Tag Archives: Nigeria

From The Archive: Speech by the Governor General of Nigeria, Sir Federick Lugard (Amalgamation Proclamation of 1914), January 1, 1914


You are all aware that His Majesty’s Government, after long and mature consideration, arrived some time ago at the conclusion that it would be to the great advantage of the countries known as Southern and Northern Nigeria that they should be amalgamated into one Government, conforming to one policy and mutually co-operating for the moral and material advancement of Nigeria as a whole.
This policy had been strongly advocated by Sir William Macgregor as Governor of Lagos, by Sir Ralph Moore as High Commissioner of Southern Nigeria, and by myself as High Commisioner of Northern Nigeria about 10 years ago. It has continued to be advocated by Sir Walter Egerton and my successors in Northern Nigeria.
The construction of rival railways in Northern and Southern Nigeria accentuated the necessity having a single railway policy, with a single administration, and over a year ago the Secretary of State decided that the time had come to give effect to the scheme of constituting a single Government for Nigeria.
Mr. Harcourt was pleased to select me and to carry out this difficult task, he appointed me in the first instance as Governor separately of the two distinct Governments of Northern and Southern Nigeria, with a view of informing myself of Local conditions and submitting to him my proposals for Amalgamation.
I had the homour to submit those proposals for his consideration on May 9th last year (1913). They were accepted in all essentials, and today they are to take effect. I desire therefore as briefly as possible to describe to you, and through you to the official and unofficial community of Nigeria the basis on which this Amalgamation is to be carried out, and the principal changes which will result.
The Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria will be placed under the control of a single officer upon which the control of a single officer upon whom His Majesty has been pleased to confer the title of Governor-General, thus indicating the importance of this country among the Crown Colonies and Protectorates of the Empire. That portion which has hitherto been Northern Nigeria will be known in future as the Northern Provinces, while the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria will be known as the Southern Provinces of Nigeria; each will be under the immediate control of a Lieutenant-General responsible to the Governor-General. The colony in view of its of its separate status and traditions will preserve a separate identity, under an Administrator of its own, dealing directly with the Governor-General. For the present, the Central Headquarters will remain at Lagos, and the Governor-General will divide his time between the Headquarter Stations of the Northern and Southern Provinces.
His majesty, through the Secretary of State, has been pleased to confer on me the High honour of appointment as Governor-General, and I humbly hope that I may be enabled to discharge the functions of this office, the great responsibilities of which I deeply appreciate, in such a manner as to deserve His Majesty’s approval, and to the satisfaction and contentment of His Majesty’s loyal subjects and of all the people of Nigeria. To succeed in such a task would be impossible unless I have the goodwill and co-operation of all classes, Official and Unofficial, irrespective of race or creed, and I take this opportunity to earnestly ask for that co-operation and loyal assistance, assuring you at the same time that, so far as in me lies, I shall not spare myself nor find any work too hard or arduous, if i can therby advance the true interests of this country and of each individual person in it, whatever his race or creed, or however humble his rank.
For the high and responsible posts of Lieutenant-Governors of the Southern and Northern Provinces His Majesty has selected Mr. A.G. Boyle, C.M.G. an Mr. C.L. Temple, C.M.G. officers in whose loyalty and ability he has the highest confidence, and in whose hand the welfare of the Protectorate is assure. As Administrator of the Colony the Secretary of State has selected Mr. F.S. James, whose long experience in the South marks him out as the most fitting officer for the post. I may be permitted to offer to these officers my congratulations, and to express my deep satisfaction that I am privileged to work with them as my colleagues.

To Be Continued

Culled from Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria


Nigeria: Amalgamation or Lugardianization (Northernization of Nigeria) as We Mark 100 Years of Nationhood

9ja 100 years

As we mark 100 years of nationhood, it pertinent to look back at events that led to what is now “Nigeria” to know where we are coming from and throw more light to where we are heading to as a nation.
Prior to the 1914 Amalgamation in the region to be known as Nigeria, the geographical location was shortly divided into Colony/Protectorate with Southern Nigeria and Northern Protectorate with Southern Protectorate being fruitful, prosperous eduactionally and economically far more than the Northern Protectorate. Reasons for this is not far fetched due to more revenue accrued to Southern Nigeria via Indirect taxation of custom and excise duties. Reverse was the case with Northern Protectorate being a poor Protectorate as a result of her adoption of Direct taxation and due its failure to collect taxes on liquor due to Islamic injuction forbidding the drinking of alcohol in the North.
This disparity between Southern and Northern Protectorate did not go down well with the British Colonialists as they were more often than not lukewarm in using their money to fund Northern Protectorate knowing fully well that the South was abundantly rich. This has been the major problem of the British Colonialists. In order to slove this lingering problem and for administratove conveniencies hence the imperativeness of the 1914 Amalgamation of both Southern and Northern Protectorate to become what is now known as the “Federal Republic of Nigeria”. With the emergence of the aforementioned problems, Lord Lugard was brought back to the region from Hong Kong in order to profer solution to the problem in 1912. It was Lugard that decided that the best solution to the problem was the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern Protectorate in 1914 and in order to ensure that Northern Nigeria acquire more revenue. With the amalgamation in full force, Lugard now decided that there will be a common pulse for both Northern and Southern Nigeria and from this common pulse, the administration of Nigeria will be taken care of.
The amalgamation solved the problem of lack of fund in Northern Nigeria as well as some administrative reforms. One of Lord Lugard’s administrative reform was abolishing the dual existence (arrangement) of both Northern and Southern Protectorate under different administration in which case the Governors in the North and South were retained-they became Lieutenant Governor. Over and above the Lieutenant Governor was the Governor General who was Lord Lugard himself. Moreso, Lord Lugard also centralized government department including the Finance department hence the idea of the establishment of Federal departments at the region can be traced to Lord Lugard administration.
A uinque thing done by Lord Lugard from 1914 was the introduction of Indirect Rule in Southern Nigeria despite the fact that it was a novelty. Indirect rule was practised under 3 arms (Native Court System, Native Authority and Native Treasury). The Native Treasury collects the revenue and put them into a common pool in which case all civil servants in the North and South were paid from this common pool while the rest of the revenue was shared within the administration used to execute diverse projects. Traditional rulers became salaried officials.
The Native Court System adjudicates on diverse cases. Colonial administrators determined the cases to be examined. This Native Court System was independent of the Traditional Rulers. When Lord Lugard came in 1914, he set up a committee to enquire into the relationship between Yorubaland and the British hence between 1914 and 1914, Lord Lugard now introduced New Ordinances vis a vis Native Administration system, Native court system and Native Authority were introduced in Yorubaland in conformity with what was inherent in Northern Nigeria.
From above elucidation, the introduction of Indirect Rule as well as Indirect taxation in Southern Nigeria caused immediate crisis like in Abeokuta (1915) there were riots because people refused to pay taxes. The emergence of Warrant Chiefs in Igboland also led to Aba Women Riot of 1929 due to the fact that Warrant Chiefs were taxing people including wome.
Another development by Lord Lugard was the creation of Nigerian Council to replace the abolished legislative council in Lagos. The National Council was made up of 36 members but the bulk of these members were Colonial Officials. This council was purely an advisory body and Traditional rulers that were members of the council hardly attend Council meeting due to transportation problem from North to Lagos. The Clifford Constitution of 1922 later on abolished the Nigerian Council of 1914.
Conclusively, it can be deduced that the Nigerian Council which was supposed to be an avenue for uniting Nigeria was more or less a glorified debate proceedings hence the amalgamation hardly promoted nation building but it made Nigeria to be what it has become today.

Is History Really a Relevant Field in Contemporary Nigeria?

9ja and history

This question rightly came to my mind way back when I was offered admission to study History in the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. My parent and siblings do ask me “Where will you work when you graduate with History”. “I can work anywhere in any profession”, I replied. Asides this, anytime I meet up with family friends and they asked me, “what course are you studying in the University?”. “History”, I replied and observed that there reaction after hearing “History” was passive and non-challant. Later on, my department metamorphosed into “History and International Studies” so I decided to give others the impression that I was studying “History and International Studies”. Then I noticed family friends laughing and being happy hearing that I am studying “History and International Studies”.
I had to settle for History after waiting for 3 years seeking for admission to study Mass Communication/Journalism and Political Science due to my passion for both courses.
Apart from Medicine, Law, Accounting, Economics, Engineering etc, other courses seemed to be relegated to the background in Nigeria. Most parents wants their wards to study the above mentioned courses as compared to “History”. My parents do tell me that I should study a course that will bring money to me and put food on my table considering our poor family background which is another factor that determines choice of course/profession/career.

After reading “What is History” by E.H. Carr, my understanding about the nightly gritty of History was transformed. He defined “history as an unending dialogue between the past and the present”. He also defines history as interpretation of Historian works be it objective or subjective as Historian facts are like fish in fishmongers slab in which they can decide on what they wants to write on depending on the importance of the subject matter. The definition of History means the past helps us in knowing and planning for the future ahead by ensuring that the mistakes of the past fails to re-occur in the future. Government and people world over have been able to make use of “History” to mend all spheres of their nation for better. It is against this background that the importance of history in our nation can not be over-emphasized if properly harnessed in planning for our future.

History has it that Nigeria has failed to learn from History in policies and proper planning implementation. Things don’t happen for no reason or cause (causation). The situations that we are currently battling with had taken place in time past if not in Nigeria, it might have taken place in neighbouring countries. Better usage of History for policies planning and implementation in Nigeria will surely go a long way in helping our country get to her avowed lofty heights.
We kept producing graduate Historians and other graduates in diverse fields on a yearly basis without making proper use of them to move this country forward. Graduate Historians are taken in high esteem outside the country but the reverse is the case in Nigeria. I am not advocating for myself or for other graduate Historians out there roaming about the streets searching for a daily bread, my plight is the failure of our policy makers in looking back at past experiences/mistakes before making major governmental decisions.
As Nigeria marks 100 Years of nationhood, we need to look back at the past 100 years to examine what has gone wrong with us as a nation and proffer better solutions aimed at making Nigeria great again. The masses are suffering. The rich is becoming richer while the poor continues to live in abject poverty. Its high time we look back as a country and proffer a better solution to all these problems. The earlier the better for us as a country because a country that fails to look back at her history in planning is done for and goes into oblivion.
In order not to go into oblivion, we must look back in order to see clearly where we are coming from and know where we are really heading as a country. We must make is right and count now. Now is the time.

Nigeria @ 53

9ja at 53

I can’t weep
But show a sigh of relieve
For your present situation
53 years of discouragement
But we still get self encouragement
Pessimistic no to some extent
Optimistic we hope for extensively
Believing that God will come from heaven
To bestow His fear on our leaders
So that they will lead us right
But we as citizens also have a part to play
Think of what to do for your country
Says John F Kenedy
We should work it out and right
For the country as citizens
Arise Oh Arise
Nigeria Arise
Wake up
Wake up
Don’t break up
Wake up from your slumber
Blaze the trail
Not in haste
And take your rightful place
In the committee of nations
To be great again
Not in pain
God bless Nigeria

Disparity Between Degree & HND Holders in Nigeria (January 2013 Nigeria Spur Magazine Essay Competition Winning Essay) by Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde


There is no doubt that the industrial growth of any nation depends on the level of the educational advancement of its middle level manpower. There are many Polytechnic students with Higher National Diploma (HND). Their presence in any economy ensures its growth and development. The consequence of its absence in any nation is lack of development or slow national development. This is exactly the problem we face in Nigeria. Even though Nigeria has many polytechnics that produce these middle level manpower, its economy has refused to grow. This is attributed to the disparity and controversy between HND and Bachelor’s degree, resulting in many students opting for a University education, which is practical and pragmatic. These students believe that with a Bachelor’s degree, they will acquire better jobs and earn more salary. This tragedy has resulted in the mass exodus of students from the polytechnic to the university, thereby creating a vacuum hard to be filled in the nation’s labour market, all due to disparity and controversy surrounding the HND and Bachelor’s degree. The disparity has created more harm than good to the economic development and educational advancement of this nation. It has also generated a lot of controversy than progress in the educational system.
For a long time, this controversy has been a thorn in the flesh of Nigeria’s educational system. It is high time a lasting solution is given to the hydra-headed problem.
In the first place, it is important to note that the two systems are not the same and can never be the same. One is not an alternative to the other. Polytechnic education is purely a techno-scientific education. This is in contrast to that of the university that is predominantly academic. The meaning of this is that while polytechnic education concentrates on technical cum scientific education and at the same time providing the nation and economy with the much needed and sine qua non (indispensable) middle level manpower, the university concentrates on academic work and research. The result of their (university) academic and research work is exactly what the polytechnic cadre puts into a practical form.
Having examined their perculiarities, one will now ruminate on the reasons for the disparity or controversy between the HND and the Bachelor’s degree. This is a result of ignorance of those in government and public sector. The stakeholders in our educational system are also to be blamed. There is no basis for the disparity if the points are examined critically and objectively. Today the ploytechnic graduates are competing favourably with their university counterparts in the labour market. This is also a pointer to the fact that university education in Nigeria has no effective regulation unlike their polytechnic counterparts.
These and many more are the reasons why a stop should be put to the controversy. As a panacea, the federal government should make it an offence for anyone especially those in the labour market, to discriminate. It is an undiluted truism that no nation can do without the polytechnic graduates because of their contributions and indispensability in any economy, especially ours, which is a developing economy.
Adhering to the above stated suggestions will go a long way in curbing the disparity between the HND and Bachelor’s degree to the bearest minimum, hence taking our nation to a lofy height in terms of growth, development and progressive change in our society.

Essay written by: Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde, Mobile Number: +2348132148197, email: profseunoyediji@gmail.com, profseunoyediji@yahoo.com, facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oluwaseun.oyediji, twitter: http://www.twitter.com/profseunoyediji, website/blog: http://www.profseunoyediji.wordpress.com