The Chairman’s Welcome Address – ASCAF Congress – NPMCN

The 115th Senate meeting of the College approved that the year 2019 should provide an opportunity to celebrate the commencement of Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria. It would be recalled that the proposals of the Nigeria Medical Council to commence postgraduate training were given legal backing by the Decree No. 44 of 1969 which subsequently led to awards of Fellowships by examination from 1976. Fifty years of this development, the first in West Africa (which translated to our College in 1979), is worthy of celebration in a grand manner.

The Senate approved that for the 50th Anniversary celebrations the 2019 Convocation ceremony should be joined to the Annual Scientific Conference and All Fellows’ (ASCAF) Congress and should be held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja from 16th to 21st of September 2019.

This Anniversary presents the College a unique opportunity to showcase its activities over the years as the Apex of Medical Education in the country. Most people are not aware that prior to the establishment of this endeavour, all postgraduate medical trainings were done abroad.  The financial burden of that arrangement was enormous and if it had continued till the present day, the cost would have become unbearable.  The initiative has thus saved the nation billions of Naira over the years, which could have been spent in training these medical specialists if they have had to be trained entirely overseas. In addition, these Medical and Dental doctors in training are able to avail citizens of the country their invaluable services during their training since they do not have to leave the country. The specialists produced are the Consultants in the various hospitals and also the Lecturers in the Colleges/Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry in our Universities.

The 50th Anniversary Programme of Events is well-loaded with both Academic and Social Events starting on Monday, 16th September with Arrivals and Faculty-Based Activities. The Scientific Activities will commence on Tuesday 17th September at the NAF Conference Centre, Plot 496 Ahmadu Bello Way, Kado, Abuja. The Formal Opening Ceremony will be on Wednesday, 18th September at the International Conference Centre, Abuja where all the other activities will continue with more Scientific Sessions after the Opening Ceremony. Convocation and Awards Ceremony and also Anniversary Luncheon with Endowment for Postgraduate Medical Education will hold on Thursday 19th. The All Fellows’ Congress and Faculties’ All Fellows’ Meetings and Elections will take place on Friday 20th September 2019 and culminate in the Grand Finale Gala Dinner. The departure of participants will be on Saturday, 21st September 2019.

The extraordinary combination of events to celebrate 50 years of Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria makes this programme an exciting experience that no Fellow can afford to miss. This is more so as Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria has a variety of hotels to cater for all manners of taste from the budget-conscious to the exotic. IT IS A ‘MUST ATTEND’.

Dr. Wole Atoyebi, FMCS
Chairman, 50th Anniversary Committee