Fredrick Lord Lugard
First Govevnor General
Nigeria is made up of a number of large ancient kingdoms and other independent small scale societies. Its boundaries were drawn as a result of trade and overseas territorial ambitions of some Western European powers in the nineteenth century. The territory was assigned to Britain. The name, Nigeria, was suggested in 1898 by Flora Shaw who later became Lady Lugard to designate the British Protectorate on the River Niger
Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, British trading activities were confined to Lagos and Delta ports of old Calabar, Brass and Bonny. However, the need to expand trade to the hinterland and to undermine the coastal middle men over led the British to some involvement in local politics. Thus, their interferences in Lagos politics following some internal squabbles among the ruling houses were necessitated by a desire to secure the territory in the interest of trade with the Yoruba hinterland. This interference resulted in Lagos being annexed in 1861 when it became a British colony. In the same way and in order to render the River Niger safe as a gateway into the interior. Protectorates were proclaimed in the Delta regions. In 1885, the Niger Protectorate was proclaimed oil rivers protectorate. These protectorate were initially administered by the Royal Niger Company and its sphere of influence reached as far as north as Idah.
When the Royal Niger Company's Charter was withdrawn in January 1900, the whole of Nigeria came under direct Colonial administration. The territory was then divided into:
(i) The Lagos Colony (1861 - 1960)
(ii) The Protectorate of Southern Nigeria (1900 - 1914)
(ii) The Protectorate of Northern Nigeria
(1900 - 1914)
In 1960, Lagos colony was merged with the Southern Protectorate to form the new Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. In 1914 the Protectorates of South ern Nigeria were merged by Sir Frederick Lugard. The whole country then became known as the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria. Lugard became its first Governor general and ruled till 1919. He was succeeded by Sir Hugh Clifford (1919 - 25), Sir Arthur Richards (1943 - 48), Sir John McPherson (1948 - 54), and Sir James Robertson (1954 - 60).ad itself been proclaimed the Oil Rivers Protectorate, following the signing of a number of treaties between the local rulers and British consular officials. Finally, in 1914, the two British administrations were merged, to form a single territorial unit known as Nigeria.
In 1861, Lagos was proclaimed crown colony. And through the initiative of the United Africa Company, formed by George Goldie, through an amalgamation of British firms in 1879, most of the parts which became Northern Nigeria were preserved as British sphere to the chagrin of French and German competitors. Robertson Sir James Robertson The Company received a charter to administer it until 1899 when the charter was revoked, and tile British Government administered it directly, under the name "Protectorate of Northern Nigeria" The Delta Area had itself been proclaimed the Oil Rivers Protectorate, following the signing of a number of treaties between the local rulers and British consular officials. Finally, in 1914, the two British administrations were merged, to form a single territorial unit known as Nigeria. This territory was administered by the British until 1960 when the Union Jack (British flag) was lowered for the Nigeria flag to take its place.
After a series of negotiations, Nigeria finally got her independence Octorber, 1960
Contact between the peoples of Nigeria and Europe began in the fifteenth century through various commercial explorer. By early nineteenth century, the obnoxious trade in slaves which had flourished in the region was in the process of being abolished. Consequently, European traders began to turn their attention to trading in palm produce, pepper, ivory and other articles which provided raw materials for European industries.