The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gureje is the Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health, Neuroscience and Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ibadan.
Represented by Mr Adedamola Kuti, a Director of Federal Highway, South-West Zone, he said: “Prof. Gureje, by all standards, deserves all the honours we can give him.
“Also, Prof. Gureje is an honoured alumnus of the great University of Benin, my Alma Mater, where as it were, he cut his first teeth in the medical profession, which as today brought glorious fame to him and our great country, Nigeria.
“He is a result-oriented researcher in the field of Psychiatry, whose impact transients, both national and international spheres.
“Globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has severally appreciated and recognised his contributions to global mental health for several decades,” Fashola said.
In their remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale; Provost, College of Medicine, UI, Prof. Olayinka Omigbodun and Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, said Gureje had contributed immensely to research and development of institutions in the medical profession.
Adebowale said, “Gureje’s contributions and his networks have boosted the ranking of University of Ibadan.
He urged the academics to be big for the benefits of others and build institutions.
Some international collaborators of Gureje present at the event included: Prof. Graham Thornicroft, a Consultant Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Prof. Atalay Alem, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and Prof. Soraya Seedat, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.
Gureje, while appreciating the organisers of the event held in his honour, urged the government to pay attention to all policies documents and ensure that “they do not just sit on the shelves”.
According to him, government should implement policies that have been designed and put together here and do that systematically, using local resources and expanding on those resources.
“But, not having enough resources is not an excuse at all.
You can do a lot with what we currently have.
“Also, the government should pay attention to brain drain and do everything to stop brain drain.
“This is to make sure that we are not losing our qualified people to countries that have better resources,” Gureje said.
Earlier, Prof. Victor Lasebikan, Head of Department of Psychiatry, UI, said the week-long programme organised by the Department was to appreciate the immense contributions and mentorship of Gureje.