The origin of contemporary education laws and edicts in Nigeria has been traced to regional laws, current constitutional provisions and military decrees. Durosaro (1998) traced the evolution of decrees to the period after the independence of Nigeria, the subsequent collapse of the first republic and the consequent military intervention in the governance of the nation. He highlighted some of the very important decrees on education and they are presented in tabular form below.
Name of Decree Date Function
Decree No.47 1971 Establishment of Industrial Trust fund
Decree No. 29 1972 School year variations from January — December to September- July each year.
Decree No.1 1974 Establishment of National Universities Commission 
Decree No.12 1976 Covers students loan board.
Decree No.9 1977 Establishment of the national board of technical education
Decree No.11 1977 Registration and control of educational and correspondence colleges in Nigeria
Decree No.46 1977 Provides for the federal government take over of all universities in Nigeria then.
Decree No. 2 1978 Established the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Decree No. 33 1979 Established federal polytechnics 
Decree No.19 1984 Used to eradicate all private universities and to ban the establishment of same.
Decree No.16 1985 Used to empower the federal ministry of education, through the national universities commission to assess and accredited courses in both the federal and state universities.
ii. promulgated on National minimum standard and establishement of institutions.
Decree No. 4 1986 On federal colleges of education
Decree No. 13 1986 On federal universities of technology 
Decree No.20 1986 Caused the variation in the school year from October-September to January-December.
Decree No. 26 1987 On national Library board (amendment)
Decree No. 28 1987
 Provided an amendment to existing decree in Federal Polytechnic 
Decree No. 32 1987 On educational correspondence college accreditation.
Decree No. 6 1988 Was on university of Ife (transitional) provisions amendment.
Decree No.7 1988 Provide an amendment to the university teaching hospital decree.
Decree No. 12 1988 Was on students’ loan board.
Decree No. 26 1988 Used to prosecute and prohibit academic staff union of universities from participating in trade union activities
Decree No. 31 1988 Provided an amendment to the national primary education commission decree.
Decree No.49 1988 Provided some amendment to the national universities commission decree.
Decree No. 53 1988 Was on Nigerian educational research and development council.
Decree No. 33 1989 Was on Joint Admission Matriculation Board.
Decree No.40 1989 Covered the mathematical centre
Decree No. 41 1989 Made provision to regulate and control student union activities.

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