Research: Odugbemi Canvasses Collaborative Efforts on Medicinal Plants

Funmi Ogundare

Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Tolu Odugbemi has stressed the need for research efforts into medicinal plants to be intensified in the country noting that it will provide solution to a number of diseases not amenable to modern medicine.

Studies into medicinal plants, he said demand genuine inter-disciplinary approach and cooperation and that drugs from such plants may serve as answers to global challenges posed by increasing global threats caused by antimicrobials-resistant bacteria, fungi and viruses.

Odugbemi who made this call, recently at the 2017/2018 University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies annual lecture titled, ‘Teamwork and Devine Intervention: Reminiscences on research activities in a developing country setting, Nigeria’, commended scientists who have shown commitment to the scientific study of medicinal plants in research institutes and tertiary institutions in the country.

According to him, “Medicinal plants have become increasingly important in our interest to provide solution for a number of diseases, therefore studies of some rare plants demand courage, determination, humility and respect for community leaders, otherwise the research would end in frustration and failure. Teamwork , in an extraordinary ways, pays a lot to achieve positive findings, ” he stressed.

Odugbemi who also a former Vice-Chancellor of Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, emphasised on research funding especially at the tertiary level, noting that it is vital for good output and relevant to societal needs.

He highlighted some of the factors hindering good standard of education in the country while expressing concern that all government institutions are underfunded saying, “The issue of funding is a critical factor hindering the standard of education. In Nigeria today, education is on the concurrent list and it is an open secret that allIn Nigeria today, education is on the concurrent list but as at today, federal universities charge relatively little or no fee for any of their programmes, inspite of the obvious reality of the huge investment needed to ensure a vibrant educational system.

“The main factors can be attributed to bad planning of curricular of institutions and lack of knowledge of what education is all about by the owners of the institutions . Irregular payment of staff salaries result in workers looking for alternative sources of income and poor attitude to work. The bad and unconcerned approach of owners of institutions to the welfare of their staff is inhuman, and invariably leads to an unproductive workforce.”

Other factors, he noted , include lack of motivation that inhibit teachers from carrying out their work with the required enthusiasm for the benefit of the students, corruption that brings about misappropriation of funds meant for education in the country.

“Many of the top officials are unaware of the guidelines for their service; they thereby foster an environment conducive for corruption, ” the don said, noting that there must be a reorientation among government, unions, staff and students, as well as other stakeholders to ensure effective results for products of our institutions.

The lecture witnessed a presentation of scholarship awards of the Postgraduate Trust fund to the second set of students who are indigent but delirious of carrying out their research work.

The beneficiaries are ; Jonah Uyieh of the department of History and Strategic Studies, with a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.75, Esther Oromidayo Thonttey of the department of Estate Management with a CGPA of 5.0, as well as Moruf Rasheed Olatunji of the department of Fisheries, with a CGPA or 5.0.

The Chairman of the occasion and General Overseer, Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM), Dr. Daniel Olukoya in his remarks commended the school of postgraduate studies of the institution for commitment to the investment of its resources, creativity, wisdom to subject its programmes, as well as contributions to knowledge of the research papers and theses of their students to ensure they are top rated.

“The efforts being deployed would no doubt rid the output of any research undertaken in the PGS of the academic plagues of plagiarism, spiciness and superficiality,” he said.

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