By Sade Adewale, Ondo
Graduating students from University of Medical Sciences, UNIMED, Odosida Campus, Ondo City have been charged to help reshape Nigeria’s economy by recognising the importance of bringing technical skills, interest and talent into alignment with life skills.
Convocation lecturer and the founder/ CEO, secureID Limited, Mrs. Kofo Akinkugbe gave the charge during the 4th Convocation Ceremony held at the Main Auditorium of UNIMED Campus, Ondo City.
Akinkugbe who spoke on the convocation lecture tagged” Youth Entrepreneurship and Reshaping Nigeria’s Economic Future” said education is an enabler but without the right character it won’t take them far.
She stressed that graduates should see the day of their youth as a time for identifying their talents and opportunities, getting the right help, overcoming the inevitable challenges and deploying their creative energies to build success for their future.
The lecturer urged them to remain focused, embrace personal discipline and decisiveness even when they are unsure of what the next season brings, avoid the negative influences of the crowd and be positively engaged.
She added that “your professional brilliance will get you the job but only your attitude and other life skill will get you to the top and more importantly, keep you there.
“Have the audacity to dream widely, within or outside the realm of your professional discipline or field of study. Bring reality to your dream in order to become a vision and develop action plans or strategies to execute them.
According to her, sustainability is the key and must be built on the right attitude, wisdom, emotional intelligence, sound judgement, learning from experience.
She advised graduands to be determined, set goals, objectives, measuring performance and celebrating accomplishments, adding that a leadership focus should see the desired destination ahead of others, developing the right strategies, building people alignment to encourage voluntary followership, executing visions flawlessly.
Speaking, the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said UNIMED was Nigeria’s first specialised medical and health sciences university and its agenda of providing integrated education and research of exceptional quality in all health- related sciences is a game changer.
Akeredolu who was represented by the Commission for Education, Pastor Femi Agagu added that the light of this innovation has now radiated from the sunshine state with no less than seven medical universities that have emerged after UNIMED, with ownership spanning federal, state governments and private individuals.
He said the tremendous progress that UNIMED has made over the last eight years is quite impressive and inspiring. It goes beyond health workforce production and research to also include improving lives at the community level through population level health and development initiatives.
The Governor, therefore charged relevant state agencies, particularly the state ministry of health and primary health care development agency to partner more vigorously with the University to expand the initiative’s reach for the people’s health benefit.
Akeredolu commended the efforts of the University and encourage them to continue on this path of stability and distinction.
He said as part of the continued commitment to the development of the institution, Ondo state government has earmarked N250 million to the ongoing construction of the Olu Akinkugbe Faculty of Pharmacy Building and the funds will be released soon.
He further said that towards ensuring that UNIMED, like other state-owned tertiary institutions, has a benefitting administrative facility, the government has earmarked the sum of one billion Naira towards the construction of a senate building for the university.
Akeredolu said his government will continue to support the development of new facilities and infrastructure as more resources become available to facilitate the achievement of the vision of the University to start operating fully from its main campus by December 2024 by which time it will clock 10 years.
He noted that the funding of tertiary education is not a task for the government alone but need the active participation of the private sector, community organisations and individuals.
Akeredolu, however, congratulated the graduates, while urging them to make good use of the degree, knowledge and skills they acquire in the university.
Speaking earlier, the Vice- chancellor of the University, Prof Adesegun Fatusi said the University had graduated 327 students from the undergraduate programmes, a significant increase over the 176 graduands of the 2020/2021 set. These graduands include the first set of Medical Laboratory Scientists.
He added that the set of Nurses, Physiotherapists, and Plant Biologists, and the third and fourth set of products of several other health and life sciences programmes.
According to him, outside the 34 physiotherapists whose degrees are unclassified, 10 graduands are graduating with first class honours, 128 with second class honours(upper division), 125 with second class honours(lower division), and 30 with third class honours. In addition, the University is witnessing the first fruit of the postgraduate education, with four candidates graduating with postgraduate Diploma in public Health.
Fatusi added that the University was successful in the final accreditation exercise carried out in December 2022 by the medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) for the medical programme.
Fatusi added that the first set of medical students will be starting their final examinations in about six weeks, hoping to have the professional induction ceremony for the first set of physicians both medical and dental practitioners in the first half of this year.
He, therefore, thanked the accreditation teams and those who supported the University in the journey toward the final accreditation.
The Vice-Chancellor announced that the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria recently increased the students’ annual intake quota from 75 to 150, noting that the nursing students have consistently scored 100 percent in the council’s examinations in the last three years.
According to him, the University senate has approved the Doctor of Physiotherapy curriculum, making the school the fourth university to have done so.Thus, the current year student of physiotherapy and all subsequent sets will now graduate with Doctor of Physiotherapy(D.P.T) degree.
He noted that the development, the University also have a transitional Doctor of a Physiotherapy programme, the first in Nigeria, which would offer an opportunity for the graduates of the old Bachelor of Physiotherapy programme from any Nigeria or English- speaking West African country to earn the Doctor of Physiotherapy degree.
Fatusi adds that the vision led the University to engage the National University Commission(NUC) and successfully drive the agenda for the establishment of bachelor’s degree programmes in Audiology, speech therapy, and Occupational Therapy in the Nigerian university system.
He said 10 new first -degree courses have been approved by National University Commission and are among the courses that NUC included in the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standard (CCMAS) released in December 2022. The new 10 new courses include Health Information Management, Information Technology and Health Informatics, and Herbal Medicine, Health Care Administration and Hospital Management, Medical Physics, Medicinal Chemistry, and Dental Therapy.
Also speaking, the Pro- Chancellor and chairman of Governing council University of medical sciences, Prof. Ayodele Arowojolu expressed gratitude to the visitors for their kind support for the University, despite the prevailing financial challenges of the state in the recent years.
Arowojolu said the governing council is committed to upholding the vision of the founding fathers of the university, which is to make the university a thriving medical and health sciences institution, locally, nationally and internationally recognized for excellence and innovation.
He appreciated the vice- chancellor of the university for his doggedness and enthusiasm toward the growth of the University and his entire supportive management team, for the value they have added to the University.
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