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Nigeria-Lugard and Indirect Rule





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Frederick Lugard, who assumed the position of high commissioner of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria in 1900, often has been regarded as the model British colonial administrator. Trained as an army officer, he had served in India, Egypt, and East Africa, where he expelled Arab slave traders from Nyasaland and established the British presence in Uganda. Joining the Royal Niger Company in 1894, Lugard was sent to Borgu to counter inroads made by the French, and in 1897 he was made responsible for raising the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) from local levies to serve under British officers.

During his six-year tenure as high commissioner, Lugard was occupied with transforming the commercial sphere of influence inherited from the Royal Niger Company into a viable territorial unit under effective British political control. His objective was to conquer the entire region and to obtain recognition of the British protectorate by its indigenous rulers, especially the Fulani emirs of the Sokoto Caliphate. Lugard's campaign systematically subdued local resistance, using armed force when diplomatic measures failed. Borno capitulated without a fight, but in 1903 Lugard's RWAFF mounted assaults on Kano and Sokoto. From Lugard's point of view, clear-cut military victories were necessary because their surrenders weakened resistance elsewhere.

Lugard's success in northern Nigeria has been attributed to his policy of indirect rule, which called for governing the protectorate through the rulers who had been defeated. If the emirs accepted British authority, abandoned the slave trade, and cooperated with British officials in modernizing their administrations, the colonial power was willing to confirm them in office. The emirs retained their caliphate titles but were responsible to British district officers, who had final authority. The British high commissiones could depose emirs and other officials if necessary. Lugard reduced sharply the number of titled fief holders in the emirates, weakening the rulers' patronage. Under indirect rule, caliphate officials were transformed into salaried district heads and became, in effect, agents of the British authorities, responsible for peacekeeping and tax collection. The old chain of command merely was capped with a new overlord, the British high commissiones.

The protectorate required only a limited number of colonial officers scattered throughout the territory as overseers. Depending on local conditions, they exercised discretion in advising the emirs and local officials, but all orders from the high commissiones were transmitted through the emir. Although the high commissiones possessed unlimited executive and legislative powers in the protectorate, most of the activities of government were undertaken by the emirs and their local administrations, subject to British approval. A dual system of law functioned--the sharia (Islamic law) court continued to deal with matters affecting the personal status of Muslims, including land disputes, divorce, debt, and slave emancipation. As a consequence of indirect rule, Hausa-Fulani domination was confirmed--and in some instances imposed--on diverse ethnic groups, some of them non-Muslim, in the so-called middle belt.

The accomplishments of Lugard and his successors in economic development were limited by the revenues available to the colonial government. One of Lugard's initial acts was to separate the general treasury of each emirate from the emir's privy purse. From taxes collected by local officials, first one-quarter and later one-half was taken to support services of the colonial regime, which were meager because of the protectorate's lack of public resources. In the south, missionaries made up for the lack of government expenditure on services; in the north, Lugard and his successors limited the activities of missionaries in order to maintain Muslim domination. Consequently, educational and medical services in the north lagged behind those in the south. Progress was made in economic development, however, as railroad lines were constructed to transport tin from Jos Plateau and northern-grown peanuts and cotton to ports on the coast.

Efforts to apply indirect rule to the south, which was formally a protectorate from 1906, in emulation of Lugard's successful policy in the north set off a search for legitimate indigenous authorities through whom the policy could be implemented. The task proved relatively easy in Yorubaland, where the governments and boundaries of traditional kingdoms were retained or, in some instances, revived. In the southeast, where Aro hegemony had been crushed, the search for acceptable local administrators met with frustration. As a result, the tasks of government initially were left in the hands of colonial officials, who antagonized many Igbo. The Igbo therefore stressed traditional egalitarian principles as a justification for their early opposition to colonial rule; in Yorubaland and in the north, the devolution of administrative duties to the indigenous ruling elites contained much of the early opposition. Resistance to colonial rule was mitigated to the extent that local authorities and courts were able to manage affairs.

The British prohibited the enslavement of free persons and suppressed slave trading. All children in the north who were born to persons in bondage on or after April 1, 1900, were declared free. The relations between existing slaves and their owners, however, were allowed to continue indefinitely, on the assumption that wholesale liberation would cause more harm than good by disrupting the agricultural economy. As a consequence, at least several hundred thousand slaves deserted their masters in the early years of colonial rule. In 1906 a radical, allegedly Mahdist, Muslim uprising that received the support of many fugitive slaves was brutally crushed. In the south, slaves legally could be forced to return to their owners until 1914. In the north, vagrancy laws and the enforcement of proprietary rights to land were used to tax to check the flight of slaves. Slaves in the northern emirates could secure their freedom upon application to an Islamic court, but comparatively few used this option. Throughout the colonial period in the Muslim north, many slaves and their descendants continued to work for their masters or former masters and often received periodic payments leading to emancipation.

Data as of June 1991



BackgroundBritish influence and control over what would become Nigeria and Africa's most populous country grew through the 19th century. A series of constitutions after World War II granted Nigeria greater autonomy; independence came in 1960. Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The government continues to face the daunting task of reforming a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, Nigeria continues to experience longstanding ethnic and religious tensions. Although both the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections were marred by significant irregularities and violence, Nigeria is currently experiencing its longest period of civilian rule since independence. The general elections of April 2007 marked the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in the country's history.
LocationWestern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin and Cameroon
Area(sq km)total: 923,768 sq km
land: 910,768 sq km
water: 13,000 sq km
Geographic coordinates10 00 N, 8 00 E
Land boundaries(km)total: 4,047 km
border countries: Benin 773 km, Cameroon 1,690 km, Chad 87 km, Niger 1,497 km

Coastline(km)853 km

Climatevaries; equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north

Elevation extremes(m)lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Chappal Waddi 2,419 m
Natural resourcesnatural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, arable land
Land use(%)arable land: 33.02%
permanent crops: 3.14%
other: 63.84% (2005)

Irrigated land(sq km)2,820 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources(cu km)286.2 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)total: 8.01 cu km/yr (21%/10%/69%)
per capita: 61 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazardsperiodic droughts; flooding
Environment - current issuessoil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution; desertification; oil pollution - water, air, and soil; has suffered serious damage from oil spills; loss of arable land; rapid urbanization
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notethe Niger enters the country in the northwest and flows southward through tropical rain forests and swamps to its delta in the Gulf of Guinea
Population149,229,090
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
Age structure(%)0-14 years: 41.5% (male 31,624,050/female 30,242,637)
15-64 years: 55.5% (male 42,240,641/female 40,566,672)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 2,211,840/female 2,343,250) (2009 est.)
Median age(years)total: 19 years
male: 18.9 years
female: 19.1 years (2009 est.)
Population growth rate(%)1.999% (2009 est.)
Birth rate(births/1,000 population)36.65 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Death rate(deaths/1,000 population)16.56 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Net migration rate(migrant(s)/1,000 population)-0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
Urbanization(%)urban population: 48% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio(male(s)/female)at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Infant mortality rate(deaths/1,000 live births)total: 94.35 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 100.38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 87.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth(years)total population: 46.94 years
male: 46.16 years
female: 47.76 years (2009 est.)

Total fertility rate(children born/woman)4.91 children born/woman (2009 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Nigerian(s)
adjective: Nigerian
Ethnic groups(%)Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%

Religions(%)Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous beliefs 10%
Languages(%)English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani

Country nameconventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria
conventional short form: Nigeria
Government typefederal republic
Capitalname: Abuja
geographic coordinates: 9 05 N, 7 32 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions36 states and 1 territory*; Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory*, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara
Constitutionadopted 5 May 1999; effective 29 May 1999

Legal systembased on English common law, Islamic law (in 12 northern states), and traditional law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Umaru Musa YAR'ADUA (since 29 May 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Umaru Musa YAR'ADUA (since 29 May 2007)
cabinet: Federal Executive Council
elections: president is elected by popular vote for a four-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 21 April 2007 (next to be held in April 2011)
election results: Umaru Musa YAR'ADUA elected president; percent of vote - Umaru Musa YAR'ADUA 69.8%, Muhammadu BUHARI 18.7%, Atiku ABUBAKAR 7.5%, Orji Uzor KALU 1.7%, other 2.3%

Legislative branchbicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (109 seats, 3 from each state plus 1 from Abuja; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and House of Representatives (360 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 21 April 2007 (next to be held in April 2011); House of Representatives - last held 21 April 2007 (next to be held in April 2011)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - PDP 53.7%, ANPP 27.9%, AD 9.7%, other 8.7%; seats by party - PDP 76, ANPP 27, AD 6; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PDP 54.5%, ANPP 27.4%, AD 8.8%, UNPP 2.8%, NPD 1.9%, APGA 1.6%, PRP 0.8%; seats by party - PDP 76, ANPP 27, AD 6, UNPP 2, APGA 2, NPD 1, PRP 1, vacant 1

Judicial branchSupreme Court (judges recommended by the National Judicial Council and appointed by the president); Federal Court of Appeal (judges are appointed by the federal government from a pool of judges recommended by the National Judicial Council)

Political pressure groups and leadersAcademic Staff Union for Universities or ASUU; Campaign for Democracy or CD; Civil Liberties Organization or CLO; Committee for the Defense of Human Rights or CDHR; Constitutional Right Project or CRP; Human Right Africa; National Association of Democratic Lawyers or NADL; National Association of Nigerian Students or NANS; Nigerian Bar Association or NBA; Nigerian Labor Congress or NLC; Nigerian Medical Association or NMA; the Press; Universal Defenders of Democracy or UDD
International organization participationACP, AfDB, AU, C, ECOWAS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and green

Economy - overviewOil-rich Nigeria, long hobbled by political instability, corruption, inadequate infrastructure, and poor macroeconomic management, has undertaken several reforms over the past decade. Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from its overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings and about 80% of budgetary revenues. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms. Nigeria pulled out of its IMF program in April 2002, after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets, making it ineligible for additional debt forgiveness from the Paris Club. Since 2008 the government has begun showing the political will to implement the market-oriented reforms urged by the IMF, such as to modernize the banking system, to curb inflation by blocking excessive wage demands, and to resolve regional disputes over the distribution of earnings from the oil industry. In 2003, the government began deregulating fuel prices, announced the privatization of the country's four oil refineries, and instituted the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy, a domestically designed and run program modeled on the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for fiscal and monetary management. In November 2005, Abuja won Paris Club approval for a debt-relief deal that eliminated $18 billion of debt in exchange for $12 billion in payments - a total package worth $30 billion of Nigeria's total $37 billion external debt. The deal requires Nigeria to be subject to stringent IMF reviews. Based largely on increased oil exports and high global crude prices, GDP rose strongly in 2007 and 2008. President YAR'ADUA has pledged to continue the economic reforms of his predecessor with emphasis on infrastructure improvements. Infrastructure is the main impediment to growth. The government is working toward developing stronger public-private partnerships for electricity and roads.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$336.2 billion (2008 est.)
$319.3 billion (2007 est.)
$300.1 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$207.1 billion (2008 est.)
GDP - real growth rate(%)5.3% (2008 est.)
6.4% (2007 est.)
6.2% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,300 (2008 est.)
$2,200 (2007 est.)
$2,100 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector(%)agriculture: 18.1%
industry: 50.8%
services: 31.1% (2008 est.)
Labor force51.04 million (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation(%)agriculture: 70%
industry: 10%
services: 20% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate(%)4.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line(%)70% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share(%)lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 32.4% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index43.7 (2003)
50.6 (1997)
Investment (gross fixed)(% of GDP)21.7% of GDP (2008 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $19.76 billion
expenditures: $24.72 billion (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)(%)11.6% (2008 est.)
5.4% (2007 est.)

Stock of money$35.29 billion (31 December 2008)
$26.82 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money$32.04 billion (31 December 2008)
$22.78 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit$49.51 billion (31 December 2008)
$35.68 billion (31 December 2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares$49.8 billion (31 December 2008)
$86.35 billion (31 December 2007)
$32.82 billion (31 December 2006)
Economic aid - recipient$6.437 billion (2005)

Public debt(% of GDP)13.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
20% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - productscocoa, peanuts, palm oil, corn, rice, sorghum, millet, cassava (tapioca), yams, rubber; cattle, sheep, goats, pigs; timber; fish
Industriescrude oil, coal, tin, columbite; palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood; hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel, small commercial ship construction and repair

Industrial production growth rate(%)2.8% (2008 est.)

Current account balance$3.877 billion (2008 est.)
$2.203 billion (2007 est.)
Exports$76.03 billion (2008 est.)
$61.82 billion (2007 est.)

Exports - commodities(%)petroleum and petroleum products 95%, cocoa, rubber
Exports - partners(%)US 41.4%, India 10.4%, Brazil 9.4%, Spain 7.2%, France 4.6% (2008)
Imports$46.3 billion (2008 est.)
$38.8 billion (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities(%)machinery, chemicals, transport equipment, manufactured goods, food and live animals
Imports - partners(%)China 13.8%, Netherlands 9.6%, US 8.4%, UK 5.3%, South Korea 5.2%, France 4.3% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$53 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$51.33 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external$9.996 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$8.007 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$68.84 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$58.84 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$13.02 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
$12.72 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Exchange ratesnairas (NGN) per US dollar - 117.8 (2008 est.), 127.46 (2007), 127.38 (2006), 132.59 (2005), 132.89 (2004)

Currency (code)naira (NGN)

Telephones - main lines in use1.308 million (2008)
Telephones - mobile cellular62.988 million (2008)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: further expansion and modernization of the fixed-line telephone network is needed
domestic: the addition of a second fixed-line provider in 2002 resulted in faster growth but subscribership remains only about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular services growing rapidly, in part responding to the shortcomings of the fixed-line network; multiple cellular service providers operate nationally with subscribership reaching 45 per 100 persons in 2008
international: country code - 234; landing point for the SAT-3/WASC fiber-optic submarine cable that provides connectivity to Europe and Asia; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) (2008)
Internet country code.ng
Internet users11 million (2008)
Airports56 (2009)
Pipelines(km)condensate 21 km; gas 2,560 km; liquid petroleum gas 97 km; oil 3,396 km; refined products 4,090 km (2008)
Roadways(km)total: 193,200 km
paved: 28,980 km
unpaved: 164,220 km (2004)

Ports and terminalsBonny Inshore Terminal, Calabar, Lagos
Military branchesNigerian Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (2008)
Military service age and obligation(years of age)18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)
Manpower available for military servicemales age 16-49: 31,929,204
females age 16-49: 30,638,979 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military servicemales age 16-49: 19,763,535
females age 16-49: 18,850,650 (2009 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annuallymale: 1,697,030
female: 1,618,561 (2009 est.)
Military expenditures(% of GDP)1.5% of GDP (2006)
Disputes - internationalJoint Border Commission with Cameroon reviewed 2002 ICJ ruling on the entire boundary and bilaterally resolved differences, including June 2006 Greentree Agreement that immediately cedes sovereignty of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon with a phase-out of Nigerian control within two years while resolving patriation issues; the ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but imprecisely defined coordinates in the ICJ decision and a sovereignty dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River all contribute to the delay in implementation; only Nigeria and Cameroon have heeded the Lake Chad Commission's admonition to ratify the delimitation treaty which also includes the Chad-Niger and Niger-Nigeria boundaries

Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 5,778 (Liberia)
IDPs: undetermined (communal violence between Christians and Muslims since President OBASANJO's election in 1999; displacement is mostly short-term) (2007)
Electricity - production(kWh)21.92 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - production by source(%)fossil fuel: 61.9%
hydro: 38.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption(kWh)19.21 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - exports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity - imports(kWh)0 kWh (2008 est.)
Oil - production(bbl/day)2.169 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - consumption(bbl/day)286,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports(bbl/day)2.327 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - imports(bbl/day)170,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - proved reserves(bbl)36.22 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
Natural gas - production(cu m)32.82 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - consumption(cu m)12.28 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas - exports(cu m)20.55 billion cu m (2008)
Natural gas - proved reserves(cu m)5.215 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate(%)3.1% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS2.6 million (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths170,000 (2007 est.)
Major infectious diseasesdegree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and yellow fever
respiratory disease: meningococcal meningitis
aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: one of the most highly endemic areas for Lassa fever
water contact disease: leptospirosis and shistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies
Literacy(%)definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68%
male: 75.7%
female: 60.6% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)(years)total: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 7 years (2004)
Education expenditures(% of GDP)0.9% of GDP (1991)








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