Brief History
In 1914, the area of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria were united. This was mainly due to the growing international tension and war with Germany. In fact, Nigeria would be used as a base of operations against the German colony of Cameroon in 1914/15.

Nigeria with its natural resources and high population density was one of the more profitable and economic colonies. It also produced goods that were not in competition with the white settler agrarian colonies which meant that it could avoid the worst of excesses of the depression in the 1930s which hurt the standard commodoties more than the exotic products of Nigeria.

World War two was to further cement the economic well being of the colony as it good provide products to the empire from a safe base. Other than U-boats there was no strategic threat to the colony in this war.

The relative wealth for the colony made it a clear candidate for one of the first African nations to be granted independence. The fact that Nigeria had pioneered the indirect form of rule bequeathed by Lugard, also meant that its transition would be easier than most other colonies as they still pretty much maintained the old power structures intact. Consequently, Nigeria was federated in 1954 and made fully independent in 1960.

Imperial Flag
map of Nigeria
1896 Hausaland Map
1913 Map of Africa
1914 Map of Nigeria
1955 Map of Northern Nigeria
1961 Map of Lagos Region
1955 Map of Eastern Nigeria
1956 Map of Southern Eastern Nigeria
1955 Map of North-Eastern Nigeria
1955 Map of Western Nigeria
1955 Map of Kaduna Region
Map of Eastern Nigeria, 1958
Historical nigeria
Images of Nigeria
National Archive Nigeria Images
1914 - 1954
sheet music
Pre-1978 Anthem of Nigeria
Thanks to Michael Jamieson Bristow
Northern Nigeria
Southern Nigeria
Empire's Last Officers
A BBC audio program about a Colonial British Officer in Nigeria
Mister Johnson
Sanders of the River
Pioneer Nigeria
A former Colonial Agricultural Officer gives a brief overview of how an inspection regime was developed to help the farmers of Nigeria during the period of British control.

Who's Afraid?
Janet Wimbush recalls her time coming down from Plateau Province in Central Nigeria and coming across a real clash of cultures with tribesmen unused to European women.

The Bauchi Light
A. S. Webb gives an account of differences between local and western medical treatment along a Central Nigerian railway linking the plains to the plateau.

Our Side of the Tracks
Dr. T. P. Eddy explains the social divisions that were made apparent to all colonial servants in the inter-war years. He himself though explains how he was able to learn a little more about divisions in English society whilst talking to a locomotive superintendent in the middle of Nigeria.

The Fulani Boys at Jingari
A. S. Webb recalls the time he was on an inspection tour of the Bauchi Light Railway in Nigeria and was forced to have a layover in Jingari where he met missionaries with a remarkable tale of survival by two local boys attacked by a wild animal.

Journey to Yola, 1929
B.A. Babb takes us back to a time in Nigerian colonial history when just getting to a new posting could take weeks of arduous travelling.

He Needs a White Cloth
A. S. Webb explains some of the finer subtleties in negotiating local customs when it came to the death of a man in a railway workshop in Nigeria.

Iron Smelting in Northern Nigeria
H D L Corby describes a novel way of smelting iron that he saw developed in a small Northern Nigerian village.

A Nigerian Garden
Muriel Barnett recalls the perils, pitfalls but also the pleasures of doing battle with mother nature in the tropics.

In Bornu and Adamawa
Ronald Bird gives an overview of work as an Assistant District Officer in North-East Nigeria along the border with French concerns in the Cameroons and Chad.

Rescuing Miners on the Niger
Ronald Bird explains the time and effort required to respond to a message that miners were being held hostage on a small island in the middle of the mighty River Niger and how they got there just in time.

Niger Adventure - 1947
Joan Russell recalls an inspection tour of some of the schools in her district in Nigeria which required that she travel by canoe along the River Niger.

The Imoten Tree Story
R. F. Hooper explains the lengths that he had to go to when rioting broke out after locals in Nigeria blamed a French trader's wares for causing a hurricane.

An ADO in Zuru
N. C. McClintock goes into some detail in describing his life as an Assistant District Officer in a remote part of North Western Nigeria in the 1940s.

Historical Background to Boko Haram
John Hare explains how the North-East of Nigeria was no stranger to religious upheaval and radical Islamic influences. In fact, this instability was one of the reasons that the British were to create the colony of Northern Nigeria in the first place.

Nigeria: Life with Algar Robertson
Marjorie Lovatt Smith gives a candid account of her time in Nigeria in the dying days of Empire as she witnessed first hand as Britain prepared to hand over responsibility and authority to the Nigerians. She also recounts part of the role played by Algar Robertson in helping establish a central overseas civil service, with its own pension scheme, for officers serving in the colonies.

Bussa Rapids
Ronald Bird explains how he tried to revolutionise communications along the River Niger's most notorious stretch of rapids by attaching an outboard motor to the traditional boats that plied the waterways.

The Resident, Rivers Province
Manus Nunan explains how he helped set up the first Crown Counsel's Chambers in Port Harcourt in Eastern Nigeria and his dealings with an old-school British Resident.

Singing for my Supper
David Angus explains that when you are the ADC to a Governor-General and he asks you to sing unaccompanied to a party of over 100 dignataries in Northern Nigeria, you do exactly as requested.

Crichton Ian Gavin: A Man Vindicated
R G Anderson sees how this Nigerian colonial administrator was one of the early victims of the authorities pandering to local politicians who did not appreciate Gavin's efficiency and honesty.

The Day's Work and Odd Jobs: Rough Games in Gwoza
Ronald Bird recounts how he had to administer justice between two warring and rambunctious villages in post-war North-Eastern Nigeria.

Le Ministre
Manus Nunan recalls the time that he went from British administered Nigeria to French administered Chad and considered the differences in approach to imperial rule in West Africa.

"Uh, uh! D.O. done come!"
John Adshead recounts how Hugh Sackville-West showed the soft power of British rule in Nigeria in quelling disturbances tactfully and with a minimum of fuss.

Major O'Driscoll
Manus Nunan explains the character of Major O'Driscoll who served in Kaduna in Northern Nigeria.

Curtains in Kaduna
Ruth Holmes recalls accompanying her husband to Kaduna in Nigeria in the 1950s and attempting to use local materials and fabrics to decorate her house only to discover that one pattern in particular had an alternative and already established association.

The Day's Work and Odd Jobs: The Queen's visit to Jos
Ronald Bird remembers how he was expected to 'fit in' when the Queen came to the town where he was posted for a break from her hectic 1956 tour of Nigeria schedule.

Nigeria and the Colonial Experience Reflections of a District Officer
Sir Francis Kennedy analyses the, at times, contradictory contribution made by colonialism in West Africa and its legacy in the post-colonial era.

Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Day
Keith Arrowsmith explains his attempts to celebrate the national holiday called in Nigeria to celebrate the crowning of Queen Elizabeth.

Legacies from the former Colonial Audit Service
Professor Jeffrey Ridley describes the establishment of the Colonial Audit Service and his own role in Nigeria before discussing the legacy to the wider Commonwealth of this organisation.

For Colonial Nigerian Items