Labour History Review

The Travails of Migrant and Wage Labour in the Lagos Metropolitan Area in the Inter-War Years

Labour History Review (1996), 61, (1), 49–70.

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Bill Freund, ‘Labour and Labour History in Africa: A Review of the Literature’, African Studies Review, vol. 27, no. 2, 1984, pp. 1-58; and Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, ‘A History of African Urbanization - Labour, Women and the Informal Sector: A Survey of Recent Studies’, in Satya Datta (ed.), Third World Urbanization: Re-appraisals and New Perspectives, Stockholm, 1990, pp. 75-89. ‘Labour and Labour History in Africa: A Review of the Literature’ African Studies Review 27 1 58 Google Scholar

A good synthesis for West Africa is provided in A. G. Hopkins, An Economic History of West Africa, 1975, pp. 17-18, 20-27, 76-77. Google Scholar

Important contributions by social scientists include Robin Cohen, Labour and Politics in Nigeria, 1974; Richard Sandbrook, Proletarians and African Capitalism: The Kenyan Case. 1962-70, Cambridge, 1975; M. Peil, The Ghanaian Factory Worker: Industrial Man in Africa, Cambridge, 1972; and J. F. Weeks, ‘The Impact of Economic Conditions and Institutional Farces on Urban Wages in Nigeria’, Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 1971, pp. 313-39. This list is merely representative and does not exhaust the important titles. We should note that, for the most part, the social scientists concentrated on contemporary developments. Studies which demonstrate historical depth include Charles van Onselen, Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia. 1900-1933, 1979; C. Perrings, Black Miners in Central Africa: Industrial Strategies and the Evolution of an Urban Proletariat in the Copperbelt. 1911-1941, 1979; Bill Freund, Capital and Labour in the Nigerian Tin Mines, 1981; and P. C.W Gutkind, R. Cohen and J. Copans (eds.), African Labor History, 1978. Google Scholar

Studies that focus on these themes include P. Waterman, Division and Unity Among Nigerian Workers: Lagos Port Unionism. 1940s-1960s, The Hague, 1982; H. E. Conway, ‘Labour Protest Activity in Sierra Leone’, Labour History, vol. 15, 1968, pp. 49-63; A. G. Hopkins, ‘The Lagos Strike of 1897: An Exploration in Nigerian Labour History’, Past and Present, no. 35, 1966, pp. 133-55; Jeff Crisp, The Story of an African Working Class: Ghanaian Miners' Struggle, 1870-1980, 1984; and Ibrahim Abdullah, ‘Profit versus Social Reproduction: Labour Protests in the Sierra Leonean Iron-Ore Mines, 1933-38’, African Studies Review, vol. 35, no. 3, 1992, pp. 13-41. Division and Unity Among Nigerian Workers: Lagos Port Unionism. 1940s-1960s Google Scholar

See, in particular, B. Bozzoli (ed.), Labour, Townships and Protest: Studies in the Social History of the Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg, 1979; Frederick Cooper (ed.), Struggle for the City: Migrant Labour, Capital and the State in Urban Africa, Beverly Hills, 1983; Fred Cooper, On the African Waterfront: Urban Disorders and the Transformation of Work in Colonial Mombassa, New Haven, 1987. Google Scholar

On the ‘labour aristocracy’ thesis, see Giovanni Arrighi and John S. Saul, ‘Socialism and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, 1968, pp. 141-69; G. Arrighi, ‘International Corporations, Labour Aristocracies and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’, in Robert I. Rhodes (ed.), Imperialism and Underdevelopment: A Reader, New York, 1970, pp. 220-67; Adrian Peace, ‘The Lagos Proletariat: Labour Aristocrats or Populist Militants?’, in Richard Sandbrook and Robin Cohen (eds.), The Development of an African Working Class: Studies in Class Formation and Action, 1975, pp. 281-302; and John S. Saul, ‘The "Labour Aristocracy" Thesis Reconsidered’, in ibid., pp. 303-10. ‘Socialism and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’ Journal of Modern African Studies 6 141 69 Google Scholar

On labour and politics, see R. H. Bates, Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia, New Haven, 1971; R. Sandbrook, ‘Patrons, Clients and Unions: The Labour Movement and Political Conflict in Kenya’, Journal of Commonwealth Political Studies, vol. 16, 1972, pp. 3-27; and Cohen, Labour and Politics. Richard Sandbrook and Robin Cohen, ‘Workers and Progressive Change in Underdeveloped Countries’, in Sandbrook and Cohen (eds.), Development of an African Working Class, p. 19, cautioned that ‘to confine labour's political role to … overt links [between parties and the unions] … expresses a very narrow outlook’. Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia Google Scholar

In addition to works already cited, see S. O. Osoba, ‘The Phenomenon of Labour Migration in the Era of British Colonial Rule: A Neglected Aspect of Nigerian Social History’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 4, no. 4, 1969, pp. 515-38; Wogu Ananaba, The Trade Union Movement in Nigeria, 1974; Daniel Offiong, Organised Labour and Political Development in Nigeria, Calabar, 1983; and M. A. Tokunboh, Labour Movement in Nigeria: Past and Present, Lagos, 1985. ‘The Phenomenon of Labour Migration in the Era of British Colonial Rule: A Neglected Aspect of Nigerian Social History’ Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 4 515 38 Google Scholar

A notable exception is Hopkins, ‘Lagos Strike’. For ‘various manifestations of a working-class identity’ in Lagos during this period, see Arnold Hughes and Robin Cohen, ‘An Emerging Nigerian Working Class: The Lagos Experience, 1897-1939’, in Gutkind, Cohen and Copans (eds.), African Labor History, pp. 31-55. Google Scholar

Two specific studies are J. O. Oyemakinde, ‘A History of Indigenous Labour on the Nigerian Railway, 1895-1945’, PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, 1970; and Waterman, Lagos Port Unionism. Google Scholar

The maritime economy in which developments examined in this study took place is studied in Ayedele (correctly, Ayodeji) Olukoju, ‘Maritime Trade in Lagos in the Aftermath of the First World War’, African Economic History, vol. 20, 1992, pp. 119-35. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Population Pressure, Housing and Sanitation in West Africa's Premier Port-City: Lagos, 1900-1939’, The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, vol. 15, no. 2, 1993, p. 93. ‘Population Pressure, Housing and Sanitation in West Africa's Premier Port-City: Lagos, 1900-1939’ The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History 15 93 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Studies on aspects of the economic history of Lagos and its port include: A. G. Hopkins, ‘An Economic History of Lagos, 1880-1914’, PhD Thesis, University of London, 1964; Hopkins, ‘Economic Imperialism in West Africa: Lagos, 1880-92’, Economic History Review, vol. 21, 1968, pp. 580-606; Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘The Politics of Free Trade between Lagos and the Hinterland, 1861-1907’, in Ade Adefuye, Babatunde Agiri and Jide Osuntokun (eds.), History of the Peoples of Lagos State, Lagos, 1987, pp. 85-103; and Olukoju, ‘The Development of the Port of Lagos, c. 1892-1946’, The Journal of Transport History, Third Series, vol. 13, no. 1, 1992, pp. 59-78. Google Scholar

Aspects of Lagos politics and society have been studied in A. B. Aderibigbe (ed.), Lagos: The Development of an African City, Lagos, 1975; P. D. Cole, Modern and Traditional Elites in the Politics of Lagos, Cambridge, 1975; Adefuye, Agiri and Osuntokun (eds.), Lagos State; and Kunle Lawal (ed.), Urban Transition in Africa: Aspects of Urbanisation and Change in Lagos, Lagos, 1994. Lagos: The Development of an African City Google Scholar

Census figures are extracted from P. O. Sada, ‘Differential Population Distribution and Growth in Metropolitan Lagos’, Journal of Business and Social Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 1969, p. 121, Table 1. ‘Differential Population Distribution and Growth in Metropolitan Lagos’ Journal of Business and Social Studies 1 121 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer (Lagos), 16 January 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 17 April 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Currency matters are discussed in W. Ibekwe Ofonagoro, ‘From Traditional to British Currency in Southern Nigeria: Analysis of a Currency Revolution, 1880-1948’, Journal of Economic History, vol. 39, no. 3, 1979, pp. 623-54; and Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Nigeria's Colonial Government, Commercial Banks and the Currency Crisis of 1916-1920’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, forthcoming. ‘From Traditional to British Currency in Southern Nigeria: Analysis of a Currency Revolution, 1880-1948’ Journal of Economic History 39 623 54 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 9 August 1919. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The debate on the Bill is copiously reported on in Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. The discussion on the Bill in this and subsequent paragraphs is based upon this source. Google Scholar

For a different kind of ‘class legislation’ in colonial Nigeria, see Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘The Lugardian Concept of "Class Taxation" in Nigeria, c. 1900-1916’, OYE: Ogun Journal of Arts, vol. 1, 1988, pp. 111-23. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 6 March 1920. Google Scholar

Accounts of the strike are provided in Nigerian Pioneer, 20, 23 and 30 January 1920; and in Lagos Weekly Record, 31 January 1920 (written by the ‘Father of Nigerian Nationalism’, Herbert Macaulay, who was Vice-Patron of the Mechanics' Union). The significance of Macaulay's involvement with labour in the 1920s shall be highlighted in the conclusion to this study. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 January 1920. Google Scholar

Ibid. We should note that the Eleko was not assigned any formal role in the administration of the Lagos Colony which was under the direct rule of a Colonial Administrator. The recourse to his mediation in the labour crisis was an acknowledgement of his continuing influence among Lagosians. For the Eleko and the British, especially the celebrated clash between the Eleko Esugbayi and the colonial government, see Cole, Modern and Traditional Elites, chapters 5 and 6. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 23 January 1920. The newspaper had, on 30 January, claimed that the strike had been ‘instigated’, a betrayal of its pro-establishment and anti- labour sentiments. While the Pioneer's position on the 1920 strike paralleled that of the Lagos Standard in the 1890s, the Lagos Weekly Record had abandoned its anti-strike posture. For the attitude of the Lagos press to the 1897 strike, see Hopkins, ‘Lagos Strike’, pp. 150-51. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 23 January 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The rise of militant trade unionism in later times is studied in Wale Oyemakinde, ‘Michael Imoudu and the Emergence of Militant Trade Unionism in Nigeria, 1940-42’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 7, no. 3, 1974, pp. 541-61. The issue of working-class consciousness is commented upon in the conclusion below. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

For the depression, see Kehinde Faluyi, ‘The Impact of the Great Depression of 1929-33 on the Nigerian Economy’, Journal of Business and Social Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, 1981, pp. 31-44; and Ayodeji O. Olukoju, ‘Maritime Trade in Lagos, 1914-1950: Its Nature and Impact’, PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, 1991, chapter 5. ‘The Impact of the Great Depression of 1929-33 on the Nigerian Economy’ Journal of Business and Social Studies 4 31 44 Google Scholar

Wale Oyemakinde, ‘The Impact of the Great Depression on the Nigerian Railway and its Workers’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 8, no. 4, 1977, pp. 143-60; and Oyemakinde, ‘Wage Earners in Nigeria during the Great Depression’ (mimeo.). ‘The Impact of the Great Depression on the Nigerian Railway and its Workers’ Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 8 143 60 Google Scholar

Noted in E. J. Berg, ‘The Development of a Labour Force in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 13, 1965, p. 412. ‘The Development of a Labour Force in Sub-Saharan Africa’ Economic Development and Cultural Change 13 412 Google Scholar

Lagos Daily News, 23 September 1929: General News: ‘Trade is Bad’; ibid., 27 June 1930. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 10 June 1931: Random Notes and News. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

For the increasing importance of road transport, and its impact, see Olasiji Oshin, ‘Road Transport and the Declining Fortunes of the Nigerian Railways, 1901-1950’, The Journal of Transport History, Third Series, vol. 12, no. 2, 1991, pp. 11-36. Google Scholar

The activities of a group of Levantines (Lebanese, Greeks, and Syrians) in the hinterland of Lagos have been examined in Toyin Falola, ‘Lebanese Traders in Southwestern Nigeria, 1900-1960’, African Affairs, vol. 89, 1990, pp. 523-53. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

NAI CSO 1/32/98 1087 of 14 October 1929, Baddeley to Passfield, encl.: Minutes of the Meeting of the Legislative Council, Lagos, 30 September 1930; Lagos Daily News, 7 November 1929: Debates in the Legislative Council. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The colonial policy on, and the operation of, quality control through the grading and inspection of export produce have been studied in O. N. Njoku, ‘Evolution of Produce Inspection in Nigeria up to 1936’, ODU: A Journal of West African Studies, no. 19, 1979, pp. 43-57; and Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Government, the Business Community, and Quality Control Schemes in the Agricultural Export Trade of Nigeria, 1889-1929’, forthcoming in African Economic History. ‘Evolution of Produce Inspection in Nigeria up to 1936’ ODU: A Journal of West African Studies 43 57 Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 13 September 1929. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Daily Times, 18 April 1935. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Daily Times, 2 June 1936, Editorial: ‘Crime in Lagos’. Google Scholar

Nigeria: Colonial Reports. Annual Report for 1932, No. 1625 of 1933, p. 50. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Daily News, 30 September 1930: ‘Unemployment: A Matter for the Government’. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigeria: Colonial Reports, Annual Report for 1933, No. 1668 of 1934, p. 58. Google Scholar

The strike is studied in Wale Oyemakinde, ‘The Nigerian General Strike of 1945’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 7, no. 4, 1975, pp. 693-710. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Aspects of the nationalist movement have been studied in James Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, Berkeley, 1960; and G. O. Olusanya, The Second World War and Politics in Nigeria, 1939-53, Lagos 1973. Nigeria: Background to Nationalism Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

This thesis has been advanced most persuasively in Okwudiba Nnoli, Ethnic Politics in Nigeria, Enugu, 1980, and its validity in the context of our study is buttressed by the available evidence. Google Scholar

Bill Freund, ‘Labour and Labour History in Africa: A Review of the Literature’, African Studies Review, vol. 27, no. 2, 1984, pp. 1-58; and Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, ‘A History of African Urbanization - Labour, Women and the Informal Sector: A Survey of Recent Studies’, in Satya Datta (ed.), Third World Urbanization: Re-appraisals and New Perspectives, Stockholm, 1990, pp. 75-89. ‘Labour and Labour History in Africa: A Review of the Literature’ African Studies Review 27 1 58 Google Scholar

A good synthesis for West Africa is provided in A. G. Hopkins, An Economic History of West Africa, 1975, pp. 17-18, 20-27, 76-77. Google Scholar

Important contributions by social scientists include Robin Cohen, Labour and Politics in Nigeria, 1974; Richard Sandbrook, Proletarians and African Capitalism: The Kenyan Case. 1962-70, Cambridge, 1975; M. Peil, The Ghanaian Factory Worker: Industrial Man in Africa, Cambridge, 1972; and J. F. Weeks, ‘The Impact of Economic Conditions and Institutional Farces on Urban Wages in Nigeria’, Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 1971, pp. 313-39. This list is merely representative and does not exhaust the important titles. We should note that, for the most part, the social scientists concentrated on contemporary developments. Studies which demonstrate historical depth include Charles van Onselen, Chibaro: African Mine Labour in Southern Rhodesia. 1900-1933, 1979; C. Perrings, Black Miners in Central Africa: Industrial Strategies and the Evolution of an Urban Proletariat in the Copperbelt. 1911-1941, 1979; Bill Freund, Capital and Labour in the Nigerian Tin Mines, 1981; and P. C.W Gutkind, R. Cohen and J. Copans (eds.), African Labor History, 1978. Google Scholar

Studies that focus on these themes include P. Waterman, Division and Unity Among Nigerian Workers: Lagos Port Unionism. 1940s-1960s, The Hague, 1982; H. E. Conway, ‘Labour Protest Activity in Sierra Leone’, Labour History, vol. 15, 1968, pp. 49-63; A. G. Hopkins, ‘The Lagos Strike of 1897: An Exploration in Nigerian Labour History’, Past and Present, no. 35, 1966, pp. 133-55; Jeff Crisp, The Story of an African Working Class: Ghanaian Miners' Struggle, 1870-1980, 1984; and Ibrahim Abdullah, ‘Profit versus Social Reproduction: Labour Protests in the Sierra Leonean Iron-Ore Mines, 1933-38’, African Studies Review, vol. 35, no. 3, 1992, pp. 13-41. Division and Unity Among Nigerian Workers: Lagos Port Unionism. 1940s-1960s Google Scholar

See, in particular, B. Bozzoli (ed.), Labour, Townships and Protest: Studies in the Social History of the Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg, 1979; Frederick Cooper (ed.), Struggle for the City: Migrant Labour, Capital and the State in Urban Africa, Beverly Hills, 1983; Fred Cooper, On the African Waterfront: Urban Disorders and the Transformation of Work in Colonial Mombassa, New Haven, 1987. Google Scholar

On the ‘labour aristocracy’ thesis, see Giovanni Arrighi and John S. Saul, ‘Socialism and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’, Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 6, no. 2, 1968, pp. 141-69; G. Arrighi, ‘International Corporations, Labour Aristocracies and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’, in Robert I. Rhodes (ed.), Imperialism and Underdevelopment: A Reader, New York, 1970, pp. 220-67; Adrian Peace, ‘The Lagos Proletariat: Labour Aristocrats or Populist Militants?’, in Richard Sandbrook and Robin Cohen (eds.), The Development of an African Working Class: Studies in Class Formation and Action, 1975, pp. 281-302; and John S. Saul, ‘The "Labour Aristocracy" Thesis Reconsidered’, in ibid., pp. 303-10. ‘Socialism and Economic Development in Tropical Africa’ Journal of Modern African Studies 6 141 69 Google Scholar

On labour and politics, see R. H. Bates, Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia, New Haven, 1971; R. Sandbrook, ‘Patrons, Clients and Unions: The Labour Movement and Political Conflict in Kenya’, Journal of Commonwealth Political Studies, vol. 16, 1972, pp. 3-27; and Cohen, Labour and Politics. Richard Sandbrook and Robin Cohen, ‘Workers and Progressive Change in Underdeveloped Countries’, in Sandbrook and Cohen (eds.), Development of an African Working Class, p. 19, cautioned that ‘to confine labour's political role to … overt links [between parties and the unions] … expresses a very narrow outlook’. Unions, Parties, and Political Development: A Study of Mineworkers in Zambia Google Scholar

In addition to works already cited, see S. O. Osoba, ‘The Phenomenon of Labour Migration in the Era of British Colonial Rule: A Neglected Aspect of Nigerian Social History’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 4, no. 4, 1969, pp. 515-38; Wogu Ananaba, The Trade Union Movement in Nigeria, 1974; Daniel Offiong, Organised Labour and Political Development in Nigeria, Calabar, 1983; and M. A. Tokunboh, Labour Movement in Nigeria: Past and Present, Lagos, 1985. ‘The Phenomenon of Labour Migration in the Era of British Colonial Rule: A Neglected Aspect of Nigerian Social History’ Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 4 515 38 Google Scholar

A notable exception is Hopkins, ‘Lagos Strike’. For ‘various manifestations of a working-class identity’ in Lagos during this period, see Arnold Hughes and Robin Cohen, ‘An Emerging Nigerian Working Class: The Lagos Experience, 1897-1939’, in Gutkind, Cohen and Copans (eds.), African Labor History, pp. 31-55. Google Scholar

Two specific studies are J. O. Oyemakinde, ‘A History of Indigenous Labour on the Nigerian Railway, 1895-1945’, PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, 1970; and Waterman, Lagos Port Unionism. Google Scholar

The maritime economy in which developments examined in this study took place is studied in Ayedele (correctly, Ayodeji) Olukoju, ‘Maritime Trade in Lagos in the Aftermath of the First World War’, African Economic History, vol. 20, 1992, pp. 119-35. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Population Pressure, Housing and Sanitation in West Africa's Premier Port-City: Lagos, 1900-1939’, The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, vol. 15, no. 2, 1993, p. 93. ‘Population Pressure, Housing and Sanitation in West Africa's Premier Port-City: Lagos, 1900-1939’ The Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History 15 93 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Studies on aspects of the economic history of Lagos and its port include: A. G. Hopkins, ‘An Economic History of Lagos, 1880-1914’, PhD Thesis, University of London, 1964; Hopkins, ‘Economic Imperialism in West Africa: Lagos, 1880-92’, Economic History Review, vol. 21, 1968, pp. 580-606; Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘The Politics of Free Trade between Lagos and the Hinterland, 1861-1907’, in Ade Adefuye, Babatunde Agiri and Jide Osuntokun (eds.), History of the Peoples of Lagos State, Lagos, 1987, pp. 85-103; and Olukoju, ‘The Development of the Port of Lagos, c. 1892-1946’, The Journal of Transport History, Third Series, vol. 13, no. 1, 1992, pp. 59-78. Google Scholar

Aspects of Lagos politics and society have been studied in A. B. Aderibigbe (ed.), Lagos: The Development of an African City, Lagos, 1975; P. D. Cole, Modern and Traditional Elites in the Politics of Lagos, Cambridge, 1975; Adefuye, Agiri and Osuntokun (eds.), Lagos State; and Kunle Lawal (ed.), Urban Transition in Africa: Aspects of Urbanisation and Change in Lagos, Lagos, 1994. Lagos: The Development of an African City Google Scholar

Census figures are extracted from P. O. Sada, ‘Differential Population Distribution and Growth in Metropolitan Lagos’, Journal of Business and Social Studies, vol. 1, no. 2, 1969, p. 121, Table 1. ‘Differential Population Distribution and Growth in Metropolitan Lagos’ Journal of Business and Social Studies 1 121 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer (Lagos), 16 January 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 17 April 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Currency matters are discussed in W. Ibekwe Ofonagoro, ‘From Traditional to British Currency in Southern Nigeria: Analysis of a Currency Revolution, 1880-1948’, Journal of Economic History, vol. 39, no. 3, 1979, pp. 623-54; and Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Nigeria's Colonial Government, Commercial Banks and the Currency Crisis of 1916-1920’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, forthcoming. ‘From Traditional to British Currency in Southern Nigeria: Analysis of a Currency Revolution, 1880-1948’ Journal of Economic History 39 623 54 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 9 August 1919. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The debate on the Bill is copiously reported on in Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. The discussion on the Bill in this and subsequent paragraphs is based upon this source. Google Scholar

For a different kind of ‘class legislation’ in colonial Nigeria, see Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘The Lugardian Concept of "Class Taxation" in Nigeria, c. 1900-1916’, OYE: Ogun Journal of Arts, vol. 1, 1988, pp. 111-23. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Weekly Record, 6 March 1920. Google Scholar

Accounts of the strike are provided in Nigerian Pioneer, 20, 23 and 30 January 1920; and in Lagos Weekly Record, 31 January 1920 (written by the ‘Father of Nigerian Nationalism’, Herbert Macaulay, who was Vice-Patron of the Mechanics' Union). The significance of Macaulay's involvement with labour in the 1920s shall be highlighted in the conclusion to this study. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 January 1920. Google Scholar

Ibid. We should note that the Eleko was not assigned any formal role in the administration of the Lagos Colony which was under the direct rule of a Colonial Administrator. The recourse to his mediation in the labour crisis was an acknowledgement of his continuing influence among Lagosians. For the Eleko and the British, especially the celebrated clash between the Eleko Esugbayi and the colonial government, see Cole, Modern and Traditional Elites, chapters 5 and 6. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 23 January 1920. The newspaper had, on 30 January, claimed that the strike had been ‘instigated’, a betrayal of its pro-establishment and anti- labour sentiments. While the Pioneer's position on the 1920 strike paralleled that of the Lagos Standard in the 1890s, the Lagos Weekly Record had abandoned its anti-strike posture. For the attitude of the Lagos press to the 1897 strike, see Hopkins, ‘Lagos Strike’, pp. 150-51. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 23 January 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The rise of militant trade unionism in later times is studied in Wale Oyemakinde, ‘Michael Imoudu and the Emergence of Militant Trade Unionism in Nigeria, 1940-42’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 7, no. 3, 1974, pp. 541-61. The issue of working-class consciousness is commented upon in the conclusion below. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 3 September 1920. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

For the depression, see Kehinde Faluyi, ‘The Impact of the Great Depression of 1929-33 on the Nigerian Economy’, Journal of Business and Social Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, 1981, pp. 31-44; and Ayodeji O. Olukoju, ‘Maritime Trade in Lagos, 1914-1950: Its Nature and Impact’, PhD Thesis, University of Ibadan, 1991, chapter 5. ‘The Impact of the Great Depression of 1929-33 on the Nigerian Economy’ Journal of Business and Social Studies 4 31 44 Google Scholar

Wale Oyemakinde, ‘The Impact of the Great Depression on the Nigerian Railway and its Workers’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 8, no. 4, 1977, pp. 143-60; and Oyemakinde, ‘Wage Earners in Nigeria during the Great Depression’ (mimeo.). ‘The Impact of the Great Depression on the Nigerian Railway and its Workers’ Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria 8 143 60 Google Scholar

Noted in E. J. Berg, ‘The Development of a Labour Force in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 13, 1965, p. 412. ‘The Development of a Labour Force in Sub-Saharan Africa’ Economic Development and Cultural Change 13 412 Google Scholar

Lagos Daily News, 23 September 1929: General News: ‘Trade is Bad’; ibid., 27 June 1930. Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 10 June 1931: Random Notes and News. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

For the increasing importance of road transport, and its impact, see Olasiji Oshin, ‘Road Transport and the Declining Fortunes of the Nigerian Railways, 1901-1950’, The Journal of Transport History, Third Series, vol. 12, no. 2, 1991, pp. 11-36. Google Scholar

The activities of a group of Levantines (Lebanese, Greeks, and Syrians) in the hinterland of Lagos have been examined in Toyin Falola, ‘Lebanese Traders in Southwestern Nigeria, 1900-1960’, African Affairs, vol. 89, 1990, pp. 523-53. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

NAI CSO 1/32/98 1087 of 14 October 1929, Baddeley to Passfield, encl.: Minutes of the Meeting of the Legislative Council, Lagos, 30 September 1930; Lagos Daily News, 7 November 1929: Debates in the Legislative Council. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

The colonial policy on, and the operation of, quality control through the grading and inspection of export produce have been studied in O. N. Njoku, ‘Evolution of Produce Inspection in Nigeria up to 1936’, ODU: A Journal of West African Studies, no. 19, 1979, pp. 43-57; and Ayodeji Olukoju, ‘Government, the Business Community, and Quality Control Schemes in the Agricultural Export Trade of Nigeria, 1889-1929’, forthcoming in African Economic History. ‘Evolution of Produce Inspection in Nigeria up to 1936’ ODU: A Journal of West African Studies 43 57 Google Scholar

Nigerian Pioneer, 13 September 1929. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Daily Times, 18 April 1935. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigerian Daily Times, 2 June 1936, Editorial: ‘Crime in Lagos’. Google Scholar

Nigeria: Colonial Reports. Annual Report for 1932, No. 1625 of 1933, p. 50. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Lagos Daily News, 30 September 1930: ‘Unemployment: A Matter for the Government’. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Nigeria: Colonial Reports, Annual Report for 1933, No. 1668 of 1934, p. 58. Google Scholar

The strike is studied in Wale Oyemakinde, ‘The Nigerian General Strike of 1945’, Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, vol. 7, no. 4, 1975, pp. 693-710. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Aspects of the nationalist movement have been studied in James Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, Berkeley, 1960; and G. O. Olusanya, The Second World War and Politics in Nigeria, 1939-53, Lagos 1973. Nigeria: Background to Nationalism Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

This thesis has been advanced most persuasively in Okwudiba Nnoli, Ethnic Politics in Nigeria, Enugu, 1980, and its validity in the context of our study is buttressed by the available evidence. Google Scholar

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Olukoju, Ayodeji