Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and the world's eighth largest oil producer, but its success has been undermined in recent decades by ethnic and religious conflict, political instability, rampant official corruption and an ailing economy. Toyin Falola, a leading historian intimately acquainted with the region, and Matthew Heaton, who has worked extensively on African science and culture, combine their expertise to explain the context to Nigeria's recent troubles through an exploration of its pre-colonial and colonial past, and its journey from independence to statehood. By examining key themes such as colonialism, religion, slavery, nationalism and the economy, the authors show how Nigeria's history has been swayed by the vicissitudes of the world around it, and how Nigerians have adapted to meet these challenges. This book offers a unique portrayal of a resilient people living in a country with immense, but unrealized, potential.
Soldiers of Fortune is a fast-paced and thrilling narrative of the major events of the Buhari and Babangida era (1983-1993). Historian Max Siollun gives an intimate, fly-on-the-wall portrait of the major events and dramatis personae of the period. Both gripping and informative, Soldiers of Fortune is a must-read for all Nigerians and Nigeria-watchers.
This massive work took seventeen years to complete, and must stand as a seminal work of meticuluous history. More than a history, it is an analysis of the railways and their role in the history of Nigeria as a country. It was the railways that carried agricultural products to the ports; that moved people at relatively little cost over long distance for trade and occupational pursuits; that gave support and strength to military operations and the movement of heavy duty equipment and materials needed for industrial works and development. The railways were the life-line of national economic development, and the pioneers in the opening up of the country to development and contact with the outside world. The three volumes explore the systems from their beginnings in the 1890s to the closing decades of the twentieth century. Over 300 illustrations illuminate the volumes. There is introductory material on exploration, geography and demography, the basics of the railway system, and a description of the assets, fuel examination and water supply exploration. The economic and political history of each of the nine railway and tramway systems is given. Operational facilities and commercial practice are each described within historical perspective. The whole is summed up under organisations, accounts and statistics, staff and industrial relations, and short biographies of departmental heads. The author spent forty-seven years in Nigeria, including twenty-seven serving to Nigeria's history.
Nigeria and Nigerians have acquired a notorious reputation for involvement in drug-trafficking, fraud, cyber-crime and other types of serious crime. Successful Nigerian criminal networks have a global reach, interacting with their Italian, Latin American and Russian counterparts. Yet in 1944, a British colonial official wrote that 'the number of persistent and professional criminals is not great' in Nigeria and that 'crime as a career has so far made little appeal to the young Nigerian'. This book traces the origins of Nigerian organised crime to the last years of colonial rule, when nationalist politicians acquired power at a regional level. In need of funds for campaigning, they offered government contracts to foreign businesses in return for kickbacks, in a pattern that recurs to this day. Political corruption encouraged a wider disrespect for the law that spread throughout Nigerian society. When the country's oil boom came to an end in the early 1980s, young Nigerian college graduates headed abroad, eager to make money by any means. Nigerian crime went global at the very moment new criminal markets were emerging all over the world.