National grand winners have emerged in this year’s Shalina Young Talents Awards (SYTA) organized by Shalina Healthcare, a leading pharmaceutical company in Nigeria.
They emerged after a keenly contested competition amongst the final year pharmacy students in universities across Nigeria.
The grand event took place in Lagos recently at the Radisson Hotel, where Ms Zakariya Farida of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Oyenyi Adedoyin Emmanuel of University of Lagos, Idi- Araba, Lagos State and Ms Okafor Cynthia Chidera of University of Ibadan, Oyo State emerged the Grand Winner, 1st Runner up and 2nd Runner Up respectively.
According to the Vice President & Head – West Africa Shalina Healthcare, Arun Raj, the Shalina Young Talents Awards (SYTA) “is a Value-Added Initiative designed to bring the best out of pharmacy students in Nigeria”.
“This pharmacy contest tagged ‘The Quest for the Best Pharmacy Brains in Nigeria’ began in August with Zonal Championship Contests. The zonal winners who emerged from the University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria competed for the coveted crown at the grand final where the national winners emerged. In this process, we had put in place, the right resources and appropriate structure to ensure that the best brains in the Nigerian universities emerged in the exercise”, Arun said.
Speaking in the same regard, Folorunso Alaran, the Head of Corporate Marketing said, “the contest had indeed lived up to its aim and objectives”.
He stated, “this is the 3rd edition of the academic contest and had been an improvement from the past editions. From zonal levels where great numbers of students participated to the grand final where the zonal champions slugged it out among themselves, it had been a battle of wits, excellence, and ideas. Eventually the national winner had emerged, endorsed by our respected panel of judges made up of Deans of the Faculties of Pharmacy, thus by many standards is the current best pharmacy student in Nigeria”.
Speaking about her experience in the competition, the grand winner, who was visibly elated at the event, Ms Zakariya Farida of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said the contest had given her the opportunity to study more and had also spurred her to double her efforts to ensure that she remained focus.
Thanking the organizers of the academic contest, Farida said “Shalina Healthcare must be well acknowledged for their contribution to the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Nigeria and most especially in creating competitive platform for pharmacy students to drive best standards in pharmacy study through the Shalina Young Talents Award (SYTA)”.
The event witnessed a roll call of top Pharmacy professionals and personalities led by the Special Guest of Honour and the #1 Pharmacist and President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Prof Cyril Odianose Usifo, and the National Secretary – Pharm Gbenga Falabi. The rollcall also includes Pharm Ken Onuegbu, National Chairman of the NAIP; Pharm. Adewale Oladigbolu, National Chairman of the ACPN; Pharm. Olabode Ajayi Ogunjemiyo, National Chairman of the AHAPN; Dr Ezekiel Olugbenga Akinkunmi, National Chairman of the NAPA; Pharm Folasade Lawal, the MD/CEO Victory Drugs representing the National Chairman of CPAN; Pharm (Chief) Yetunde Moroundiya, Vice Chairman Board of Fellows representing the National Chairman of the ALPS.
In attendance were also Pharm Gbolagade Iyiola, Chairman of Lagos State PSN, and his Vice Pharm Babayemi Oyekunle; Pharm Shakirat Adeosun, DPS Primary Healthcare Board Lagos State; Pharm Paul Owolabi, Vice Chairman ACPN Lagos; Dr Arinola Joda, Chairman NAPA Lagos; Pharm Hafusat Adesina, Chairman ALPS Lagos. Pharm Layi Ogidan, representing the Registrar of the PCN; Pharm Mrs Olufunke Awopegba, MD/CEO Funket Pharmacy Ltd; Pharm Mrs Olaide Soetan, MD/CEO NHC Pharmacy Ltd; Pharm Tunde Oyeniran, President of SocPharmSMN, and many more who had graced the occasion with their presence.