The status and governance of NIFOR are based on the various legal instruments establishing the institute. The management of the institute is guided by a governing board composed of individuals appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria upon recommendation of the supervising Federal Minister. The broad responsibilities of the governing board include policy formulation, setting research priorities, directing and organizing units within the institute, approving budgets, appointing staff, and providing overall financial guide.
However, being a publicly owned and financed institution, NIFOR is subject to Federal rules and regulations on financial matters and the public service.
The governing board is responsible to the supervising Federal Minister. The Director of the Institute is the chief executive of the institute and assisted by a management committee for the day to day running of the institute. He is responsible to the governing board, of which he is a member, for the day-to-day management of the institute. However, the Director is also directly accountable to the Federal Minister of Agriculture, through the Director of Agricultural Sciences Department of the Ministry.
The Instituteâ€™s human resource strength comprises research scientists; laboratory and field technical support staff, administrative and accounting staff, library staff, health-care staff, clerical and field labour. Presently the Institute has total staff strength of 700 on permanent payroll, and occasional labour force of over 1000 is engaged for seasonal work.