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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:British Commercial Interests and the Decolonization Process in Nigeria, 1950-1960
Author:Lawal, Olakunle A.
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Great Britain
foreign enterprises
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
international relations
Abstract:This essay shows that British business and financial interests sought to influence the decolonization process in Nigeria as much as possible. It identifies the nature and scope of the influence this interest group exerted on Britain's decolonization policy in the 1950s. Two major strategies were employed by British commercial firms to achieve their goal of influencing the devolution process in Nigeria. The first was to encourage and provide financial support to their African management staff to participate in the ongoing political activities without any threat to their employment. Political activism was thus accommodated within the companies' organization. The second strategy was to directly influence the Colonial Office. British firms requested special representation in the Nigerian legislature, the establishment of an Economic Advisory Committee, the control of the police by non-politicians, and a clause in the new constitution which would assert a 'policy of universal non-discrimination in Nigeria'. After initially stalling, the Colonial Office finally acquiesced in the British firms' desire to maintain some control, albeit indirectly, in the postcolonial economy of Nigeria. Notes, ref.