Decree No. 30
[8th July, 1992]

decrees as follows:


47. Appointment of the National Archives Advisory Council.
48. Functions of the Council, etc
49. Regulations.
50. Restriction on the exportation of oral traditions, etc.
51. Removal and destruction of archives prohibited.
52. Interpretation.
53. Citation and repeal.

Appointment of the National Archives Advisory Council.

47.- (1) There shall be appointed by the Minister, with the approval of the National Council of Ministers, a body to the called the National Archives Advisory Council (in this Decree referred
to as "the Council”) which shall consist of
(a) a judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice of the Nigeria, who shall
be Chairman
(b) the Director of National Archives;
(c) the Director of the National Library;
(d) three persons nominated for appointment by the committee of Vice-Chancellors;
(e) one representative of each of the following
(i) the office of The Presidency;
(ii) the Federal Civil Service Commission;
(iii) the Minister of Defence
(iv) the Chief Archivist, Nigerian Army;
(v) the Federal Ministry of Trade:
(vi) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
(vii) the Nigerian Police;
(viii) the Director General, National Commission for Museums;
(viii) the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs;

(f) one person versed in Arabic Studies on the recommendation of the Director;
(g) one person to represent missionary bodies;
(h) two persons to represent business interests; and
(i) three persons, who are directors or heads of State archival establishments in Nigeria on
rotational basis.

(2) A member of the council who is not an ex-officio member shall be appointed by the Minister on the recommendation of the body he represents, if any.

(3) A member of the Council who is not a public officer, shall hold office for a period of three years from the date of his appointment and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further period of three years; thereafter he shall no longer be eligible for appointment.

Functions of the Council. etc

48. - (1) The Council shall
(a) advise the Minister on all matters relating to records and archives in particular, on the facilities required for the better and effective preservation and use of archives; and

(b) assist and advise the Director in the preparation of departmental scripts for publication.

(2) Secretariat assistance shall be provided to the Council by the Director from the staff of the National Archives;

(3) The quorum for meetings of the Council shall be ten and subject thereto, the council shall regulate its own procedure.


49. The Minster may make regulations for the following matters

(a) the admission of the public to the National Archives, and their access to and use of the public archives;
(b) the transfer of any public records to the National Archives and Federal Records Centres;
(c) the responsibilities of persons having the custody of public records;
(d) the examination and disposal of public records and public archives;
(e) the fees to be paid in respect of services provided by the National Archives; and
(f) generally, the better carring out of the objectives and purposes of this Decree.

Restriction on the exportation of oral traditions, etc.

Offences and penalties

50. - (1) A person other than a Nigerian who collects oral traditions or oral history or who prepares a manuscript or any records pertaining to Nigeria shall, before being granted an
export licence, deposit a copy thereof in the National Archives

(2) It shall be the duty of the Director to issue the export licence mentioned under subsection (1) of this section.

(3) A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) of this section is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N200

Removal and destruction of archives prohibited.

51. - (1) No person shall remove archives from the National Archives, without the written permission of the Director

(2) No person shall wilfully damage or destroy archives in the National Archives.

(3) A person contravenes the provisions of this section or of any provision in any section of this Decree for which no special penalty is specified by this Decree or any written law is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction, in the case of an individual to a fine not exceeding N400 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and imprisonment, and in the case of body corporate to a fine not exceeding N2,OOO


Interpretation and Citation

52. - (1) In this Decree, unless the context otherwise requires –

"archives" means records which have value for permanent preservation or have been selected for transfer or have been transferred to an archival establishment.

"business houses or companies" means companies registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, excluding private companies as defined in the Act and Government owned companies;

"Council" means the National Archives Advisory Council established by this Decree;

"Director" means the Director of National Archives appointed in accordance with this Decree;

"functions" includes powers and duties

"general schedules" means retention and disposal schedules of keeping records, that is, of records common to most or to a number of, public offices;

"Minister" means the Minister charged with responsibility for National Archives;

"National Archives" means the public office established by virtue of section 1 of this Decree.

"non-current records" means records that have ceased to be in current use and includes closed volumes of files, registers or other assemblies of records;

"private body" includes non- governmental association, society, or other grouping of persons, a family or private company established under the Companies Allied Matters Act, excluding business house or public company dealt with in sections 45 and 46 of this Decree.

"public office" means any Ministry, department, bureau, commission, board, corporation council, agency, company or any other office of the Federal Government and includes the Federal High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the National Assembly;

"records" means all papers, registers, printed matters, books, maps, plans, photographs, microfilms, cinematographic films, sounding recordings, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received by public or State offices, or by business houses or companies, private bodies or individuals in pursuance of their legal obligations or in connection with the transaction of their proper business, but does
not include library or museum material made or acquired solely for reference or exhibition purposes, extra copies of records kept only for convenience of reference or stocks of publications;

"retention and disposal schedules" are lists showing which records are to be transferred to an archival establishment or disposed of and when

"State office" means any Ministry, department, bureau, commission, board, corporation, council, agency, company or any other office of the Government of the State in Nigeria and includes the High Court of a State and the House of Assembly of a State.
(2) Where records created at different dates are, for administrative purposes kept together in one file or other assembly,
all the records in that file or assembly shall be treated for the purposes of this Decree as having been created when the latest of those records was created.

Citation and repeal

53. (1) This Decree may be cited as the National Archives Decree 1992

(2) The Public Archives Act is hereby repealed.

MADE at Abuja this 8th day of July, 1992

President, Commonder-in-chief
Of the Armed Forces.

Federal Republic of Nigeria


(This note does not form part of the above but it is intended to explain its purport)

The Decree establishes a Federal Department called the National Archives of Nigeria and charges it with the permanent custody, care and control of an archives of the Federal Government.


Back to table of contents


2007 Copyright. National Archives of Nigeria. All rights reserved.