PCN Inducts 72 UniPort Graduands Into Its Fold

A total of 72 graduands trained in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences have been inducted into the profession by the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN). The well-attended Oath-Taking event took place during the 5th Induction Ceremony which held at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University Park on Friday, January 27, 2017.

In his remarks before inducting the new members into the profession, Registrar of the Council, Mr. Elijah Mohammed, congratulated his junior colleagues on their success, praising the University Management for the quality training which the students received throughout their residency period that qualified them to practise the profession. The Registrar also commended parents and guardians for investing in their wards which has enabled the country to increase manpower in the critical allied medical field.

“You have concluded the first phase of your training and now inducted into the Council, but you must undergo the second phase of training which is your Internship placement. It is after that phase of training that you will be licensed to practise as qualified pharmacists. However, take notice that we are guided by a strict ethical code of professional conduct.

“We have moral obligations to blend into the two major components of our profession which manifest in our practice and in our products. The Council in partnership with relevant agencies is cleaning up the systemic rot in the practice and administration of drugs. You must get yourselves acquainted with our code of ethics, so that you will not have yourself to blame when you go against the statutory rules governing the Council and the profession,” the Registrar added.

In his keynote address entitled: Beyond Character and Learning: Becoming A Successful Pharmacist, former President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Dr. Nelson Uwaga, told the graduands that the process of becoming a successful and fulfilled pharmacist in a hostile and competitive environment would pose another challenge for the new entrants, even after securing a degree. 

The keynote Speaker listed seven attributes as stipulated in a report issued at the 3rd World Health Organisation Consultative Group on the role of pharmacists, as standards which the new Inductees should imbibe in the administration of products and professional practice. The attributes specified the roles of a pharmacist as a care-giver, communicator, decision maker, leader, manager-entrepreneur, life-long learner and a teacher. Dr. Uwaga said, adding that team player was added as the eighth role of pharmacist.

“I charge you to go out from here, ‘conquer and rule your world.’ Put God first in all you do and observe His statutes. Shun the attitude of some of today’s youth to get rich quick by all means and never you cheat on your employer. This has created confidence crises among investors that have really slowed investments in the economy, including the pharmaceutical sector with the resultant unemployment among pharmacists in Nigeria. Hold fast the golden values of professional integrity, transparency, responsibility, accountability, equity, fairness, efficiency and self-esteem,” Uwaga, who was also a former President of the Nigerian Institute of Management told the new pharmacists.

In his address, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, described the Induction ceremony as another intellectual harvest time, expressing the commitment of his administration to the steady growth of pharmaceutical training in the University.

“As you may be aware, the study of Pharmaceutical Sciences is a relatively new addition to our academic programmes in this University, but I am pleased to announce that this young Faculty has proved beyond all shadows of doubt that it is ready, able and willing to take its place on the frontline in the training of qualified manpower for the healthcare sector,” the Vice-Chancellor said, hoping that the 72 new Inductees would assuage the declining patient-to-pharmacist ratio in the country.

Professor Lale charged the young pharmacists to strive towards upholding the ideals of diligence and professional excellence in service to patients and humanity, enjoining them to be worthy ambassadors of the University which has become an attractive brand name in and outside the country.

The Vice-Chancellor eulogised the 5th Vice-Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs for envisioning the establishment of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and for attracting former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Professor Oleka Udeala, who he said carried out a tedious pioneering assignment of building the Faculty from scratch as Dean.

“I am pleased to announce that as promised during the last Induction Ceremony, Phase II of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences building has been completed and put to use under the Federal Government University Infrastructural Development Intervention (NEEDS I). I am very optimistic that with the completion of this building and other facilities now under construction, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences would receive full accreditation status from such regulatory bodies as Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and the National Universities Commission (NUC),” Professor Lale said, commending the PCN for its encouragement and partnership aimed at enforcing standards in the discipline.

Turning attention to the recent expulsion of 22 students for acts of misconduct, the Vice-Chancellor declared: “Henceforth, students who may wish to operate outside the framework of the law governing the University will have to answer for such infractions,” stating that the University would only graduate those students whose conducts are satisfactory both in character and learning.

Others who spoke at the event included the Dean of the Faculty, Professor Kio Abo, Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Oladigbolu and Chairman, Medical Advisory Council at the UPTH, Dr. Charles Tobin-West.

Presentation of certificates and awards to deserving graduands, including the Best Graduating Student, Richard Anozia, formed the major highlights of the memorable event.

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