Colonialism and the Development in Nigeria: Effects and Challenges

UMARU Abubakar Bala


Colonization started around the 16th century and spread all around the world by the beginning of the twentieth century. By the mid-1960s, most colonized African states had gained independence. Decades after independence however, events in these countries suggests that the effects of colonialism have not left the independent countries specifically on the area of development. While many scholars have arguedfor and against the effects of colonialpowers on their respective colonies, this study focused on colonization as it relates directly on development in Nigeria. The study adopted a narrative and descriptive research design in order to depict the opinions represented in literature by scholars in an accurate way.The main findings of this Study are as follows: Firstly, although, colonialism laid the foundation of formal education in Nigeria, but when western education was introduced, it was not with the intention to engender development rather, it was introduced as a solution to language barriers experienced at the time as well as the need to be cost efficient by producing efficient locals that will take over positions of responsibilities occupied by subordinate Europeans. Secondly, colonialism encouraged and intensified tribalism, ethnicity and class struggle within Nigeria. Thirdly, the decolonization of Nigeria saw the assumption to power of leaders that are in tandem with colonial style of governance. This ensured the continuity of the colonial grip on the economy in spite of independence. Hence, development was not of interest and concern to both colonialists and the leaders' enthroned. What was of interest to the colonialists was how to administer and manage Nigeria in proxy and to the leaders that emerged, power andprivileges. Fourthly, colonialism was an economic, social and religious weapon which was used to subjugate and alter the African social structure and by extension, Nigeria's social structure. This was effectively achieved by substituting ancient norms, values andpractices with the ways of the colonial powers. Lastly, the provisions of the constitution that was forced on the Nigerian citizens are discriminative and what this constitutional provision achieved was the dissociation of Nigeria from her development needs.

Keywords: Colonialism, Colonization, Development

DOI: 10.7176/IAGS/70-02

Publication date:March 31st 2019


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