The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

Establishment of the National Archives, etc.

SECTION

  1. Establishment and general functions of the National Archives of Nigeria.
  2. Appointment and functions of the Director, etc.

PART II

Preservation and management of public records

  1. Responsibilities for records management.
  2. Prohibitions.
  3. Designation of departmental records management officer.
  4. Power of Director to examine public records.
  5. Operation of records centres.
  6. Assessment of practices in public offices.
  7. Reports on condition of public records.
  8. Training of departmental records management staff, etc.
  9. Authority of the secretary to the Government of the Federation, etc., not impugned.
  10. Criteria for the selection of public records for permanent preservation.
  11. Responsibility for records transfer.
  12. Power of Director to requisition public records in peril.
  13. Transfer of records of defunct offices.
  14. Preservation of constitutional and legal documents.
  15. Statutory deli very of official publications.
  16. Deferment of records transfer.
  17. Return of records to public offices.
  18. Declaration of places of deposit.
  19. Power of Director over places of deposit.
  20. Return of public archives removed illegally.
  21. Repatriation of migrated archives.
  22. Acquisition of the records of the President.
  23. Disposal of non-archival public records in the National Archives.
  24. Power to dispose of private archives restricted.
  25. Access of the public to the National Archives.
  26. Powers of the Director on access to archives.
  27. Reproduction and publication of archives.
  28. Legal validity of public records.

SECTION

  1. Authentication of copies and seal as evidence of such copies.
  2. Reconstruction of public archives.

Preservation of State Archives

33. Establishment, etc., of State Archives by the State Government.

PART III

Preservation and management of records of private bodies,
individuals and companies

    Management of private records and historical manuscripts

  1. Power to inspect private records.
  2. Register of non-current records, etc.
  3. Responsibilities of the owners of private archives.
  4. Restrictions on disposal, transfer or sale of private archives.
  5. Exportation of private archives prohibited.
  6. Responsibilities of Director over private archives.
  7. Voluntary deposit of private archives in the National Archives.
  8. Compulsory transfer of pri vate archives to National Archi ves.
  9. Records of banned parties to be transferred to National Archives.
  10. Acquisition of records by gift or purchase.
  11. Collection of oral traditions and oral history and register for oral traditions and oral history.

Preservation and management of company records

  1. Establishment of archives by business houses or companies.
  2. Compulsory transfer of business records.

PART IV

Miscellaneous

  1. Appointment of the National Archives Advisory Council.
  2. Functions of the Council.

Power of the Minister to make regulations

49. Regulations.

Offences and penalties

  1. Restriction on the exportation of oral traditions, etc.
  2. Removal and destruction of archives prohibited.

Interpretation and citation

  1. Interpretation.
  2. Short title.

 

An Act to provide for the establishment of a National Archives for the permanent
custody, care and control of all archives of the Federal Government and for mat-
ters connected therewith.

[1992 No. 30.]

[8th July, 1992]

[Commencement.]

PART I

Establishment of the National Archives, etc., of Nigeria

  1. Establishment and general functions of the National Archives of Nigeria

(1) There is hereby established a Federal Department to be called the National
Archives of Nigeria (in this Act referred to as "the National Archives") which shall be
entrusted with the permanent custody, care and control of all archives of the Federal
Government and of such other archives or historical records as may be acquired, from
time to time, pursuant to this Act.

(2) The National Archives shall have such number of branches as the Minister may,
from time to time determine.

  1. Appointment and functions of the Director, etc.

(1) There shall be a Director of the National Archives who shall be appointed in ac-
cordance with the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to the ap-
pointment of officers in the civil service of the Federation.

(2) The Director, under the direction of the Minister, shall have the general function
of organising and managing the National Archives and the services provided in pursuance
of this Act and shall, in particular-

       (a)              give advice on all matters relating to records and archives to all public and State offices, business houses, companies, private bodies and individuals who may request his advice;

       (b)              carry out the appraisal and selection of records for permanent preservation, and their arrangement, classification, listing and provide means of reference to the archives in the National Archives;

      (c)               prepare and publish, with the assistance and advice of the Council established under section 47 of this Act, periodical publications, historical and archival monographs, catalogues and guides, publications of historical sources of national interest (including works resulting from archival historical and general research by the officers of the National Archives);
 
      (d)               select and microfilm all archives essential to the continuity of the Federal Government;
 

     (e)              make arrangements for the housing of films, other records and archives which require to be kept under special conditions;
 

       (f)                cause archives to be repaired and bound or otherwise dealt with as necessary for their better preservation;
 

       (g)               promote the advancement of historical and cultural knowledge and the knowledge of the contents of Nigerian archives by-
 

        (i)       establishing and maintaining a research library which may be made accessible to such leading archival institutions and persons as he may think fit and upon such terms and conditions as he may consider necessary;

       (ii)       organising seminars, visits, exhibitions, lectures, in-service training, courses, meetings and conferences;  

  
                                (h)       conduct research into the archives on behalf of public and State offices, business houses, companies, private bodies and individuals, subject to the payment of appropriate fees;

                                 (i)              reproduce and duplicate records and archives;

       (j)               lend archives in the National Archives, with the approval of the Minister, for display at commemorative exhibitions or for other special purposes;
 

       (k)               establish or assist in the establishment of local training centres in records and archives management and ancillary fields;
 

       ( l )              establish, with the approval of the Minister, relationship with foreign or international organisations on all matters relating to records and archives; and
 

                                  (m)              perform such other functions as are prescribed by this Act.

(3) The staff of the National Archives shall consist of such other officers and employees as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of the law for the time being in force relating to the appointment of officers in the civil service of the Federation.

 

PART II

Preservation and management of public records

3. Responsibilities for records management

(1) The head of a public office shall make or cause to be made or filed such records
which are essential for-

       (a)        the continuity of his office;      

      (b)        the full documentation of its organisation, functions, policies, procedures and transactions; and

      (c)        the efficient, economical and orderly execution of its duties.

(2)  The head of a public office shall take steps to ensure that officers turn over all re-
cords to their successors and establish such safeguards against removal or loss of records
as he shall deem necessary or as may be provided by rules and regulations.

4. Prohibitions

(1) A public office shall not transfer its non-current records to any other public of-
fice, library, museum or other body without the approval of the Director.

(2) A 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 Act exist, without the
approval of the Minister.

  1. Designation of departmental records management officer

(l) A public office shall designate an officer of such seniority as the Minister shall,
with the approval of the President, determine to be the departmental records management
officer.

(2) The departmental records management officer shall have as his function or the
main part of his functions the planning, development and organisation of records man-
agement programme for that office and shall have the following additional functions-

      (a)        afford to the Director such facilities for the examination and inspection of
public records as are prescribed in section 6 of this Act;

      (b)        submit, with the assistance and under the guidance and supervision of the Di-
rector, retention and disposal schedules applying to all records not covered by
the general schedules mentioned in section 8 (1) of this Act for the approval of
the Minister;

      (c)        apply tested standards, procedures, techniques, materials and equipment in all
matters relating to record making and record keeping, records preservation and
protection, selective retention of records, records scheduling for disposal and
transfer of records to a Records Centre or to the National Archives.

  1. Power of Director to examine public records

(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 regard as are provided in the relevant sections
of this Act.

(2)  The 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
secret records.

(3) If the records to be examined under subsection (2) of this section contain any
prohibited or limited to certain purposes, the Director or any other officer designated by
him shall take such oath or make such declaration relating to secrecy (with such modifi-
cations as the circumstances require) as is required by the relevant written law to be taken
or made by persons having access to such records in the public office which has custody
of the said records.

(4) A 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.

  1. Operation of records centre

The Director shall establish, as an integral part of the National Archives, Federal rec-
ords centres (in this Act 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, secu-
rity and reviewing, non-current public records which require to be retained.

  1. Assessment of practices in public offices

(1) The Director shall, with the approval of the Minister, issue general schedules re-
garding the retention and disposal of records common to several or all public offices and
a public office shall comply with such schedules.

(2) The Director shall assess, through periodical reviews of the records making and
record keeping practices of the public offices-

               (a)       the adequacy of their records classification systems as a means of preventing
loss of the records;

              (b)       the extent to which the important policies and programmes of the public office
are documented for future research; and

              (c)        the extent to which records are scheduled for retention or disposal and given
adequate storage and protection.

(3) The Director shall conduct researches and studies, develop and establish stan-
dards and procedures, for record making and record keeping, selective retention of rec-
ords, scheduling of records for disposal, storage, security and preservation of records and
their retirement to records centres or the National Archives.

  1. Reports on condition of public records

The Director shall, in relation to his responsibilities under section 8 of this Act, pre-
pare an annual report to be submitted by the Minister to the President on 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.

10. Training of departmental records management staff, etc.

The Director shall organise training programmes aimed at improving the effectiveness
and technical knowledge of the staff in the public offices concerned with records man-
agement and provide technical advice and assistance in records management to all public
offices.

11. Authority of the secretary to the Government of the Federation etc., not im-
pugned

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as restricting the authority and responsibility of
the secretary to the Government of the Federation or the Federal Civil Service Commis-
sion to exercise their functions in respect of general administrative policy in the public
service, and in particular, to issue policy statements or guidelines aimed at the adminis-
trative improvement of records management in the public service of the Federation or
assessing the effectiveness of any public office in these matters.

12. Criteria for the selection of public records for permanent preservation

(1) All non-current public records of the age of twenty-five years and above which
contain-

     (a)       evidence of the organisation, functions, policies, procedures and transactions of the public office in which they were originally made or received; or

     (b)       evidence of public or private personal property rights or civil rights; or

     (c)        historical or general information,

are hereby declared public archives and may be transferred to the National Archives at
the discretion of the Director.

(2) Where confidential or secret records transferred under subsection (1) of this sec-
tion 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 em-
ployed in carrying out the provisions of that written law shall be applicable to the Direc-
tor and other officers or employees of the National Archives who have access to such
records.

(3) The Director shall transfer to the National Archives all non-current records of-
fered for transfer by any public office provided he considers that such records deserve to
be preserved.

13. Responsibility for records transfer

All 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.

14. Power of Director to requisition public records in peril

The 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 dan-
ger of loss, deterioration or destruction.

15. Transfer of records of defunct offices

The 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.

16. Preservation of constitutional and legal documents

The National Archives shall preserve, under adequate security conditions, all original
constitutional instruments, treaties, laws, decrees and other legal enactments of the Fed-
eral Government.

17. Statutory delivery of official publications

The 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.

18. Deferment of records transfer

The Director may, if it appears to him to be in the interest 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.

19. Return of records to public offices

(1) 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.

(2) The Director may prescribe the conditions for the safe custody and preservation
of the records while in use in the office to which they are returned in pursuance of sub-
section (l) of this section and the head of that office shall comply with the instructions.

20. Declaration of places of deposit

(1) If it appears to the Minister that facilities exist for the safe keeping and preserva-
tion of public archives and their inspection by the public in some place 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.

(2) Where the Minister declares 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 Act shall have ef-
fect accordingly.

21. Power of Director over places of deposit

(1) Where the Minister declares a place of deposit under section 20 of this Act, the
Director shall make arrangement with the authority responsible for that place for the ap-
pointment, as occasion may require, of a suitable person as custodian of the public ar-
chives kept therein.

(2) The 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 Act in relation to the National Archives and the public archives therein and dele-
gate 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 Archives.

22. Return 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.

(2) Nothing 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.

23. Repatriation of migrated archives

The 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 Act.

24. Acquisition of the records of the President

Records of the President, 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 archi-
val value or to such other archives as may be provided for by an enactment.

25. Disposal of non-archival public records in the National Archives

(1) Where the Director is of the opinion that any public archives in the National Ar-
chives are duplicated or are in 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.

(2) The lists of archives disposed of in the National Archives in pursuance of subsec-
tion (1) of this section as well as of any records connected therewith (including the rec-
ords of approval of the destruction of disposal by the Minister) shall be preserved in the
National Archives.

26. Power to dispose of private archives restricted

The Director shall not dispose of any archives voluntarily deposited by private bodies
and individuals without the consent of the depositors or their representatives or succes-
sors.

27. Access of the public to the National Archives

(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.

(2) All public archives of the age of twenty-five years or more shall be open to the
inspection of members of the public but where a longer period of closure had been stipu-
lated 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.

(3) Public archives relating to the private life of individuals shall not be made avail-
able 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 known to the Director.

(4) Access to archives voluntarily deposited by a private body or by an individual
shall be regarded by the conditions agreed between the depositor and the Director.

28. Powers of the Director on access to archives

(1) The Director may, with the approval of the Minister, open to public inspection ar-
chives which are less then the periods prescribed, stipulated or agreed by virtue of the

relevant subsections of section 27 of this Act, if in his opinion such inspection is not
prejudicial to any public or private interest.

(2) The 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 other treatment.

29. Reproduction and publication of archives

(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, any person may make or cause the Na-
tional 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 Act.

(2) No 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 repre-
sentatives.

(3) A person who issues any publication based on the archives he has used in the Na-
tional Archives shall deposit a copy of the publication in the National Archives Research
Library.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting or extending the law relat-
ing to copyright.

30. Legal validity of public records

When it is a requirement of the validity of any public record that it be kept in or pro-
duced from legal custody, the validity of the record shall not be affected by its transfer
from the appropriate place to the National Archives.

31. Authentication of copies and seal as evidence of such copies

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 true and
authentic by the Director or by the custodian of the public archives in any place of de-
posit 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 pro-
ceedings.

32. Reconstruction of public archives

The Director may take such steps as appear to him appropriate for the purpose of re-
constructing public archives which have been destroyed by fire, tlood or other catastro-
phes.

Preservation of State Archives

33. Establishment, etc., of State Archives by the State Government
( I) A State Government may establish a State Archives.

 

 (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (l) of this section, any State Gov-
ernment may join with one or more State Governments to establish a joint State Archives.

 

(3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent any State Government from as-
signing the preservation of its 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 Act.

PART III

Preservation and management of records of private bodies,
individuals and companies

             Management of private records and historical manuscripts

34. Power to inspect private records

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.

35. Register of non-current records, etc.

(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 Act which are of value
and are not deposited in the National Archives or in a place of deposit.

(2) Entry into the registry 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 or historical documents.

(3) The Director may require from any person information concerning private non-
current records, materials or historical documents 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 then twenty-five years old shall be
entered into the register, unless it has, in the opinion of the Director, major historical in-
terest and significance and when so registered they shall assume the status of private ar-
chives.

(5) A record, material or document entered in the register shall assume the status of
private archives.

36. Responsibilities of the owners of private archives

A private body or an individual who, by whatever title, owns, holds or possesses reg-
istered 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.

37. Restrictions on disposal, transfer or sale of private archives

(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.

38. Exportation of private archives prohibited

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

(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) of this section is
guilty of an offence under this section and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding
NI ,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and
imprisonment.

39. Responsibilities of Director over private archives

(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, describ-
ing, repairing and binding his archives.

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

40. Voluntary deposit of private archives in the National Archives

(1) A private body or an individual who owns, holds or possesses archives may de-
posit 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.

(4) Access to private archives deposited under subsection (1) of this section shall be
governed by the provisions of section 27 (4) of this Act.

41. Compulsory transfer of private archives to National Archives

(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 of destruction.

 (2) When private archives are transferred to the National Archives under the provi-
sions of subsection (1) 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 com-
pensation.

42. Records of banned parties to be transferred to National Archives

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 Ar-
chives by the designated or prescribed authorities within such period or any extension of
time as the President may determine.

43. Acquisition of records by gift or purchase

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 sig-
nificance.

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

(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 in-
stitutes 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
31 st December of every year.

Preservation and management of company records 
45. Establishment of archives by business houses or companies

(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.

[Cap. C20.]

(2) Every business house or company which has been in existence for at least twenty-
five years at the commencement of this Act 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 old, desires to do so.

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

46. Compulsory transfer of business records

(1) A business house or company affected by section 45 of this Act 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 President shall transfer all its non-current
records to the National Archives.

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

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

PART IV

Miscellaneous

47. Appointment ofthe National Archives Advisory Council

(1) There shall be appointed by the Minister, with the approval of the President, a
body to be called the National Archives Advisory Council (in this Act 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 Presidency;

(ii)     the Federal Civil Service Commission;
(iii)    the Ministry of Defence;

(iv)      the Chief Archivist, Nigerian Army;
(v)       the Federal Ministry of Commerce;
(vi)      the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
(vii)     the Nigeria Police Force;
(viii)     the Director-General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments;

 (ix)        the Nigerian 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 appoint-
ment.

48. Functions of the Council, etc.

(l ) 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.

Power of the Minister to make regulations

49. Regulations

The Minister 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 the Federal records centres;

       (c)         the responsibilities of persons having the custody of the 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 carrying out of the objectives and purposes of this Act.

      
              Offences and penalties

50. Restriction on the exportation of oral traditions, etc.

(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.

51. Removal and destruction of archives prohibited

(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 who contravenes the provisions of this section or of any provision in
any section of this Act for which no special penalty is specified by this Act 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 exceed-
ing N2,000.

Interpretation and citation

52. Interpretation

(l) In this Act, 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 a 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 Govern-
ment owned companies;

[Cap. C20.]

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

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

"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 Act;

"non-current records" means records that have ceased to be in current use and in-
cludes closed volumes of files, registered or other assemblies of records; "private body" includes a non-governmental association, society or other grouping
of persons, a family or private company established under the Companies and Allied
Matters Act, excluding business house or public company dealt with in sections 45 and
46 of this Act;

"public office" means any Ministry, department, bureau, commission, board, corpo-
ration, council, agency, company or any other office of the Federal Government and in-
cludes 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, photo-
graphs, microfilms, cinematographic films, sound recordings, or other documentary ma-
terial 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 trans-
ferred to an archival establishment or disposed of and when;

"State office" means any Ministry, department, bureau, commission, board, corpora-
tion, council, agency, company or any other office of the Government of a State in Nige-
ria 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 to-
gether in one file or other assembly all the records in that file or assembly shall be treated
for the purposes of this Act as having been created when the latest of those records was
created.

53. Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Archives Act.

SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION  

                                                  No Subsidiry Legislation