Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was designed to facilitate the development of technological and scientific apparatus that will put Nigeria among the technology-driven economy in the world.
To achieve this mandate, it has 17 parastatal also known as agencies in several areas of science and technology that conduct research that would lead to manufacturing of machines or inputs which would be useful for the development.
FMST code mandate is research that will give birth to innovation
At the time of publication, Dr. Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu is the Minister of Science and Technology. He was sworn into office by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015.
Origin of the ministry:
The first executive President of Nigeria Alhaji Shehu Shagari made history on January 1, 1980, in a new year message to Nigerians that his government created the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
It was backed up by Act No1 of 1980. It replaces the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) which was established in 1976 by the Murtala-Obasanjo military regime.
After the overthrow of the Shagari administration by Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 1983, scrapped the ministry and merged it with the Education Ministry in January 1984.
It became the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. Gen Ibrahim Babangida reverted the Buhari decision in 1985.
The Most Troubled Ministry
One of the huge problems of Nigeria is inconsistent policy. The change of government means a change of policy when such policy is producing brilliant results.
As such, IBB announced the scrapping of the ministry of science and technology in 1992, it lost all its research institutes and agencies to other ministries.
The same regime established the National Board For Technology Incubation (NBTI) in 1992
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) came on board the same year to formulate and implement Science and Technology policies (S&U).
The S&U was managed and coordinated by the office of the president.
IBB would again re-establish the Ministry Of Science And Technology on August 26, 1993, the day he stepped aside and handed over power to an interim government of Ernest Shonekan.
Subsequently, Science and Technology Unit (STU) in the Presidency became a unit under the resurrected ministry while all its research institutes previously transferred to other Ministries were returned.
Most of the agencies and parastatal under the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Science and Technology are research institutes.
- National Board For Technology Incubation (NBTI)
- Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN)
- The Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT)
- Nigerian Institute For Trypanosomiasis And Onchocerciasis (NITR)
- National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA)
- National Centre For Technology Management (NACETEM)
- National Office For Technology Acquisition And Promotion (NOTAP)
- Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA)
- National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA)
- Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja
- Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBBRI)
- National Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST),Samaru Zaria
- National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria
- Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), Abuja
- Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu
- Federal Institute of Food & Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO)
- National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI),
So…when were the above research institutes established?
|Science and Technology Research Agencies||Year of Establishment||Core Mandate|
|NBTI||1992||To facilitate the establishment and coordinate the activities of Technology Incubation Centres and Science & Technology Parks which are designed to nurture new technology based start-up businesses nationwide.|
|ECN||1979||To plan and co-ordinate the national policies in the field of Energy in all its ramifications.|
|NISLT||March 25, 1972||To advance science laboratory technology profession in Nigeria|
|NITR||1951||To conduct research and development of tools and processes towards the control and eradication of Trypanosomiasis, Onchocerciasis and their respective vectors in Nigeria.|
|NABDA||November 2001||To promote, coordinate and deploy cutting-edge biotechnology research & development|
|NACETEM||September 1992||To develop high level manpower in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) management to all tiers of government in Nigeria|
|NOTAP||1979||To implement the acquisition, promotion and development of technology|
|NARSDA||2008||to promote and support the use of space technology within and outside of Nigeria.|
|RMRDC||February 10, 1988||To promote the development and utilization of Nigeria’s industrial raw materials.|
|NBBRI||April 1, 1978||To conduct integrated applied research and development in the building and construction sectors of the economy|
|NILEST||1964||To produce technologists and technicians with sound training for the production of leather, leather products, and other scientific products and their|
|NARICT||April 1988||To conduct research in the area of chemical, leather, biochemical, solid minerals, engineering plastics and allied fields|
|SHESTCO||1993||To conduct Research and Development in the Advanced Basic and Applied Science|
|PRODA||1971||To advance scientific and technological innovations.|
|FIIRO||1953||To conduct and promote market-driven research and development for the industrialization and socio-economic development of Nigeria|
|NASENI||1992||To manage the research and development of capital goods, production, and reverse engineering to enhance local mass production of standard parts, goods, and services required for the nation’s technological advancement.|
Its departments are:
- Technology Acquisition and Adaptation
- Renewable and Conventional Energy Technology
- Information and Communication Technology
- Human Resources Management
- Finance and Accounts
- Planning Research and Policy Analysis
- Health and Bio-Medical Sciences
- General Services
- Chemical Technology
- Bio-resources Technology
- Science and Technology Promotion
- Special Duties
- Reform Coordination and Service Improvement
- Environmental and Science Technology
6 Core Mandates:
Core responsibilities of the Ministry of Science and Technology in Nigeria include:
- To formulate national policy on science, technology and innovation
- To develop a technology-driven initiative that will immensely contribute to agricultural and livestock productivity
- To use technology-driven innovation for renewable and alternative energy sources for Nigeria.
- To boost Nigeria’s GDP through scientific innovations in the manufacturing sector.
- To assist Nigeria safe foreign exchange through a reduction in the importation of foreign-made products.
- To deploy its natural medicine resources in the development of medicine for Nigerian use.
Contact details of FMST
- Instagram: @fmstng
- Facebook: FmstNigeria
- Twitter: @fmstng
- Website: scienceandtech.gov.ng
Apart from the Federal Institute of Food & Industrial Research, which has shown impact through its research and products, other agencies of the ministry of science and technology need to do more.
Nigeria and Nigerians need them, they should be engines of technology-driven innovations. They should stop being a burden on the taxpayers’ money.
For instance, the ministry has in as one of its mandates how to use technology for renewable and alternative energy sources for Nigeria, yet the materials and resources are there wasting away while the country remains in darkness.
The ministry of science and technology needs to wake up and face today’s technology and reality.
Featured Image Credit:
- Tech Next