Towards Better Models
Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Chapter 12: Nigeria’s STI policy and the dilemma of implementation
Though on an ad hoc basis, implementation of science and technology (S & T) projects and programmes commenced in Nigeria during the colonial era. Starting from 1966, successive post-independence governments established various structural S & T organs to coordinate various S & T activities in the country. Nigeria’s first explicit S & T policy was formulated in 1986 and has been reviewed three times: in 1997, 2003 and 2012. The latest version is designated science, technology and innovation (STI) policy to reflect the government’s renewed commitment to research and innovation. We note however, with dissatisfaction, the weak implementation of the policies as typified by little or no impact of the policies on the Nigerian economy. In this chapter, we ascribe this, in part, to the limited interactions between government, industry and S & T research systems. By and large, the weak S & T policy implementation in Nigeria is traceable to historical, institutional, structural, cultural and political factors. Most often rooted in inadequate policy formulation processes, implementation of the policy is commonly plagued with the absence of STI physical infrastructures, capital goods producers, and policy-implementing institutions or agencies, the non-integration of S & T policy with other cognate policies, and fairly frequent policy somersaults. In contrast, commencing with more inclusive policy formulation processes, the new STI policy addressed these challenges and more. The chapter therefore concludes that its full implementation would result in mutually beneficial interactions and promote an effective innovation policy dance in the country.
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