The Senate Friday rejected a fresh legislative move to make the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology be in total control of the Nigerian Building Research Institute (NIBRI).
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan stated this at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, chaired by Senator Lilian Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central).
The public hearing was on three proposed legislations which are Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute Establishment bill; National Energy Sustainable Development Bill and the National Research and Innovation Control Establishment bill.
Lawan, who was represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice (APC, Ondo North), said it would be unfair to bring back NIBRI under the control of the ministry.
He said, “I (Boroffice) joined the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2008 and I was the chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology from 2011 to 2019. I understand the anatomy of science and technology. The agency had been freed from the armpit of the ministry.
“One of the bills we are considering today is trying to bring it back to the ministry. It is unfair to bring the agency back under the total control of the Ministr
“The agency should be allowed to play their roles without the control. We are talking about innovation. How can we get innovation if the agency is not free? The ministry should be formulating policies. We are going to oppose any attempt to return the agency back to the ministry.
“The director-general of the agency should also be challenged on the aspect of monitoring and supervision. You are not involved in the control of construction. It is only when there is a case of building collapse that NIBRI would be called upon.”
Lawan also tackled the agency in charge of development control by accusing its officials of inefficiency.
“The development control agency. I am sorry; I don’t think I support what you guys are doing. Your men only go to site and collect money. You don’t do any thorough work and I am going to take it up with you at the right time.”