The National Mass Literacy Agency was establishment by the Federal Military Government as a Commission under the National Commission for Mass Literacy and Non-formal Education (Decree No. 17 of 1990). The Commission has been saddled with the mandate to ensure the realization of the National Mass Literacy Campaign programme of the Federal Government as part of the plan to ensure that the Millennium goal of ensuring education for all by the year 2015 is achieved. The Commission is set up to achieve the following objectives as its core mandates:
Monitor and coordinate all activities relating to the National Mass Literacy campaign in order to ensure the rapid and successful eradication of illiteracy in Nigeria;
Monitor and coordinate the implementation of all activities for the eradication of illiteracy in Nigeria, and ensure the collection and dissemination of information on literacy in the country;
Conduct research in various fields such as curriculum development, learning and teaching methodologies, appropriate education technologies, motivation of learners and instructors and needs assessment; and
Commission special research programmes and pilot projects in mass literacy, adult and non-formal education in Nigeria.