The National Commission for Museums and Monuments was established by Decree No. 77 of 1979 (now Act of Parliament, CAP 242, 2000) to replace the former Antiquities Commission.
According to the Decree, the functions of the Commission shall be:
1. To administer national museums, antiquities and monuments;
2. To establish and maintain national museums and other outlets for or in connection with, but not restricted only to the following, that is
ii) Science and Technology
iv) African, Black and other Antiquities
v) Arts and Crafts
vii) Natural History, and
viii) Educational Services
3. To make recommendations to any State Government or other person or authority concerning the establishment and management of museums and other preservation of antiquities and monuments declared to be national antiquities and monuments; and
4. To approve a museum, that is privately established and maintained for the purpose Act of Parliament, CAP 242, 2000 and at any time withdraw such approval.
The Commission was set up to save Nigerian antiquities from destruction through human and natural agencies and to create among Nigerians an awareness of their country's cultural heritage.
The activities of the Commission therefore cover the rest of the Black world.
Through displays and publications it fulfils one of its primary objectives of discovering, collecting, preserving and researching into the traditional cultures of the various peoples of Nigeria and making the results of such studies known to them.