The Annual National Conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria took place on Monday the 29th of October, 2018 to Saturday 3rd November, 2018. The conference which was tagged “Oluyole 2018” for its prestigious venue in the “city of many firsts” – Ibadan, was indeed a memorable one.
The theme of the event was Innovative Disruption in Pharmacy in Emerging Economies: A Roadmap for Nigeria. One of the things that made the recently held conference a memorable one was the exit of Pharm. Ahmed I. Yakasai from the helm of the PSN leadership as the quintessential leader concluded his 3 year tenure.
In his message to the society during the opening ceremony, Pharm. Yakasai stated that he was really proud of the achievements that had been recorded in the past 3 years. He appreciated all the technical groups of the pharmacy practice for their continued commitment despite their busy schedules.
Speaking on the theme for the conference, Pharm. Yakasai stated that the theme was an important discourse as it is “critical to our growth as a nation in the committee of nations.” He said that the theme was carefully chosen to advance the national discourse on survival and significance in a time of rapid and turbulent change. “Whether you are disruptively innovating or defending against disruptive challenger, we must do things better to move from good to great as a profession and as a country.” Those were some of his words used in describing the essence of the theme.
Speaking on his stewardship in the last 3 years, the outgone president made bold to state that himself and his committee have shown determination and commitment in achieving their promises amongst which includes the introduction of the PSN Vision 2O50 Strategy, which is a critical review on all the aspects of pharmacy practice in Nigeria as conducted by the Lere Baale led strategy committee. The essence of this he said, is to move the profession to the next level of impact and progress so that it can be at par with other pharmaceutical practices around the world.
He also mentioned the PSNPay platform which is a product of the Ultralogistics Company of PSN. Also worthy of note was the Lekan Asuni led IT Platform, which came up with a template in a bid to revamp the drug distribution network based on the National Drug Distribution Guidelines (NDDG) in the country.
Pharm. Yakasai noted that a lot of awards were brought on board such as the BASF West Africa Young Female Pharmacist of the year Award, The Biogenerics Hospital Pharmacists of the Year Integrity Award, and Miral Malaria Essay Writing for Pharmacists Award, “in order to strengthen the society in the final lap of the association, enhance professionalism in our practice, recognise and celebrate deserving colleagues and serve humanity as a selfless professional body.”
Also speaking at the Opening ceremony, Pharm. Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi described the pharmacy profession as one of the noblest professions in the world. He urged all pharmacists to continue to practice the pharmaceutical profession greatly regardless of the difficulty of the times, stating that: “Any profession is great that is greatly practiced.” He urged the old pharmacists to work with the young pharmacists to achieve optimal results.
He described the young pharmacists as new brooms, and the old pharmacists as old brooms, explaining that while the new brooms have more energy to sweep the ground well, it is the old brooms that know all the corners where the dirt are, so there is need for synergy. He applauded the recently outgone president, stating that he had been described in so many ways as one having “foresight, insight, hindsight and far-sight, and that he had deployed them all successfully.”
The Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, Pharm. Onyeka Onyeibor in his welcome address at the ceremony said that he was excited about the theme since it couldn’t have come at a better time. He explained that the pharmaceutical profession is “challenged to dare and be different or to remain in the familiar courts of sameness and irrelevance.” He urged all pharmacists that the essence of the conference was not to come and catalogue the challenges but to exercise “the greatest gift of all times – the power to think and act responsibly.”
He encouraged all pharmacists to take the word of Bernard Shaw which he paraphrased that “what pharmacy needs today is not, men that see what is and ask why, but men that dream of what isn’t and ask why not.” The Opening ceremony also witnessed the presentation of many awards to deserving personalities such as Rabi Abdallah of NTA, who won the PSN Ben Ukwuoma Memorial Media Award for the Best Health Correspondent/ Editor 2018, and other honorary awards.
The event was well attended by many dignitaries including His Highness, Mallam Muhammadu Sanusi (GCON), Sarkin Kano; Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, Vice Chancellor University of Ilorin; His Excellency Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau (Sardaunan Kano), former Governor of Kano State; Prof. B. C. Ozumba, Vice Chancellor – University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Pharm. Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, President Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy and Chairman Pharmacy Advisory Board; Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, DG NAFDAC; Pharm. Elijah Mohammad, Registrar Pharmacists Council of Nigeria; and many more.