The National Research and Innovation Council, a body charged with implementing Nigeria’s Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, did not meet for 30 years after the policy was approved by the Federal Executive Council in 1986.
This was revealed on Monday by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu at a news conference in Abuja, noting that this proved that Nigerian leaders failed to grasp the role of science and technology in nation building.
He said, “The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), which was passed by the Federal Executive Council in 1986, had its lead organ as the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) with the President as Chairman.
“This very important NRIC, charged with the implementation of the STIP, could not and did not hold a meeting for 30 years.”
According to the minister, the NRIC met for the first time, after 30 years since its establishment, in January 2016.
“When I was appointed as minister of Science and Technology, I came to a ministry where as many as five of its agencies had zero allocation for a whole year. There was money just to pay salaries.
“The ministry had a chequered history since its inception. At some time, it was merged with another ministry. At one time, it was scrapped completely and ceased to exist. At another time, it was reconstituted with only some of its former agencies,” Onu added.