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  1. Establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts.
  2. Objectives of the Endowment.
  3. Establishment and membership of the Board of Trustees.
  4. Functions of the Board.
  5. Tenure of office of members.
  6. Secretary of the Board and other staff.
  7. Sources of the fund of the Endowment.
  8. Power to accept gifts.
  9. Beneficiaries of the Endowment.
  10. Accounts, audit, etc.
  11. Annual report.
  12. Regulations.
  13. Interpretation.
  14. Short title.


Supplementary provisions relating to the Board



An Act to provide for National Endowment for the Arts.
[1991 No. 52.]

[23rd November, 1991]


1. Establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts

(1) There is hereby established an endowment to be known as the National Endow-
ment for the Arts (in this Act referred to as “the Endowment”).

(2) The Endowment shall have its office within the premises of the National Council
for Arts and Culture and shall operate through a Board of Trustees.

  1. Objectives of the Endowment

The objectives of the Endowment shall be-

(a) to support every medium and area of creative activity in the field of art as a
service to the Nigerian community;

(b) to support the exchange of knowledge and practice in the arts;

(c) to preserve Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage for present and future generations
of Nigerians;

(d) to foster understanding amongst cultural organisations in order to strengthen
cultural ties amongst them;

(e)        to support creativity among talented artists in Nigeria in order to ascertain and
pick, for the development of cultural activities, the best talents among Nigeri-

(j) to foster professional excellence in the arts and create a climate in which it
might nourish and be enjoyed by the generality of Nigerians.

  1. Establishment and membership of the Board of Trustees

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the management of the funds of the Endow-
ment and the responsibility for carrying out the objectives of the Endowment shall be
vested in a Board of Trustees (in this Act referred to as “the Board”).

(2) The Board shall consist of-

(a) a chairman;

(b) three eminent Nigerians to represent the arts, legal and business interests; and

(c) three other persons to represent the Association of Artists, Writers and Design-
ers, no two of whom shall be chosen from one Association.

(3) The members of the Board shall be appointed by the Council of the National
Council for Arts and Culture with the approval of the Minister.

(4) The supplementary provisions contained in the Schedule to this Act shall have ef-
fect with respect to the proceedings of the Board and the other matters contained therein.


4. Functions of the Board

Without prejudice to section 2 of this Act, the Board shall have the following func-
tions, that is-

(a)                          encouragement of the cultural heritage and creativity of Nigerians;

(b) disbursement of funds to individuals and institutions in the fields of culture
and the arts; and

(c) investment of funds of the Endowment in profit-making ventures as may be
approved by the Minister.

  1. Tenure of office of members

Members of the Board shall be appointed for a period of three years in the first in-
stance, on such terms and conditions as may be specified in their letters of appointment,
so however, that not more than three members of the Board may be replaced at the end of
each period.

  1. Secretary of the Board and other staff

(1) The chief executive of the National Council for Arts and Culture shall act as the
secretary to the Board and be responsible for the execution of the day-to-day policy of the

(2) The National Council for Arts and Culture shall post to the Board such other staff
as the Board may require for the purpose of this Act.

  1. Sources of the fund of the Endowment

The Endowment shall draw its funds from the following sources, that is-

(a)            such sums as may be provided, from time to time, by the Government of the
Federation or of a State or Local Government;

(b)                              such sums as may be paid by way of contribution under or pursuant to the pro-

visions of this Act or any other enactment;

(c) contributions from commercial firms which shall be exempted from profit tax;

(d) profits from investment of funds of the Endowment;

(e) matching grants from business houses and philanthropic organisations;

(f)   money collected through fund raising programmes and other gifts that are not
tied to specific projects; and

(g)          subject to section 8 of this Act, all sums accruing to the Endowment by way of
gifts, testamentary disposition, contributions from philanthropic persons or or-
ganisations or otherwise howsoever.

  1. Power to accept gifts

The Endowment may accept gifts of money or other property and upon such terms
and conditions, if any, as may be specified by the person or organisation making the gift
provided that such gifts are not inconsistent with the objectives and functions of the En-
dowment under this Act.

  1. Beneficiaries of the Endowment
    The Endowment shall-

(a) award grants to individuals of exceptional talents;

(b) award grants to non-profit tax-exempt organisations presenting the highest

quality in the field of-

(i)  architecture and environmental arts;
(ii) crafts;

(iii) dance;

(iv) folk arts;
(v) literature;
(vi) museums;
(vii) music;
(vii) media; and

(ix) theatre and visual arts;

(c)        award fellowships to professional artists of exceptional talent to enable them

advance their careers and such fellowships shall be awarded to-

(i) musicians;

(ii) composers;

(iii) music arrangers;
(iv) art critics;

(v) choreographers;
(vi) craftsmen;

(vii) designers;

(viii) film makers;

(ix) musicologists;

(x) photographers; and
(xi) creative writers;

(d)        award grants to non-profit, tax-exempt cultural organisations, such as-

(i) museums;
(ii) music, dance or theatre companies to pursue programmes aimed at
participating at conferences or workshops;

(e)    provide technical assistance to architects and town planners, to enable them
produce exemplary models to produce design and solutions for making cultural
facilities accessible to all people, including the disabled and physically handi-

(f)        provide financial assistance to museums and art galleries;

(g)        institute an annual award scheme for the arts, architectural design and envi-

ronmental planning;

(h)          provide support for training and research schemes in the arts;

(i)         provide support for the organisation of art festivals;

(j)         provide bursaries and aids for art publications; and

(k)        provide grants for supporting acquisitions and commissioning of art work for
public places.

10. Accounts, audit, etc.

(1) The Board shall prepare and send to the Minister through the Council of the Na-
tional Council for Arts and Culture, not later than 30 September in each year, an estimate
of its expenditure and income during the next succeeding year.

(2) The Board shall keep proper accounts in respect of each year and proper records
in relation to those accounts and shall cause the accounts to be audited not later than three
months after the end of each year by auditors appointed by the Board from the list and in
accordance with the guidelines supplied by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

11. Annual report

(1) The Board shall prepare and submit to the Minister, through the Council of the
National Council for Arts and Culture in each year, a report in such form as the Minister
may determine, of its activities during the preceding year and shall include in the report a
copy of the audited accounts of the Endowment for the year and of the auditor’s report

(2) The Minister shall cause a copy of the report submitted to him under subsec-
tion (1) of this section to be laid before the President.

12. Regulations

The Minister may make regulations generally for the better carrying on of the purpose
of this Act and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such regulations may
make provisions for-

(a) anything which is to be or which may be prescribed under this Act; and

(b) the form of any contributions made or raised under section of this Act and
which may be considered as deductible expenses in computing business profit
for tax purposes.

13. Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

“Board” means the Board of Trustees of the National Endowment for the Arts estab-
lished by section 3 of this Act;

“Endowment” means the National Endowment for the Arts established by section
of this Act;

“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for matters relating to arts
and culture; and

“National Council for Arts and Culture” means the National Council for Arts and
Culture established under to the National Council for Arts and Culture Act.

[Cap. N25.]

14. Short title

This Act may be cited as the National Endowment for the Arts Act.

[Section 3 (4).]

Supplementary provisions relating to the Board

Proceedings of the Board

1. Subject to this Act and to section 27 of the Interpretation Act, the Board may make stand-
ing orders to regulate the proceedings of the Board and of any committee thereof.

[Cap. 123.]

2. (1) The Board shall meet not less than two times in every year for the despatch of busi-
ness and at such times and places as its chairman may, from time to time, appoint.

(2) The chairman shall, if required to do so by notice in writing signed by not less than
five other members, call a special meeting of the Board to be held within 28 days from the
date on which the notice is given.

(3) Any notice given under sub-paragraph (2) of this paragraph shall state the matters to
be discussed at the special meeting.

(4) At every meeting of the Board, the chairman shall preside and in his absence, the
members present shall appoint one of their number to preside at that meeting.

(5) The Board may act notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or any defect in
the appointment of a member or the fact that any person not entitled to do so took part in the

(6) The quorum at a meeting of the Board shall be four members.


3(1) The seal of the Board shall not be used or affixed to any document except in pursu-
ance of a resolution duly passed at a properly constituted meeting of the Board.

(2) The fixing of the seal of the Board shall be authenticated by the signature of the
chairman or the secretary or of some other member authorised generally or specifically to act
for that purpose by the Board.

(3) Any contract or instrument which, if made or executed by a person, not being a body
corporate, would not be required to be under seal, may be made and executed on behalf of the
Board by any person generally or specifically authorised to act for that purpose by the Board.

(4) Any document purporting to be a document duly executed under the seal of the
Board shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to be
so executed.

(5) Members of the Board who are not public officers shall be paid out of money at the
disposal of the Board such travelling and other allowances in accordance with such scales as
may be approved, from time to time, by the Minister.

(6) Any member of the Board or a committee thereof who has a personal interest in any
contract or arrangement entered into or proposed to be considered by the Board or a commit-
tee thereof shall forthwith disclose his interest to the Board or committee and shall not vote on
any question relating to such contract or arrangement.

                                                      SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

                                               No Subsidiary Legislation

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