Established December 8 2015
For Learning and Community Service
In 2014, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, signed into law the bill for the establishment of the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo proposed by the Ondo State House of Assembly under Schedule 1, Section 5(2), and Article 39(1) of Ondo State Laws.
The Law was designed to find ways to sustain the delivery of model health services that had been the hallmark of the administration of the State under Governor Mimiko. Under the Abiye program, Ondo State was the only state in the country that had achieved the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 aimed at reducing maternal and child deaths. The State had established model Mother and Child Hospitals in Akure and Ondo, ultra-modern diagnostic services and a Medical Village with considerable investments made in infrastructural and human resource development. To sustain such a groundbreaking vision, and to ensure high quality delivery of health services for all Nigerians, the idea of a University came to the fore.
The alternative options for implementing the vision of sustaining human resource development for health in Ondo State was to either to establish a College of Medicine in the existing State Universities in Akungba or Okitipupa or to establish a mini-campus on Medical education linked to one of the Universities. However, these options fell through because of experiences which shows that Colleges of Medicine established far away from the operating headquarters of the main Universities have not worked very well in this country. There is always the problem of primary loyalty to the initial founding vision of the parent Universities and also administrative bottlenecks that often prevent the full realization of the full potentials of the medical institution. Also, many mini-campuses of Universities have never really functioned well in this country, and because of the big vision of transforming West Africa's health care delivery system being envisaged for this initiative, it was felt that a new University right from the onset will be more appropriate.
Thus, following the enactment of the law establishing the University, the State Government mandated a consortium led by Professor Eugene Okpere of the National Universities Commission assisted by Professor Odugbemi, Vice-Chancellor of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology to develop academic briefs for the new university. Part of what is being reported here is the results of the work of these two frontline medical educators. Additionally, a consultant - Okoh Investment, Nigeria Ltd - provided a detailed master plan of the University for its location in Laje Road in Ondo town.
On presentation of the State Law establishing the University, the Master Plan and the Academic Briefs of the University, the National Universities Commission (NUC) gave official recognition to the University on April 22, 2015. In presenting the letter of recognition to the Executive Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the Executive Secretary of the NUC said inter alia: "I wish to congratulate the Government and people of Ondo State for this establishment of the Ondo State University of Medical Sciences. With effect from 22nd April, 2015, the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo has been recognized by the National Universities Commission as the 40th State University and the 139th University in Nigeria. It is however advised that the University should invite the NUC to assess the resources and facilities before the enrolement of students into the medical programmes". Responding, the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko said "our goal is not only to produce one of the best Nigerian Universities but we want a University of global record. We were driven by the passion for excellence in medical services in Nigeria and we thought that we needed a specialized University dedicated entirely to training, service delivery and high quality research in the medical disciplines. We also want an institution that will be a medical tourism destination where we can give first class quality service to every Nigerian and beyond.
In accordance with the University Law, the State Governor thereafter appointed Professor Friday Okonofua, FAS, a renowned professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology as the first Vice-Chancellor of the university in March 2015. Dr. Funke Oyebade, mni, a former Registrar at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure was also appointed the first Registrar of the institution in March 2015.