The global economic landscape is experiencing rapid changes. Globalisation, especially is creating considerable new opportunities and new challenges. Its impact on national economies is driven by significant progress in Science and Technology (S&T) as exemplified by a plethora of breakthroughs in Biotechnology, Space Research, Energy Development, and Information & Communication Technology (ICT), among others. It is therefore obvious that if Nigeria, given its natural endowments, is to successfully transform its economy and take her rightful place in the comity of nations, S&T and its integration in national socio-economic development processes must be accorded the highest priority. It is in this regard that the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration which calls for a fundamental and far-reaching re-orientation of the Nigerian State towards holistic socio-economic development in the framework of Vision 20:2020 must be understood.
In Nigeria, various administrations since independence showed interests and increased appreciation of the role of S&T in national socio-economic development. The realisation of this fact motivated the Federal Government to re-establish the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) as a separate entity in 1985. Since then, Nigeria has expended a great deal of effort on S&T policy development through a combination of the untiring efforts of its scientists, engineers and technologists, international cooperation and government support.
The first National Science and Technology Policy in the country was produced in 1986. The policy was designed to create harmony in the pursuit of knowledge about the environment through Research and Development (R&D). The aim was to use S&T knowledge to ensure a better quality of life for the people. The policy was reviewed in 1997 to give more emphasis to coordination and management of the S&T system, sectoral developments, collaboration and funding.