By Miftaudeen Raji, Lagos
Graduating with a CGPA of 4.80 from the faculty of pharmacy, University of Lagos, (UNILAG), Akoka, does not only give Hiqmat Abdulai Odunayo a lot of joy but brings her lots of memories of good, bad, challenging and the interesting times.
Abdulahi Odunayo Hiqmat emerged the overall best graduating student with the CGPA of 4.80 to beat seven of her colleagues who also finished with distinction in the faculty.
The success story of Hiqmat’s six years academic sojourn which saw her clinch B.Pharm in Pharmacy started back in December, 2009.
Hiqmat alongside 137 graduands, were inducted as qualified and well-trained pharmacists graduates from the Faculty of Pharmacy for the 2013/2014 session.
The much-celebrated and best graduating student also, clinched the Pfizer Science Prize and other prizes for best graduating student from the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) and Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy.
To the rare gem, she was molded by her environment and all her peers. “I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I could not have achieved this without you. It was all of you, who were my competitors, yet my backbone. In that way, we are all valedictorians.
“This achievement would not have possible without the help of our Supreme Creator, and the support of my family and friends.
“I congratulate my fellow graduating students, and also remind them that our journey has just begun, in discovering who we really are.
“I encourage us all to uphold the lofty image of this institution, as we go out into the world, and defend the degree we have been awarded.”
A moment of celebration and pomp, this year’s induction ceremony which marked the 30th of its kind, attracted eight inductees, who graduated with distinction – seven females and single male inductee.
Addressing the graduands, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ramon Bello, motivated the inductees as he noted that the induction signified a commencement and not the end in their profession.
He assured that the university will continue to nurture students in attainment of degree adding, “this is a special ilk of profession in the society and we see it as our responsibility.
Prof. Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research, Prof. Babajide Alo said, “It has been several years of grilling. The pharmaceutical council will let you know what pharmacy after school entails.
“We are proud of you all. We are also proud that we have six distinctions among you. Five female and one male. Last year we had eight females who finished with distinction.
He said, “Those of you 138 have important role to play in flying the flag of UNILAG. Never forget you are coming out of UNILAG where excellence and professionalism are our watch words.
You will have some responsibilities to play in your profession. Whichever area you specialize, realize that you graduated from one of the best pharmaceutical schools in Nigeria and Africa.
Your future really is in your hands. Your potentials are limitless,” Alo added.
Speaking on the ocassion, the Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Prof. Olukemi Odukoya noted that the vision of pharmaceutical excellence has a road that offers leadership development over a career continuum.
She said, “Today is not to reflect on the past, but to prepare for the future and start the next journey.
A huge responsibility would be entrusted to you but, the ones ahead are even greater. This is by far most exciting and challenging time for the profession. You will be faced with many obstacles, but with these obstacles come opportunities.
“Remember your strenghts as Pharmacists that you are experts in the safe and effective use of medicines and their potential contribution and integration into health and social care teams. Ensure that patients receive high quality pharmaceutical care using the clinical skills of the pharmacist to their full potential.
“The profession of Pharmacy currently is in dynamic era as it attempts to transform the role of the pharmacist from a product-oriented practioner focused on medication distribution, to a patient-oriented practioner able to meet the complex drug therapy needs of individuals and society.
“Work hard. Take risks. Follow your Passion. Embrace innovation. Whether this passion makes you a Clininical Pharmacist, a community pharmacist, a Professor of Pharmacognosy , a pharmacy owner, a Researcher, or a Director, remember that this institution provided you with all the necessary tools to become future leaders who will change not only the profession of Pharmacy, but also the world, ” She added.
The Chairman of the ocassion, Pharm. Ike Onyechi, urged the graduands to be determined to make “a first class outside the pharmacy by impacting in life.”
Advising the graduands, Onyechi said, “As you are leaving, I want you to be determined. The environment is not easy. The more it becomes tougher, the higher you can go in life.
“You can decide to well and you can also call your terms but not in arrogance. It’s my prayer that you succeed in this profession.”
He added, “Work with the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom. Work hard and be problem solvers. When you solve problems, you are adding value to the people. Your mind, your intellect and soul must be sound.”
Pharm. N A E Muhammad administered the Pharmacists oaths while presentation of prizes/awards and provincial certificates of the inductees lasted.
The ceremony was attended by members of the senate and the management of the institution. The President, Pharmacitical Society of Nigeria, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, Dr. Adepoju Bello. Deans from other faculties and students also graced the ceremony.