60 years after: Alumni seek to rescue CMUL from infrastructure decay

Members of the 7782 Alumni Set of the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL) with the Provost, CMUL, (Middle), when they paid visit to the College as part of the activities of Set’s 40 years Re-union programme, in view of felicitating with the management for the College’s 60 years of existence and to give back to their Alma mater with intervention projects

…7782 Medilag Set promises intervention

By Moses Adeniyi

Following infrastructure deficit which has brought decay to erstwhile foremost medical institution in Africa, College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Alumni of the citadel of learning have been called upon to pay back their alma mater by addressing pressing needs of the institution.

The  Provost, College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL), Prof Wale Oke, has called on alumni of the College to come to the aid of the institution to salvage it from infrastructure decay.

Oke who made the call during a visit of the CMUL Alumni Association, 1977-1982 Set to the 60 years old institution, said the intervention of the Alumni of the institution is ‘desperately’ needed to salvage the Citadel of Learning which is threatneed of losing accreditation over infrastructure decay.

The 1977-1982 Alumni Set as part of its 40 years re-union programme, visited the College in view of felicitating with the management for the College’s 60 years of existence and to give back to their alma mater with intervention projects.

According to the Provost, interventions by the Alumni, TETFUND, Foundations and some key organisations, have so far helped the institution to close, to some extent, the critical infrastructure gap.

“Please, we need you desperately. A little drop of water makes the mighty ocean. Make your mind on what you want to do, I’m not asking for money,” he charged them, saying individual contributions pulled together go a long way to address certain deficits.

Oke who belong to the 1974-1979 Alumni Set said having toured the institution there were over a 1000 infrastructure needs demanding critical intervention, mentioning that through such Alumni intervention a solar system was put up recently for the College’s library.

“We need you desperately. I could take my time today and take you all the work around for you to see the degree of decay the College has been subjected to,” he said.

According to him, a new student’s  obligatory fee at N44,000 was only enough to cater for a matress.

“We are supposed to provide one mattress, how much is a mattress now? So you can imagine that money just go into buying one mattress for a student.

“The government is paying our salaries and because they are paying salaries, they feel they are doing too much, whereas they are not doing anything for the students,” he said.

He reiterated that though the 77-82 Set had made donation for the Dental Care Divsion of the College in a bid to rescue it from losing accreditation in 2019, an event that was an aftermath of its 36th Reunion programme, he said much more would be appreciated as the needs of the College were enormous.

“Three years ago we were disaccredited from dental training, because we didn’t have enough chairs,” he said, mentioning that very soon with intervention the accreditation would be restored.

“This is the problem of the College. I will fail in my responsibility if I fail to tell you of the degree of the decay that the College has undergone.

“I’m happy we’ve had some donations which has improved situations. I don’t want your money, I need action, our needs our multiple,” the provost emphasised.

He expressed optimism that the interaction was “going to bear fruit”, stating that the visit was an indication that the Alumni have not forgotten their Alma mater.

“I know this interaction we are having now would further improve on your interest in the College and it’s going to bear very good fruit in future so that people coming behind us, particularly the students, would be truly happy. This college has made us what we are, so we must not forget it,” he said.

The Deputy Provost of the College,  Prof. Albert Ebuehi noting that the College has produced erudite scholars and health professionals spread across the World, said their contributions to the development of the College will no doubt go a long way to assisting the training of students.

Such contributions, he noted, had so far helped the institution amidst meagre government disbursement.

“Our college, no doubt, has produced very great erudite, colossus, medical scholars, who have made contributions in every part of the world.

“I’m happy that you are still very much relevant contributing so meaningfully to the growth and development, not only of the college, but the country and the world at large.

“We are so happy that you have not forgotten your Alma mater. Even though you cannot be physically present like all of us here, your contributions to the development of this college would no doubt go a long way to assisting us in the training of our students and even the lecturers who are still battling to make sure that medical studies do not go under.”

Speaking, the Secretary of the 7782 Set, Prof Bolaji Oludara, said the Reunion would, beyond felicitating with the College for 60 years of existence, address critical needs of their Alma mater.

“60 years of servitude to mankind in the realm of teaching, research, and service. Looking at the array of members of our set, the 7782 Medilag Alumni, here present, it is an eloquent pointer to the great contributions of CMUL to high level manpower worldwide,” he said.

Prof. Oludara who said the group is proud of the College for “it’s achievements, it’s great potential and what it still has to the society of today and future generations,” said “it is in the light of these assertions that we find it relevant to visit from time to time and relate with the headship and management of the College at a very high level.”

He said as was done in 2018 when the group came to the College and identified a critical need which was implemented in June 2019, the Set would equally identify current pressing needs in a tour of the College, following which the best to cater for would be discussed at the group’s AGM which forms part of the Reunion programme.

“At that time (2018) what was topmost with respect to needs was the urgency in improvement on the Dental Divison that was unbelievably about to lose its accreditation.

“Again, we are here not only to felicitate with the College on the 60th anniversary, but also to take home messages and information on some low ‘hanging fruits’, that can be imminently sorted out by our Annual General Meeting,” he said.

He said the outcome of the meeting would lead to “a proper choice of something in the nature of good works, services, equipment donation, that the 7782 Medilag Alumni can deliver to the College before the end of June 2023.”

According to Prof. Oludara, the group believes that “College’s golden era of our studentship days can surely be re-enacted and indeed be surpassed if the various alumni Sets collaborate with management towards unique goal.

“We believe this is do-able and possible once the will is there,” he said stating that “the means will come from the network of ourselves and our friends worldwide.”

The Chairman of the 7782 Set, Dr. Olu Fagade Bukola, who spoke virtually, from Manchester, United Kingdom, said the reunion has a way of boosting mental, physical and spiritual health.

The event was attended by medical professionals of the 1977-1982 Set of the College who have rose through the ranks of public and private practices in Nigeria and abroad, as well as those who have diverted into other career path.