Evolution of Nigeria, 1849-1960 (Part 2)
Today:Thursday, November 20, 2014
In the event, 1900 saw only very minor changes in the ways and means the British administered these three blocks of territories. One change, per- haps the major one, was that the charter of the Royal Niger Company was withdrawn and the terri- tory under its shadowy control was declared the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and brought under the Colonial Secretary. Similarly, the Niger Coast Protectorate, which had been under the Foreign Secretary, was renamed the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and brought under the Colonial Secretary. In addition, the narrow "strip of Royal Niger Company from Lokoja to the sea", which had divided the Niger Coast Protectorate into two, was united with it, thus bringing the western and eastern halves of that administration together territorially.
The Lagos Colony and Protectorate underwent no change while continuing under the controlling authority of the Colonial Office. With these three units then brought under the Colonial Office, the sit- uation was created in which the management of their affairs came to be informed by the same theo- ry and practice of administration.
In spite of the futility that marked the work of the Niger Committee, the policy in favour of administra- tive unity and rationalisation was preserved. The first evidence of this was the amalgamation, in 1906, of the two Southern Protectorates as origi- nally proposed. The resulting unit was called the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria instead of the Maritime Provinces. Significantly, what took place was substantially the absorption of the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria by the Colony and Protectorate of Lagos.