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FG’s new 500,000 teachers must include lab technicians – NISLT Registrar

You will soon leave office as Director- General of NISLT, how have you been able to steer the organization towards meeting its objectives in the…

You will soon leave office as Director- General of NISLT, how have you been able to steer the organization towards meeting its objectives in the last 10 years?
I want to thank God for using me to develop this place. When I first came in, there was no Nigeria Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT). What we had was an association that was not recognized by law. When I came in, I fought for the recognition by getting the enabling law passed by the National Assembly in 2003. But that was when I became a full time Registrar and Director- General in 2006.
Also, as a pioneer Registrar/Chief Executive Officer, I ensured that these structures the institute is using today were put in place. When I came in, the staff strength was just five but now it’s over 100. Again, when I came in, we had barely 2,000 members across the country, but today we have over 16,000 members.
We have also been able to put in place a multi-purpose laboratory. It is from there we carried out tests and analysis for people all over the country. Also, I can say my staff are happy. When they are happy, we shall be able to discharge our duties faithfully. Another plus is that we are setting up our national headquarters in Abuja. The first administrative building is coming up. I hope before I leave office, we will be able to commission it.
We have to realize the fact that we are a young agency. We are 10 years old under government recognition so we need funds. Again, we have challenge in reaching out to people in other geopolitical regions of the country. There are no zonal offices yet.
You recently advocated for inclusion of science lab technicians in the proposed 500, 000 teachers to be hired by FG, what informed this?
Yes. We observed that there are no functional laboratories in many of the government-owned secondary schools. Many of them have broken down. And if there are known functional laboratories, there are two things found missing; funding and personnel. Already, we have sent a memo to the National Council of Science and Technology that at least they should employ three laboratory technologists in each school because under normal circumstances, there should be separate laboratories for Chemistry, Physics and Biology subjects. If the lab technicians are there, they will make the laboratories functional, ensure there are instruments to be used and where those instruments are unavailable; they have the skills and knowledge to improvise. Also, the lab technicians have the technical know-how on how to ensure proper maintenance of instruments. These are reasons we are advocating for the inclusion of lab technicians in the proposed 500,000 teachers to be employed.

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