ARCHIVES DECREE 1992
Decree No. 30
[8th July, 1992]
THE FEDERAL MILITARY GOVERNMENT hereby
decrees as follows:
II - PRESERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC RECORDS
for records management.
5. Designation of Department
Records Management officer.
6. Power of Director to examine
7. Operation of records centre.
8. Assessment of practices
in public offices.
9. Reports on condition of
10. Training of departmental
records management staff, etc.
11. Authority of the Secretary
to the Government oft he Federation, etc. not impugned.
12. Criteria for the selection
or public records for permanent preservation.
13. Responsibility for records
14. Power of Director to
requisition public records in peril.
15. Transfer of records
of defunct offices
16. Preservation of constitutional
and legal document
17. Statutory delivery of
18. Deferment of records
19. Return of records to
20. Declaration of places
21. Power of Director over
places of deposit
22. Return of public archives
23. Repatriation of migrated
24. Acquisition of the records
of the President.
25. Disposal of non-archival
public records in the National Archives.
26. Power to dispose of
private archives restricted.
27. Access of the public
to the National Archives.
28. Powers of the Director
on access to archives
29. Reproduction and publication
30. Legal validity of public
31. Authentication of copies
and seal as evidence of such copies.
32. Reconstruction of public
33. Establishment, etc.
of State Archives by the State Government.
for Records Management
3. - (I)
The head of a public office shall make or cause to be
made or filed such record which are essential for
(a) the continuity of his office;
full documentation of its organisation, functions,policies,
(c) the efficient, economical and orderly execution of
head of a public office shall take steps to ensure that
officers turn over all records to their successors and
to establish such safeguards against removal or loss of
records as he
shall deem necessary or as may be provided by rules and
4. - (1)
A public office shall not transfer it's non-current records
to any other public offices, library, museum or other
body without the approval of the Director.]
public office shall not destroy its non-current records
in respect of which no retention or disposal schedules
specified in section 5 (2) (b) of this Decree exist without
the approval of the Minister.
of departmental records management officer
5. - (1)
A public office shall designate an officer of such seniority
as a Minister shall, with the approval of the National
council of Minister, determine to be the departmental
records management officer.
department records management officer shall have as his
function or the main part of his functions the planning;
development and organization of records management programme
for that office and shall have the following additional
(a) afford to the Director such facilities for the examination
and inspection of public records as prescribed in section
6 of this Decree;
(b) submit, with the assistance and under the guidance
and supervision of the Director, retention and disposal
schedules applying to all records not covered by the general
schedules mentioned in section 8 (1) of this Decree for
the approval of the Minister,
tested standard, procedures, techniques, materials and
equipment in all matters relating to record making and
record keeping, record preservation and protection, selective
retention of records, records scheduling for disposal
and transfer of records to a Records Centres or to the
of Director to examine public records
6. - (1)
The Director or any other officer designated by him shall
have the power to examine records which are not confidential
or secret and in the custody of any public officer and
shall take such actions in their regards as are provided
in the relevant sections of this Decree. .
Director or any other officer designated by him shall
with the permission of the head of the public office that
has custody of the records, examine any confidential or
the records to be examined under subsection (2) of this
section contain any information from members of the public
the disclosure of which is, by written law, prohibited
or limited to certain purposes, the Director or any other
officer designated by him shall take such oaths or make
such declaration relating to secrecy (with such modifications
as the circumstances require) as is required by the relevant
written law to be taken made by the persons having access
to such records in the public office which has custody
of the said records.
person who takes an oath or makes a declaration under
subsection 3 of this section shall, for the purposes of
any punitive provision of the written law relating to
any disclosure in contravention of the written law, be
deemed to be a person employed in carrying out the provisions
of the relevant written law.
of Records Centres
Director shall establish, as an integral part of the National
Archives, Federal Records Centre (in this decree referred
to as "the records centres") which shall be
primarily charged with the management of non-current public
records, and in which shall be made available records
storage facilities to which may be transferred, for their
servicing, security and reviewing,
noncurrent public records which require to be retained.
of practice in public offices
The Director shall, with the approval of the Minister,
issue general schedules regarding the retention and disposal
of records common to several or all public offices and
a public office shall comply with such schedules.
Director shall assess through periodical reviews of the
record making and record keeping practices of the public
adequacy of their records classification Systems as a
means of preventing loss of the records;
extent to which the important policies and programmes
of the public office are documented for future research;
extent to which records are scheduled for retention or
disposal, and given adequate storage and protection.
Director shall conduct researches and studies, develop
and establish standards and procedures, for record making
and record keeping, selective retention of records, scheduling
records for disposal, storage, security and preservation
of records and their retirement to records centre or the
on condition of public records
Director shall, in relation to his responsibilities under
section 8 of this Decree, prepare an annual report to
be submitted by the Minister to the National Council of
the activities of the public offices in the field of records
management and such reports shall be made available to
the public offices concerned after approval.
of departmental records management staff
Director shall organize training programme aimed at improving
the effectiveness and technical knowledge of the staff
in the public offices concerned with records management
and provide technical advice and assistance in records
management to all public offices.
of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, etc
not im pugned
11. Nothing in this Decree
shall be construed as restricting the authority and responsibility
of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation or
Federal Civil Service Commission to exercise his functions
in respect of general administrative policy in the public
service, and in particular, to issue policy statements
or guidelines aimed at the administrative improvement
of records management in the public service of the Federation
or assessing the effectiveness of any public office in
for the selection of public records for permanent preservation
12. - (1)
All non-current public records of the age of twenty five
years and above which contain
of the organization, functions, policies, procedures and
transaction of the public office in which they were originally
made or received; or
(b) evidence of public or private personal or property
rights or civil rights; or
or general information are hereby declared public archives
and may be transferred to the National Archives at the
discretion of the Director
confidential or secret records transferred under subsection
(I) of this section contain information the disclosure
of which is, in accordance with any written law, prohibited
or restricted to certain persons, punitive provisions
applicable to a person employed in carrying out the provisions
of that written law shall be applicable to the Director
and other officers or employees of the National Archives
who have access to such records.
Director shall transfer to the National Archives all non-current
records offered for transfer by any public office provided
he considers that such records deserve to be preserved.
for records transfer
the work involved in depositing documentary materials
in the National Archives (including transportation and
the completion of sets of films) shall be carried out
by the institution, organisation or enterprise from which
the said materials originate
of Director to requisition public records in peril
Director may, with the approval of the Minister requisition
all non-current public records meriting preservation and
which, not being twenty-five years of age are in danger
of loss, deterioration or destruction.
of records of defunct offices
records of a defunct or terminated public office which
the Director considers to deserve preservation shall be
transferred to the National Archives; provided that the
functions of that office pertaining to the selected records
are not transferred to another public office.
of constitutional and legal document
National Archives shall preserve under adequate security
conditions, all original constitutional instruments, treaties,
law, decrees and other legal enactments of the Federal
delivery of official publications
head of every public office shall within three months
of publication deliver not less than two copies of every
publication issued by that office for preservation as
printed archives in the National Archives.
of records transfer
Director may, if it appears to him to be in the inrerest
of the proper administration of the National Archives,
direct that the transfer of any category of public records
should be suspended until arrangements for their reception
have been completed.
of records to public offices
The Director may, at the request of the head of the public
office from which they were transferred, return records
for use in that office; provided that such records shall
not be retained
in that office for longer than one year without the consent
of the, Director.
Director may prescribe the conditions for the, safe custody
and preservation of the records while in use in the office
to which they are in pursuance of subsection (I) of this
section and the head of that office shall comply with
of places of deposit
If it appears to the Minister that facilities exist for
the safe keeping and preservation of public archives and
their inspection by the public in some places other than
the National Archives and that convenience so requires,
he may, at the request, or with the agreement, of the
authority responsible for that place declare that place
to be a place of deposit for public archives of a particular
category or particular categories
the Minister declare any place to be a place of deposit
for any category or categories of public archives, public
archives of such category or categories shall be transferred
for preservation or be preserved in that place of deposit
in lieu of the National Archives and in relation to such
public archives, the provisions of this Decree shall have
Power of Director over places of deposit
21 - (1)
Where the Minister declares a place of deposit under section
20 of this Decree, the Director shall make arrangement
with the authority responsible for that place for the
appointment, as occasion may require, of a suitable person
as custodian of the public archives kept there in.
Director shall have access to a place of deposit and may
exercise, in relation to any place of deposit and to the
public archives therein, the functions conferred on him
by this Decree
in relation to the National Archives and the public archives
therein and delegate to the custodian of the public archives
in any such place any of those functions other than the
power of affixing the seal of the Director of National
of public archives removed illegally
- (1) The Director shall have the power to recover any
public archives belonging to the Federal Government that
have been illegally removed from official custody.
in this section shall be deemed to Authorise the Director
to demand the surrender of any public archives that are
kept in any state office except with the consent
of the State Government concerned.
of migrated archives
Director shall take steps, as may be necessary, to acquire
and have returned to Nigeria any public records or records
of historical value to Nigeria which may have been exported
from Nigeria prior to the commencement of this Decree.
Acquisition of the records of the President
of the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces,
shall at the end of his tenure of office be transferred
to the National Archives after they have been inspected
by the Director to ascertain their archival value or to
such other Archives as may be provided for by an enactment.
Disposal of non-archival public records in the National
Where the Director is of the opinion that any public archives
in the National are duplicated or are in an irreparable
state of deterioration or have no permanent value for
preservation or should for some other reasons not be preserved,
he may, with the approval of the Minister, dispose of
such non- archival records in any manner he deems fit.
list of archives disposed of in the National Archives
in pursuance of subsection (1) of this section as well
as of any records connected therewith (including the records
of approval of the destruction of disposal by the Minister)
shall be preserved in the National Archives.
to dispose of private archives restricted
Director shall not dispose of any archives voluntarily
deposited by private bodies and individuals without the
consent of the depositors or their representatives or
of the public to the National Archives
27 - (1)
Members of the public shall have free access to public
archives in the National Archives to which there had been
free access when the archives were in the custody of the
public office from which they had been transferred.
public archives of the age of twenty-five years or more
shall be open to the inspection of member of the public
a longer period of closure had been stipulated by the
head of the public office which had the custody of the
public archives before their transfer to the National
Archives, the Director shall comply with the stipulation.
archives relating to the private life of individuals shall
not be made available for the inspection of members of
the public except with the written permission of the persons
concerned, their heirs or their executors, if these are
know to the Director
to archives voluntarily deposited by a private body or
by an individual shall be regulated by the conditions
agreed between the depositor and the Director.
Powers of the Director on access to archives
28. - (1)
The Director may, with the approval of the Minister, open
to public inspection archives which are less than the
periods prescribed, stipulated or agreed by virtue of
the relevant subsections of section 27 of this Decree,
if in his opinion such inspection is not prejudicial to
any public or private interest.
Director may refuse to allow access to any archives on
the ground of their fragile conditions and may deny access
to any archives pending their classification, repair or
and publication of archives
- (1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, any person
may make or cause the National Archives to make at his
own expense copies of or extracts from any public archives
which have been made available to him in the National
Archives in pursuance of this Decree.
person may publish the whole or part of any public archives,
without the written permission of the Director and in
the case of archives voluntarily deposited by private
bodies or individuals, without the written consent of
the depositor or his representatives.
person who issues any publication based on the archives
he has used in the , National Archives shall deposit a
copy of the publication in the National Archives Research
in this section shall be construed as affecting or extending
the law relating to copyright.
validity of public records
it is a requirement of the validity of any public record
that it be kept in or produced from legal custody, the
validity of the record shall not be affected by its transfer
from the appropriate place to the National Archives.
of copies and seal as evidence of such copies
31. A copy
or extract from any archives in the National Archives,
including microcopies and photocopies of such a copy or
extract, purporting to be duly certified as authentic
by the Director
or by the custodian of the public archives in any place
of deposit where such archives are kept, and authenticated
by having impressed thereon the official seal of the Director
or of the place of deposit shall be admissible in evidence,
if the original document or documents would have been
admissible in evidence in the proceedings.
of public archives
Director may take such steps as appear to him appropriate
for the purpose of reconstructing public archives which
have been destroyed by fire, flood or other catastrophes
etc. of State Archives by the State Government
of State Archives
33. - (1)
A State Government may establish a State Archives.
the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, any
State Government may join with one or more State Governments
to establish a joint State Archives.
in this section shall be deemed to prevent any State Government
from assigning the preservation of its archives to the
National Archives, so however that such archives shall
be regarded and managed as part of the archives of the
Federal Government and subject therefore to the provisions
of this Decree.
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