The Olu Akinkugbe Pharmacy Education Trust (OAPET) has kicked off its fundraising and investment drive for the proposed N2.5 billion Olu Akinkugbe Faculty of Pharmacy, with a launch event at The Metropolitan Club, Ikoyi, in Lagos recently.
The eight-man trusteeship council, which comprises eminent Nigerians and leading minds in pharmacy practice, has been established, according to a statement to govern fundraising and management of the Faculty of Pharmacy, establishing the corporate governance well associated with the Faculty’s patron, Chief Olu Akinkugbe, as well as ensuring its sustainability.
The OAPET is chaired by former Minister of Health and Social Services and Chairman, Juli Pharmacy and the MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, and includes Chairman of Access Bank Plc and former Chief Executive of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (Federal Ministry of Health), Oritsedere Awosika; MD/CEO SecureID Nigeria, Kofoworola Akinkugbe; Co-founder and Chairman, Aluko & Oyebode (Barristers & Solicitors) and Chairman, Teach for Nigeria, Gbenga Oyebode,; Pro-chancellor, Caleb University, Retired Professor of Pharmacy and former Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, ‘Fola Tayo; Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Adesegun Fatusi; Registrar, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Woleola Ekundayo; and Professor and Director of Research, Innovation and Development, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Olumide Ogundahunsi.
Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe, , who already provided part funding for the project, the statement said expressed his gratitude, reiterating his passion for pharmacy and the provision of best-in-class healthcare.
“When I was approached by the University of Medical Sciences, to be associated with this project, I knew I had no alternative, largely for two reasons: my family has been involved in providing health services in Ondo for a little more than a hundred years – my father qualified as a druggist in Ondo in 1919 and my late younger brother was associated with the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo as its first Pro-chancellor. Secondly, everybody knows how much pharmacy has come to the fore as a result of the pandemic. Today’s pharmacists must have enhanced skills to combat this menace. Research is always a collaborative enterprise amongst medical professions. The fact that UNIMED has emerged, within seven years, as a top medical institution, gives me the assurance that when they start producing pharmacists, they would be top-class”, he said
The launch event was chaired by Philip Asiodu, who endorsed the decision for the pharmacy to be associated with his long-time friend, Olu Akinkugbe, and called for support from the guests who can perceptively discern the need for investment in Nigeria’s medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
Dignitaries from across the nation graced the occasion, including the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who represented the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; High Chiefs of Ondo Kingdom, representing the paramount ruler of Ondo Kingdom, His Imperial Majesty, the Osemawe of Ondo, Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo; former Chairman, First Bank Nigeria, Ltd, Ibukun Awosika; Nigerian lawyer and former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Henry Odein Ajumogobia, ; President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa.
Delivering the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu’s goodwill message, the Ondo state Deputy Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa said, “We are here to support Chief Olu Akinkugbe who is a pride of Ondo, the Sunshine state. When the past governor, Olusegun Mimiko kicked off the project to build the university, we knew it was a legacy to be preserved and an opportunity to showcase the great minds of our youth in Ondo state. There is no befitting individual for the proposed Faculty of Pharmacy to be named after than the iconic pharmaceutical expert and one of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria’s earliest presidents.”
Promising to support the vision of building a best-in-class faculty of pharmacy, the Deputy Governor said, “We are happy to support the Olu Akinkugbe Pharmacy Education Trust and Chief Oludolapo Akinkugbe as they embark on this monumental project, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the vision is brought to fruition.”
The Chairman of the Olu Akinkugbe Pharmacy Education Trust (OAPET), Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi; while calling on the government and well meaning Nigerians and individuals in diaspora to support the delivery of Akinkugbe’s vision, said, “This project presents the ultimate opportunity to really immortalize an individual deserving of it. Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe is passionate about service and philanthropy and, as a model to many of us who follow in his steps, we are privileged to support a visionary in bringing the Faculty of Pharmacy to life.”
The University of Medical Sciences in Ondo State, was established in 2014, as the first university dedicated to the medical profession. The Vice Chancellor of the university, Adesegun Fatusi, commended the Trust’s intentional contribution to the development of education in the state and expressed commitment to have the Faculty ready to admit students by 2022 and provide the best pharmaceutical education for Nigerian students through the Olu Akinkugbe Faculty of Pharmacy.
The Olu Akinkugbe Pharmacy Education Trust (OAPET) has committed to delivering the vision of a best-in-class Faculty of Pharmacy while driving a new era of unmatched innovation in pharmaceutical development. The Olu Akinkugbe Faculty of Pharmacy will be a consolidation of the enduring legacy and vestiges of an icon.