THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY ACT. 2003

THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY ACT.

2003

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY AND CHARGED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY, AMONG OTHER THINGS, OF ADVANCING SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY PROFESSION ; AND FOR RELATED MATTERS [ 26th June, 2003 ]

 

1. (1) There is established a body to be known as the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (in this Act referred to as “the Institute”).

(2) The Institute-

(a) shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession;

(b) shall have a common seal which shall be kept in such custody as the Council may, from time to time,authorise ; and

(c) may sue and be sued in its corporate name.

Establishment of the Nigerian Institute of Laboratory Technology,etc.
2. The Institute shall be charged with the general duty of-

(a) advancing science laboratory technology profession (in this Act referred to as “the profession”) ;

(b) determining the standards of knowledge, exposure to equipment, practicals and skills, to be attained by persons seeking to become registered members of the profession and reviewing those standards, from time to time, as circumstances may require ;

(c) promoting the highest standards of competence, practice and conduct among the members of the profession ;

(d) securing, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the establishment and maintenance of a register of members of the profession and the publication, from time to time, of the lists of those persons ;

(e) serving as an agency to secure, safeguard and advance the professional knowledge, standing, efficiency and interests of science laboratory technologists through the Council established under section 4 of this Act ;

(f) conducting examinations and granting certificates and diplomas and advising on, assisting in examinations relating to science laboratory technology in Nigeria;

(g) conducting research in all the areas of science laboratory technology ;

(h) serving as a certifying agency through its registered members ;

(i) ensuring safety standards and necessary facilities in science laboratories and workshops in Nigeria ;

(j) ensuring, through its registered members, effective and efficient management and administration of all science laboratories in Nigeria;

(k) arranging appropriate on-the-job training for members of the profession;

(l) conducting inspection of science laboratories in schools, post-secondary institutions, industries and research institutes in order to improve the professional standards ;

(m) doing such things as may advance and promote the advancement of the profession in both the public and private sectors of the economy ; and

(n) performing, through the Council established under Section 4 of this Act, the functions conferred on it by this Act.

Duties of the Institute.
3. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person admitted into the membership of the Institute shall be registered as and be entitled to use the appropriate title after his name, that is-

(a) Fellow;

(b) Associate member;

(c) Honorary member;

(d) Ordinary member; or

(e) Student member.

Membership of the Institute.
4. (1) There is established, for the Institute, a Council which is charged with the administration and general management of the Institute.

(2) The Council shall consist of-

(a) the President of the Institute, as Chairman;

(b) the Vice-President of the Institute, as Vice-Chairman;

(c) a representative each of the following, that is– (i) the Federal Ministry of Education ; (ii) the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology; and (iii) the Federal Ministry of Finance ;

(d) 12 members of the Institute to be nominated by the Association of Science Laboratory Technologists with two persons representing each of the six geo-political zones of the Federation or in rotation for a term of three years and no two persons shall come from a state at a time; and

(e) One person to represent public interest.

(3) The members under subsection (2) (c) and (d) of this section shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Minister who shall be nominated from the Association of Science Laboratory Technology of Nigeria.

(4) The provisions of First Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to the qualifications and tenure of office of members of the Council and the other matters therein mentioned.

Council of the Institute.
5. (1) The President and Vice-President of the Institute shall be elected members of the Council representing the zones by the members of the Institute.

(2) The appointment under Section 4 shall be for a term of three years and is renewable for a further term and no more.

(3) The Chairman shall preside over the meetings of the Institute, but in the event of death, incapacity or inability of any kind of the Chairman to act, the Vice-Chairman shall act as Chairman for not more than six months within which a new Chairman would have been appointed.

(4) If the Chairman or Vice-Chairman ceases to be the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Institute, he shall cease to hold any of the offices designated under section 4 of this Act.

Chairman of the Institute.
6. (1) The Council shall establish and maintain for the Institute a fund for the purpose of this Act.

(2) There shall be paid into the Fund of the Institute-

(a) statutory allocation from the Federal Government;

(b) all fees and other money payable to the Council in pursuance of this Act; and

(c) such money as may be payable to the Council, whether in the course of the discharge of its functions or not; and

(d) reseach grants.

(3) There shall be paid out of the Fund of the Institute established under subsection (1) of this section-

(a) the remuneration and allowances of the Registrar and other employees of the Institute;

(b)

such reasonable travelling and subsistence allowance of members of the Council in respect of the time spent on the business of the Council, as the Council may approve; and

(c) any other expenses approved by the Council in the discharge of its functions under this Act.

(4) The Council may invest money in the Fund in any security created or issued by or on behalf of the Federal Government or in any other securities in Nigeria approved by the Council.

(5) The Council may, from time to time, borrow money for the purposes of the institute, and any interest payable on money so borrowed shall be paid out of the Fund.

Funds of the Institute.
7. The Council shall keep proper accounts on behalf of the Institute in respect of each year and proper records in relation to those accounts and shall cause its accounts to be audited as soon as may be after the end of the year but not more than three months into the new financial year to which the accounts relate by a firm of auditors approved by the Minister and, when audited, the accounts shall be submitted to the members of the Institute for approval by them at the meeting of the Institute.Accounts audit,etc.
8. (1) The Council shall appoint, a Registrar from among members of the profession, in consultation with the Minister with a minimum of eighteen years of experience.

(2) The Registrar shall be the Chief Executive and accounting officer of the Institute, and shall be responsible to Council on the day to day administration of the Institute’s Secretariat.

(3) The Council shall appoint for the Institute such other persons as the Council may, from time to time, think necessary to assist the Registrar in the performance of his functions under this Act.

Appointment of Registrar.
9. (1) The Registrar shall prepare and maintain, in accordance with rules made by the Council, a register of the names, addresses, approved qualifications, and of such other qualifications and particulars as may be specified in the rules of all persons who are entitled in accordance with the provisions of this Act to be registered as members of the Institute and who, in the manner prescribed by such rules, apply to be so registered.

(2) The Register shall consist of six parts, of which-

(a) the first part shall be in respect of Fellows;

(b) the second part shall be in respect of Associate members;

(c) the third part shall be in respect of Honorary members;

(d) the fourth part shall be in respect of Ordinary members;

(e) the fifth part shall be in respect of Student members ;

(3) Subject to the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, the Council shall make rules with respect to the form and keeping of the register and the making of entries in the register, and in particular-

(a) regulating the making of application for registration and providing for the evidence to be produced in support of the application ;

(b) providing for the notification to the Registrar, by the person to whom any registered particular relates, or any change in those particulars ;

(c) authorising a registered person to have any qualification which is in relation to the relevant category of the profession, whether an approved qualification or accepted qualification for the purposes of this Act, registered in relation to his name in addition to or, as he may elect, in substitution for any other qualifications so registered ;

(d) specifying the fees, including any annual subscription, to be paid to the Institute in respect of the entry of names on the register, and authorising the Registrar to refuse to enter a name on the register until any fee specified for the entry has been paid ; and

(e) specifying anything failing to be specified under the foregoing provisions of this section, but rules made for the purposes of paragraph (d) of this subsection shall not have effect until they are confirmed at a meeting of the Institute.

(4) The Registrar shall-

(a) correct, in accordance with the Council’s directions, any entry in the register which the Council directs him to correct as being in the Council’s opinion an entry which was incorrectly made ;

(b) make, from time to time, any necessary alteration to the registered particulars of registered persons ;

(c) remove, from the register, the name of any registered person who has died ; and

(d) record the names of members of the Institute who are in default for more than six months in the payment of annual subscriptions, and take such action in relation to those members (including removal of the names of defaulters from the register) as the Council may direct or require.

(5) If the Registrar-

(a) sends by post to any registered person a registered letter addressed to him at his address on the register enquiring whether the registered particulars relating to him are correct and receives no reply to the letter within a period of six months from the date of posting it ; and

(b) upon the expiration of that period, sends in like manner to the person in question a second similar letter and receives no reply to that letter within three months from the date of posting it, the Registrar may remove the particulars relating to the person in question from the register, but the Council may direct the Registrar to restore to the appropriate part of the register any particular removed therefrom under this subsection.

Preparation of the Registrar.
10. (1) The Registrar shall-

(a) cause the register to be printed, published and put on sale to members of the public not later than two years from the commencement of this Act;

(b) thereafter in each year, cause to be printed, published and put on sale as aforesaid, either a corrected edition of the register or a list of corrections made to the register, since it was last printed ;

(c) cause a print of each edition of the register and of each list of corrections to be deposited at the principal office of the Institute ; and

(d) cause the register and lists so deposited to be made available to members of the public at all reasonable times for inspection.

(2) A document purporting to be a print of an edition of a register published under this section by authority of the Registrar, or documents purporting to be prints of an edition or a register so published and of the list of corrections to that edition so published, shall be admissible in any proceedings as evidence that any person specified in the document, or the documents read together, as being registered was so registered at the date of the edition or of the list of corrections, as the case may be, and that any person not so specified was not so registered.

(3) Where in accordance with subsection (2) of this section, a person is shown, in any proceeding, to have been or not to have been registered at a particular date, he shall, unless the contrary is proved, be taken for the purposes of those proceedings as having at all material times thereafter continued to be, or not to be so registered.

Publication of Register and list of correction.
11. (1) Subject to section 12 of this Act and to rules made under section9 (3) of this Act, a person shall be entitled to be registered as an associate member of the profession if he satisfies the Council that-

(a) immediately before the commencement of this Act, he holds a qualification approved for membership of the Institute and has completed the post qualification experience ; and

(b)

he is by law entitled to practice for all purposes as a laboratory technologist in Nigeria or in the country in which the qualification was granted.

 

(2) Subject to subsection (1) of this section, a person shall also be entitled to be registered in the appropriate part of the register maintained under this Act if he holds such qualification as may be acceptable to the Council, from time to time.

(3) An applicant for registration under this Act shall in addition to evidence of qualification, satisfy the Council that-

(a) he is of good character ;

(b) he has attained the age of eighteen years ; and

(c) he has not been convicted in Nigeria or elsewhere of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty.

(4) The Council may, in its sole discretion, provisionally accept a qualification produced in respect of an application for registration under this section or direct that the application be renewed within such period as may be specified in the direction.

(5) Any entry directed to be made in the register, under subsection (4) of this section, shall show that the registration is provisional and no entry so made shall be converted to full registration without the consent of the Council signified in writing in that behalf.

(6) The Council shall, from time to time, publish in the Gazette particulars of qualifications for the time being accepted for registration under this Act.

Registration of members.
12. (1) The Council may approve any qualification or institution for the purposes of this Act and may, approve-

(a) any course of training at any approved institution which is intended for persons seeking to become or are already members of the profession and which in the opinion of the Council is designed to confer on the person completing it sufficient knowledge and skill for the practice of the profession ;

(b) any qualification which, as a result of an examination taken in conjunction with a course of training approved by the Council under this section, is granted to, candidates reaching a standard at the examination indicating in the opinion of the Council, that the candidates have sufficient knowledge and skill for the practice of the profession.

(2) The Council may, if it thinks fit, withdraw any approval given under this section in respect of any course, qualification or institution, but before withdrawing the approval, the Council shall-

(a) give notice that it proposes to do so to persons in Nigeria appearing to the Council to be persons by whom the course is conducted or the qualification is granted or the institution is controlled, as the case may be;

(b) afford each such person an opportunity of making to the Council representations with regard to the proposal ; and

(c) take into consideration any representation made as respects the proposal in pursuance of paragraph (b) of this subsection.

(3) A course, qualification or institution shall not be treated as approved during any period the approval is withdrawn under subsection (2) of this section.

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the withdrawal of an approval under subsection (2) of this section shall not prejudice the registration or eligibility for registration of any person who, by virtue of the approval, was registered or was eligible for registration (either unconditionally or subject to his obtaining a certificate of experience) immediately before the approval was withdrawn.

(5) The giving or withdrawal of an approval under this section, shall have effect from such date, either before or after the execution of the instrument signifying the giving or withdrawal of the approval, as the Council may specify in the instrument, and the Council shall-

(a) as soon as possible, publish a copy of every instrument in the Gazette ; and

(b) not later than seven days before its publication, send a copy of the instrument to the Minister.

Approved qualifications, etc.
13. (1) The Council shall keep itself informed of the nature of-

(a) the instruction given at approved institutions to persons attending approved courses of training ; and

(b) the examinations as a result of which approved qualifications are granted; and for the purpose of performing that duty, the Council may appoint, either from among its own members or otherwise, persons to visit approved institutions or to observe the examinations.

(2) A person appointed under this section shall report to the Council on-

(a) the adequacy of the instruction given to persons attending approved courses of training at the instructions visited by him ;

(b) the conduct and adequacy of the examinations observed by him; and

(c) any other thing relating to the institutions or examinations on which the Council may, either generally or in a particular case, request him to report, but the person shall not interfere with the giving of any instruction or the holding of any examination.

(3) On receiving a report made in pursuance of this section, the council may if it thinks fit, and shall, if so required by the institution, send a copy of the report to the person appearing to the Council to be in charge of the institution or responsible for the examination to which the report relates, requesting that person to make observation on the report to the Council within such period as may be specified in the request, but not less than one month beginning with the date of the request.

Supervision of instructions and examinations leading to approved qualifications.
14. (1) There shall be a Committee to be known as the Science laboratory Technologists Disciplinary Committee (in this Act referred to as “the Disciplinary Committee”) which shall be charged with the duty of considering and determining-

(a) any case referred to it by the investigating panel established under subsection (3) of this section ; and

(b) any other case of which the Disciplinary Committee has cognisance under the following provisions of this Act.

(2) The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of the Chairman of the Council and six other members of the Council appointed by the council.

(3) There shall be a body to be known as the Science Laboratory Technologists Investigating Panel (in this Act referred to as “the investigating panel”) which shall be charged with the duty of –

(a) conducting a preliminary investigation into any case where it is alleged that a registered person has misbehaved in his capacity as a member or should for any other reason be the subject of proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee; and

(b) deciding whether the case should be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.

(4) The Investigating Panel shall be appointed by the Council and shall consist of three members of the Council and one member who is not a member of the Institute.

(5) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall, so far as they are applicable to the Disciplinary Committee and Investigating Panel, respectively, have effect in respect of those bodies.

Establishment of Disciplinary Committee and Investigating Panel.
15. (1) Where-

(a) a person registered under this Act is judged by the Disciplinary Committee to be guilty of infamous conduct in any professional respect ; or

(b) a person is convicted by any court or tribunal in Nigeria or elsewhere having power to impose imprisonment as penalty for an offence (whether or not punishable with imprisonment) which in the opinion of the Disciplinary Committee is incompatible with the status of a member of the profession ; or

(c) the Disciplinary Committee is satisfied that the name of any person has been fraudulently registered, the Disciplinary Committee may, if it thinks fit, give a direction reprimanding that person or ordering the Registrar to strike his name off the relevant part of the register.

(2) The Disciplinary Committee may, if it thinks fit, defer or further defer its decision as to the giving of a direction under subsection (1) of this section until a subsequent meeting of the Disciplinary Committee but-

(a) no decision shall be deferred under this subsection for a period exceeding two years in the aggregate ; and

(b) no person shall be a member of the Disciplinary Committee for the purposes of reaching a decision which has been deferred or further deferred, unless he was present as a member ofthe Disciplinary Committee when the decision was deferred.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) (b) of this section, a person shall not be treated as convicted, unless the conviction stands at a time when no appeal or further appeal is pending or may (without extension of time) be brought in connection with the conviction.

(4) When the Disciplinary Committee gives a direction under subsection (1) of this section, the Disciplinary Committee shall cause notice of the direction to be served on the person to whom it relates.

(5) A person to whom a direction relates may, at any time within twenty-eight days from the date of service on him of notice of the direction, appeal against the direction to the High Court and the Disciplinary Committee may appear as the respondent to the appeal and, for the purpose of enabling directions to be given as to the costs of the appeal and of proceedings before the High Court, the Disciplinary Committee shall be deemed to be a party to those proceedings whether or not it appears at the hearing of the appeal.

(6) A direction of the Disciplinary Committee under subsection (1) of this section, shall take effect where-

(a) no appeal under this section is brought against the direction within the time limited for the appeal, on the expiration of that time ;

(b) an appeal is brought and is withdrawn or struck out for want of prosecution, on the withdrawal or striking out of the appeal;

(c) an appeal is brought and is not withdrawn or struck out, if and when the appeal is dismissed and shall not take effect except in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this subsection.

(7) A person whose name is struck off the register in pursuance of a direction of the Disciplinary Committee under this section shall not be entitled to be registered again except in pursuance of a direction in that behalf and a direction under this section, for the striking off of a person’s name from the register, may prohibit an application under this subsection by that person until the expiration of such period from the date of the direction, and where he has duly made such an application, from the date of his last application, as may be specified in the direction.

Penalties for unprofessional conduct.
16. A person who is not a member of the Nigerian Institute of Science Technology incorporated under the then Land Perpetual Succession Act (in this Act referred to as “the Incorporated Institute”) who but for this Act, would have been qualified to apply for and obtain membership of an approved institute outside Nigeria may, within the period of three months beginning from the commencement of this Act, apply for membership of the institute in such manner as may be prescribed by rules made by the Council, and if approved, he shall be registered according to his qualification.Application of this Act to unregistered persons.
17. (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a person shall be deemed to practise as a member of the profession if, in consideration of the remuneration received or to be received and whether by himself or in partnership with any other person-

(a) he holds himself out to the public as a science laboratory technologist; or

(b) he offers to perform or performs any service involving the knowledge of science laboratory technologist ;or

(c) he renders professional service or assistance in or about matters of principle or detail relating to science laboratory technology procedure or processing of data ; or

(d) he renders any other service which may by regulations made by the Council, with the approval of the Minister, be designated as service constituting practice as a science laboratory technologist.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed so as to apply to persons who, while in the employment of any Government, or engaged in commerce and industry, perform the duties or any of the duties of a science laboratory technologist.

When a person is deemed to be a member of the profession.
18. (1) The Council may make rules-

(a) for the training of suitable persons in science laboratory procedure and practice;

(b) for the supervision and regulation of the engagement, training and transfer of persons trained pursuant to rules made under paragraph (a) of this subsection;

(c) prescribing the amount and due date for the payment of the annual subscription ;

(d) prescribing the form of licence to practice to be issued annually or, if the Council thinks fit, by endorsement on an existing licence; and

(e) restricting the right to practice in default of payment of the annual subscription where the default continues for longer than such period as may be prescribed by the rules.

(2) Rules when made under this section shall, if the Chairman of the Council so directs, be published in the Gazette.

Rules as to practice, etc.
19. The Institute shall-

(a) provide and maintain a library comprising books and publications for the advancement of knowledge of science laboratory technology and such other books and publications as the Council may think necessary for the purpose;

(b) encourage research into science laboratory technology and such allied subjects as may be relevant to science laboratory technology to the extent that the Council may, from time to time, consider necessary.

Provision of library facilities, etc.
20. (1) If a person, for the purpose of procuring the registration of any name, qualification or other matter-

(a) makes a statement which he believes to be false in a material particular; or

(b) recklessly makes a statement which is false in a material particular, he commits an offence.

(2) If, on or after the relevant date, a person who is not a member of the Institute practises or holds himself out to practise for or in expectation of a reward or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is a member of the Institute he commits an offence, but in the case of a person falling within section 16 of this Act-

(a) this subsection shall not apply in respect of anything done by him during the period of three months mentioned in that section; and

(b) if within that period he duly applies for membership of the Institute then, unless within that period he is notified that his application has not been approved, this subsection shall not apply in respect of anything done by him between the end of that period and the date on which he is registered or is notified.

(3) If the Registrar or any other person employed by or on behalf of the Institute wilfully makes any falsification in any matter relating to the register, he commits an offence.

(4) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable-

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding N25,000;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding N25,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.

(5) Where an offence under this section which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of or to be attributable to any neglect on the part of any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, is deemed to have committed that offence and is liable to be prosecuted and punished accordingly.

(6) In this section, “the relevant date” means the third anniversary of the coming into force of this Act or such earlier date as may be prescribed for the purpose of this section by order of the Minister published in the Gazette.

Offences.
21. (1) Except as otherwise provided under this Act, regulations made under this Act shall be published in the Gazette as soon as possible after they are made and a copy of any such regulations shall be sent to the Minister not later than seven days before they are so published.

(2) Rules made for the purposes of this Act, shall be subject to confirmation by the Institute at its next general meeting or at any special meeting of the Institute convened for that purpose, and if then annulled, shall cease to have effect on the day after the date of annulment, but without prejudice to anything done pursuant to or intended pursuance of any such rules.

22. (1) The Incorporated Institute and its Governing Board, by whatever name called, are hereby dissolved.

(2) Accordingly, on the commencement of this Act-

(a) all assets and liabilities held or incurred immediately before that day by or on behalf of the Incorporated Institute shall, by virtue of this Act and without further assurance, vest in the Institute established by this Act and be held by it for the purposes of the Institute ; and

(b) subject to subsection (3) of this section, any act or thing made or done by the Incorporated Institute shall be deemed to have been made or done by the Institute established by this Act.

(3) The provisions or the Third Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to matters arising from the transfer by this section to the Institute, of the property of the Incorporated Institute and with respect to the other matters mentioned therein.

Dissolution of the Incorporated Institute and transfer to the Institute of certain assets and liabilities.
23. In this Act- “Council” means the Council established for the Institute under section 4 of this Act; “Disciplinary Committee” means the Science Laboratory Technologists Disciplinary Committee established under section 14 (1) of this Act ; “fees” includes annual subscription ; “Incorporated Institute” means the Nigerian Institute of Science Technology incorporated under the then Land (Perpetual Succession) Act ; “Investigating Panel” means the Science Laboratory Technologists Investigating Panel established under section 14 (3) of this Act; “member of the Institute” means a registered member of the Institute ; “Minister” means the Minister charged with the responsibility for matters relating to Science and Technology; “Profession” means the profession of Science Laboratory Technology ; “register” means the register maintained in pursuance of section 9 of this Act.Interpretation.
24. This Act may be cited as the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology Act, 2001.Citation.