The idea of establishing a professional body of Science Technologists to manage and maintain institutional and industrial laboratories in Nigeria was proposed in July 1971 by the then Federal Commissioner of Education late Mr. A. Y. Eke. This proposal materialized when on 25th of March, 1972 the Nigerian. Institute of Science Technology (NIST) the forerunner of the present Institute was inaugurated in Ibadan. Within a few years of its existence the Institute earned for itself great recognition among science technologists working in various laboratories of tertiary educational institutions, research centres, health, industries, petrochemicals, agriculture and telecommunications.
In 1994 the Institute started the processes of transformation when it directed its efforts towards obtaining statutory recognition. Towards the middle of the year 2003, the transformation processes materialized when the Act of the National Assembly No. 12 of 2003 establishing the Institute was gazetted. By the Act (as contained in the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette No. 47 of 23rd July, 2003 volume 90 pages 199-220) the former Institute has now been transformed into the new Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT). The Council of the new Institute was inaugurated on the 27th May, 2004 by the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology. By this, the journey of a new, transformed and empowered professional body by an enabling Act commenced.