The United States Mission to Nigeria has showered accolades on a US-based Nigerian, Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, for his contribution to the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. He was said to be part of the team that collaborated with Pfizer, an American multinational pharmaceutical corporation, to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
The US Mission wrote in a Facebook post on Monday:
“Nigerians contribute to the world in so many ways. Our hats off to Dr Onyema Ogbuagbu at Yale who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Dr Ogbuagbu is the son of Prof Stella Ogbuagu, a former Vice-Chancellor at the Abia State University. He graduated from the University of Calabar in 2003 and later migrated to the US where he became an Associate Professor of Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist at the Yale University.
Ogbuagbu’s story is one of those inspiring stories we often hear about Nigerians who left the shores of this land to become a phenomenal success in their search for greener pastures. This is good news and something worth celebrating amidst all the disheartening news making the rounds in recent times.
However, the question we might want to ask ourselves is why Nigerians often have to leave their motherland before they can fully actualize their potentials? The answer is not far-fetched – the lack of an enabling environment is a major factor that is responsible for this.
It is a well-known fact that some of the best brains leave Nigeria in search of greener pastures because the government has failed to create an enabling environment for talents to thrive. And they have failed to realize that the frequent brain drain is costing the country more than we think. With a dilapidated health sector and shortage of qualified healthcare professionals in the system, one can only imagine what Dr Ogbuagbu’s expertise would have contributed to Nigeria‘s healthcare system if he were based in Nigeria.
Dr Ogbuagbu’s story should serve as a lesson to the Nigerian government on the need to create an enabling environment for talents to thrive. Not only will this help individuals to actualize their potential, it will also contribute to the development of the nation – so it’s a win-win situation for all.