By Maria Famakinwa
The need to bridge knowledge gap between policy makers and researchers as a way to achieving sustainability of programmes in the country has been stressed.
The wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu made this known while speaking as a panelist during the 7th Nigeria Implementation Science Alliance (NISA) Conference in Abuja
Mrs Akeredolu said: “The big question is, do we have a synergy between researchers and the policy makers whose role is to implement the results of researches at the government level? There is the need to create awareness and understanding around the policy makers who are in the positions to effect the implementation of programmes.
“When policy makers have the right understanding of the way things operate, there will be natural inclination in them to ask the right questions and implementation will become a natural thing for them to do. So, that knowledge gap has to be bridged,” she said.
Mrs Akeredolu added that researchers should do more than merely converging to convey research findings in conference, saying: “When a programme is pronounced by researchers, it is expected that policy makers take certain steps regarding implementation, but the knowledge gap sets in at some points and hinders effective result.
She explained that apart from being the First Lady of a state, her backgrounds in the civil society as a founder of multiple Non Governmental Organisations, private sector investor and retired fishery officer from the Federal civil service put her in good stead with respect to experience in matters that relate to programme implementation.
Her words: “I belong to three world that are of relevance to this conference. That is the more reason this gathering is of great interest to me. Firstly, I am a retired Federal Fishery Officer after 28 years of service, so I know what happens at the Civil Service level. I also have a background in civil society as I run about four Non Governmental Organisations, and I am also into the private sector, doing large-scale fish production.
“Among my NGOs is the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) that thrives in medical research, which is why I am very much interested in this conference. In the NGO world, for instance, funding is usually a contentious issue, particularly at the level of programme implementation.”
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, lamented the dearth of home-grown data as Nigeria’s perpetual bane in its bid to breakthrough in the areas of scientific research and programme implementation.
The Minister however said that the Federal Government already has plans underway toward ensuring that the country resolves its data challenge.