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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Working of the Timber Concession System in Southern Nigeria, 1900-1940
Author:Egboh, Edmund O.
Periodical:Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Great Britain
trading companies
wood industry
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Abstract:During the early years of the timber trade in Southern Nigeria, timber exploitation was not subject to any government regulation. This changed in 1898, when the Colonial Office instructed the administration to intervene in the timber concessions negotiations between large-scale traders, mostly Europeans, and chiefs. In 1901 the 'Rules relating to timber' were passed. On the whole, the rules were fashioned to give colonial government officials power to control timber exploitation through the granting of concessions. They included provisions designed to protect Africans against possible exploitation by concessionaires, at the same time as they were designed to give protection to concessionaires. An examination of the rules in action indicates that the concession system worked to the advantage of European concerns, which were generally larger and better financed than African enterprises. A concession dispute involving the Awujale and chiefs of Ijebu-Ode and A.R. Brown, a European, in 1907, and a dispute which arose in 1909 between Somonu Ewumi, an African, and Messrs. McIver and Company, over a concession granted by Lapoki, the Oba of Aye in Ikale District, exemplify the anti-African policy of the colonial administration. Even after the redistribution of concessions in Benin between 1934 and 1936, European companies, first and foremost the United Africa Company (UAC), clearly still controlled the trade. Notes, ref.