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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Maritime Trade in Lagos in the Aftermath of the First World War
Author:Olukoju, Ayodeji
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:mercantile history
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Abstract:The port of Lagos, situated on the southwestern portion of Nigeria's coastline, was the premier seaport of West Africa from the early 19th century. While there are specific studies dealing with the Lagos Colony before the First World War, the interwar decades have not been studied up till now. This article deals with maritime trade in Lagos in the aftermath of the First World War, paying attention to the postwar boom of 1918-1920, the severe depression of 1920-1922, and the subsequent trade fluctuations which culminated in the Great Depression. The study illustrates the impact of the vagaries of international trade on a dependent economy and highlights the responses of the society to these changes. While Lagos lived up to its reputation as the 'Liverpool' of West Africa on account of the magnitude of its maritime trade, it had to pay a heavy price for its superficial prosperity. For beneath the glitter commonly associated with the port city were the social costs of trade: the population explosion, the high cost of living, scarcity and inadequacy of housing, insanitary living conditions, and educational backwardness of the city's youth. Notes, ref.