Sunday, March 05, 2006

Nigeria: The Widening Gap between Research and Policy

The Director General of the Nigerian Medical Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Oni Idigbe, made some startling statements over the weekend in the Sunday Punch, a Nigerian Newspaper.

This excerpted statement culled from his interview with the newspaper says a lot about how Nigeria works:
"There has been a gap between the researchers and the policy makers...How do we translate research findings into actions, policies, improved strategies, diagnosis of patients and development of new drugs? A lot of data are available but there is a break in link between the researcher, the government and the policy makers..."
Dr Idigbe state further that there is "no department in the health ministry that has been given that schedule to really come up with identifying important findings and advising government on how best to use them."

Although Dr Idigbe is a medical scientist, his assertions can be generalized to almost all facets of the Nigerian public sectors.

The fact is he hasn't said anything new. Those familiar with Nigeria would have deduced before now that the country is a place where policies are implemented haphazardly, and once implemented, they are hardly evaluated for their impacts and efficacies.

Is it still a mystery why nothing works in Nigeria?