NATIONAL ARCHIVES DECREE 1992


Decree No. 30
[8th July, 1992]


THE FEDERAL MILITARY GOVERNMENT hereby
decrees as follows:

PART III – PRESERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF RECORDS OF PROIVATE BODIES, INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES

34. Power to inspect private records
35. Register of non-current records, etc.
36. Responsibilities of the owners of private archives.
37. Restrictions on disposal, transfer or sale of private archives.
38. Exportation of private archives prohibited.
39. Responsibilities of Director over private archives.
40. Voluntary deposit of private archives in the National Archives
41. Compulsory transfer of private archives to National Archives, etc.
42. Records of banned parties to be transferred to National Archives,
43. Acquisition of records by gift or purchase
44. Collection of oral traditions and oral history and register for oral traditions and oral history.
45. Establishment of archives by business houses or companies.
46. Compulsory transfer of business records

Management of Private Records and Historical Manuscripts

Power to inspect private records

34. The Director shall, as far as possible cause all non-current records and historical documents owned, held or possessed by private bodies and individuals in Nigeria to be inspected and surveyed and advise or cause advice to be given as to their safe custody, preservation and care.

Register of non-current records, etc

35. – (1) The Director shall keep a register (in this section referred to as “the register”) into which shall be entered as the Director may determine, such of the non-current records material and historical document mentioned in section 34 of this Decree which are of value and are not deposited in the National Archives or in a place of deposit.

(2) Entry into the register under subsection (1) of this section shall be made on the basis of a declaration by the private body or individual owning, holding or possessing the record, material or historical documents or on the basis of investigation conducted by the Director concerning the existence of the record, material of historical documents.

(3) The Director may require from any person information concerning private non-current records, materials or historical document owned, held or possessed by him and it shall be the duty of such person to supply the information.

(4) No record or historical document which is less than twenty-five years old shall be entered into the register, unless it has, in the opinion of the Director, major historical interest and significance and when so registered they all assume the status of private archives.

Responsibilities of the owners of private archives.

36. A private body or an individual who, by whatever title, owns, holds or possesses registered records shall:

(a) preserve his archives in an adequate manner and with all due care and repair and bind them as may be necessary

(b) arrange, classify, list and describe the archives:

(c) transmit a copy of such lists or descriptions to the Director:

(d) open his archives for the use of the public at request under such conditions as may be agreed with the Director

(e) make arrangements to publish such of his archives as the Director may require or submit such archives to the Director for publication; and

(f) report any losses of archives to the Director.

Restrictions on disposal, transfer or sale of private archives.

37. – (1) Private archives shall not be disposed of by their owners, holders or possessors except with the written permission of the Director.

(2) The ownership, tenure or possession of private archives shall not be transferred whether for payment or free of charge, without the prior knowledge of the Director who, in the case of sale, may exercise the right of pre-emption.

Exportation of private archives prohibited.

38. – (1) No person shall export or send private archives out of Nigeria.

(2) any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (I) of this section is guilty of an offence under this section and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N1000 or to imprisonment for a tern not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Responsibilities of Director over private archives.

39. - (1) The Director shall, as far as the resources available to him permit, assist the owner, holder or possessor of private archives in arranging, classifying, listing, describing, repairing and binding his archives.

(2) The Director shall microfilm all private archives which he considers to be important for Nigerian history.

Voluntary deposit of private archives in the National Archives

40. - (1) A private body or an individual who owns, holds or possesses archives may deposit them in the National Archives for their better preservation.

(2) Private archives deposited under the provisions of subsection (1) of this section shall not be deemed to have become public archives.

(3) The depositor of private archives shall be free to consult the deposited archives and to make or obtain copies of or extracts from them free of charge.

Compulsory transfer of private archives to National Archives, etc.

41. - (1) The Director shall, with the approval of the Minister, transfer for preservation in the National Archives any private archives which in his opinion are in danger of loss, dispersal,
deterioration or destruction.

(2) When private archives are transferred to the National Archives under the provisions of subsection (I) of this section they shall assume the status of, and be managed as, public archives.

(3) Compulsory transfers of private archives shall be subject to the payment of compensation.

Records of banned parties to be transferred to National Archives,

42. All the records of political parties and other associations or societies which have been banned or proscribed by the Federal Government shall be - transferred to the National Archives by the designated or prescribed authorities within such period or any extension of time as the National Council of Ministers may determine.

Acquisition of records by gift or purchase

43. The Director may receive gifts of records and historical documents of any provenance or purchase them with public funds provided they are of major historical interest and significance.

Collection of oral traditions and oral history and register for oral traditions and oral history.

44. - (1) The Director shall collect or assist in the collection of oral traditions and oral history.

(2) A register for oral traditions and oral history of various collections in various institutes and centres shall be maintained by the Director.

(3) It shall be the responsibility of such institutes and centres to ensure that the lists of their collections are forwarded on the appropriate form to the Director on or before 31st December of every year.

Establishment of archives by business houses or companies.

Preservation and Management of Company Records

45. - (1) Every business house or company which is not Government owned or private companies within the meaning of The Companies and Allied Matters Act (by what name so ever
described) shall, on attaining the age of twenty-five years, operate an archives division.

(2) Every business house or company which has been in existence for at least twenty -five years at the commencement of this Decree shall, not later than three years after that date, establish its archives division on the basis laid down in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent –

(a) a group of business houses or companies, whether they are of the same or different kind, if they so desire, from joining together to establish joint archival repositories for the better preservation and administration of their archives; or

(b) an archival division from being established by any business house or company, which, not being twenty-five years

(4) As from the commencement of this Decree, every business house or company shall be under obligation to make and preserve adequate and proper documentation of its organisation, functions, policies, procedures and transactions.

Compulsory transfer of business records

46. - (1) A business house or a company affected by section 45 of this Decree and which has not established an archival division by itself or jointly with other business houses or companies by a date to be prescribed by the National Council of Ministers shall transfer all their non-current records to the National Archives.

(2) The records transferred into the National Archives' under subsection (1) of this section shall be deemed to be public records under this Decree and shall be so managed.

(3) No compensation shall be paid for the records transferred by virtue of this section.


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