In what has been described by many as an award long overdue, Professor Olukemi Odukoya, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and former dean, University of Lagos (UNILAG) Faculty of Pharmacy, has been announced winner of the 2016 Annual May & Baker professional service award in Pharmacy.
The award presentation which took place on November 8, 2016 at the opening ceremony of the 89th Annual National PSN Conference held at Idris Legbo Kutigi Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State had several distinguished pharmacists and fellows of the profession in attendance.
Odukoya has been credited with several trail-blazing innovations in academic pharmacy.
One of such is the introduction of annual White Coat Ceremony to complete transition of fresh UNILAG students from basic sciences into Pharmacy course work in 2014. This laudable initiative has since been adopted by a number of pharmacy schools in Nigeria, notably Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan.
Speaking with Pharmanews, an elated Odukoya disclosed that much as she doesn’t like being caught unaware, she actually didn’t see the May & Baker Award coming.
“It is true that I have applied for the award before and failed to meet the requirements. This time, I took time to repackage myself well as I have learnt from my past mistakes.
“My message to other aspiring candidates hoping to win the award someday is simple. One can only aspire. It is not about doing something right. Aside brilliance, one must have done something for the profession. Needless to say, I have paid my dues,” she noted.
As expected, a thunderous applause rent the air when the amiable professor of pharmacognosy mounted the stage to receive her award which comes with a certificate, a plaque and an improved cash prize of N500,000.
Past winners of the May & Baker professional service award in Pharmacy included Pharm. (Lady) Adaeze Omaliko, managing director of Malix Pharmacy, Onitsha; Professor (Mrs.) Mbang Femi-Oyewo, MFR, former deputy vice chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University; Pharm. Ifeanyi Atueyi, managing director of Pharmanews Limited, Pharm (Mrs.) Margaret Obono, a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and Pharm. Folashade Lawal, a renowned community pharmacist.
In a similar vein, the May & Baker Award for excellence category went to the Lagos chapter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) for producing the 2016 winner of the professional service award.