From the Archive: Speech by Nigeria Governor General, Lord Federick Lugard (Amalgamation Proclamation of 1914, January 1, 1914). Part II

lord lugard

Various schemes for dividing of Nigeria into many administrations have been put forward in the Press and elsewhere, but it has been considered advisable to retain the old and well-known boundaries, at any rate for the present and until circumstances demand a change, more especially because the Northern and Southern Provinces are at present under two different set of laws, the unification of which must necessarily be a task of magnitude which will take time to effect.
I had hoped to be able to recommend to the Secretary of State some scheme for a Legislative Council of Nigeria, but at present and until communications by railway are greatly extended the proposition is physically impossible. The Legislative Council of Nigeria, if it is to represent the public opinion of Nigeria, must draw its Unofficial Members alike from Calabar and Lagos in the South, and from the minefields of Kano in the North. To no place, however central, could the busy merchants and others find time to come in order to attend the Council meetings. It would be manifestly unjust to place the Mohammedan Emirates of the North and the Minning interests on the Bauch Plateau under a Council sitting on the Coast, in which they could have no representation. The only alternative is that the Legislative Council of the Colony shall in the future limit its sphere to the guidiance and control of the Legislature of the Colony.
And let me here remind you of the enormous extent of Nigeria. Its area comprises over 330,000 square miles-more than 5 times the size of England and Scotland, or one-third the size of British India. The European population is scattered over this area. The largest community is probably at the Minefields in the Bauchi Province, the next largest at Lagos nearly 1,000 miles distant. There are othe centres widely separated from each other at Calabar and other coast towns, at Zungeru and at Kano, while the Niger Company which has the largest capital of any single firm, has its headquarters at Buruntu.
Other means than a single Legislative Council must therefore be right by which, on one hand, not only local public opinion of the Principals of the Commercial and Minning. Firms, and of other Institutions which have interests in the country, may be given an opportunity of expressing itself, and on the other hand, that the officers of the ripest experience and the most proved ability may be consulted regarding proposed Legislation and on affairs of moment. To effect these objects the Secretary of State has approved firstly of an Executive Council for Nigeria which shall consist of the senior officers of the whole Administration, secondly, of a deliberative and advisory Council, to be called the Nigerian Council, which shall meet not less than once a year, and thirdly, that all proposed Ordinances with a few necessary exceptions shall be published in the Gazette for two months prior to enactment, so that opinion may be freely expressed before a law is enacted.
The Members of the Executive Council named on the Royal Instructions are:
The Lieutenant-Governors of the Southern and Northern Provinces, the Administrator of the Colony, the Attorney-General, the Director of Railways and Works, the Commandant of the Troops, the Director of Medical Services, the Treasurer, the Director of Marine and the Comptroller of Customs.
The official Members of the Nigerian Council will include the Members of the Executive Council and all 1st class Residents or Commissioners, the Central Secretary, the Secretaries in the Northern and Southern Provinces and the Political Secretary. The Unofficial Members will include a member of Lagos Chamber of Commerce which may be established in Calabar, and a Member of the Local Chamber of Mines,- all resident in Nigeria and to be nominated by those bodies together with four additional European and six Native gentlemen nominated by the Governor-General. The former to be representative of Commerce, shipping, Minning and Banking, the latter to be representative of the Native population both of the Coast and of the Interior.
The official Membership of the Legislative Council of th Colony has been somewhat altered by the new Royal Instructions, in order that those officers whose work is especially concerned with the Colony may take part in its deliberations. They will for the present by the Administrato, the Legal Adviser, the Munincipal Engineer, the Senior Munincipal Sanitary Officer, the Assistant Treasurer, the Harbour Master, the Commissioner of Lands and the Commercial Intelligence Officer.
The Official Member of the old Council have been re-appointed by His Majesty to the new Council with the exception of Mr. Millar and Dr. Johnson who have resigned and whose places have not yet been filled.
All three Councils will be presided over by the Governor-General.

4 thoughts on “From the Archive: Speech by Nigeria Governor General, Lord Federick Lugard (Amalgamation Proclamation of 1914, January 1, 1914). Part II

  1. dianabuja

    you have an excellent blog and I have posted it on to colleague and friends. As an undergraduate – and student of Arabic – I translated and wrote commentary on an 18th century arabic and ajami manuscript from the Kanuri of Bornu as an honors thesis, going on to study arabic at UC Berkeley as a graduate student. There continues little appreciation of the arabic states and kingdoms of what is now norther Nigeria and surrounding areas of the Sahel.

    1. oyedijioluwaseunbabatunde Post author

      Thank you for the commendation. I studied History at Undergraduate level but financial difficulties has been hindering me from furthering my education to masters and PhD level hoping that one day things will change for better. I am presently an ICT trainee Journalist and hope to go bacj and further my studies due to my penchant for Nigerian History. Thanks once again. God bless you.


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