

He explained that the major objective of the lecture was to stimulate public discourse in the discipline of pharmacy which he said, would in turn, enhance teaching through increased resource output for the benefit of the faculty, the university and the society at large. Bello appreciated the estate of the late donor for appreciating the University in building and sustaining the pillar of firm knowledge in the institution through the endowment of the annual lecture.