The eight members to manage the Olu Akinkugbe Pharmacy Education Trust (OAPET), have been unveiled.

Leading the pack is the Chairman, Juli Pharmacy and the MTN Foundation, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi.

Other members are the  Chairman, Access Bank Plc and former Chief Executive of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (Federal Ministry of Health), Dr. (Mrs) Oritsedere Awosika, MD/CEO SecureID Nigeria, Mrs. Kofoworola Akinkugbe and Co-founder and Chairman, Aluko & Oyebode (Barristers & Solicitors).

Others are Chairman, Teach for Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, Pro-chancellor, Caleb University, Retired Professor of Pharmacy and former Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Rev. (Professor) ‘Fola Tayo, Vice Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Professor Adesegun Fatusi; Registrar, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Dr. Woleola Ekundayo and Professor and Director of Research, Innovation and Development, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Professor Olumide Ogundahunsi.

Chief Oludolapo Ibukun Akinkugbe, who has already provided part funding for the project, 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; second, 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.”

The launch was chaired by former Super Permanent Secretary,  Chief Philip Asiodu, who endorsed the decision for the pharmacy to be associated with his long-time friend, Chief Olu Akinkugbe.

He 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, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who represented Governor Rotimi Akeredolu,  High Chiefs of Ondo Kingdom,  representing the Osemawe,  Oba (Dr.) Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo CFR, Jilo III.

In attendance were also former Chairman, First Bank Nigeria, Ltd, Mrs, Ibukun Awosika; Nigerian lawyer and former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Henry Odein Ajumogobia, SAN; President,  Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Mazi Samuel Ohuabunwa, OFR, MON, NPOM, KSC.

In his goodwill message, Governor Akeredolu said, “We are here to support Chief Olu Akinkugbe who is a pride of Ondo, the Sunshine state. When the past governor, Dr. 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,  he stated that, “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.”

Chairman,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 Chief Akinkugbe’s vision, said, “This project presents the ultimate opportunity to really immortalize an individual deserving of it. Chief 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.

 Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor 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.

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