Colonialism and the underdevelopment of Abuja Area of Nigeria
The paper examined how colonialism led to the underdevelopment of Abuja area of Nigeria. It relied on written sources, archival materials and oral interviews conducted in the area between 2005 and 2009. The materials were subjected to textual and contextual analysis before use. The theories of development and underdevelopment form the frame work of analysis in the paper. In the pre-colonial period, the economic activities of the people of Abuja area were very diverse. While some were farmers, others were engaged in trading, manufacturing, processing of agricultural produce, cloth weaving and dyeing. The diversity of economic activities stimulated trade not only within the area but also between the people and the neighbouring settlements. Colonialism destroyed their socio-economic initiatives and gave them nothing in return. In the first place, the industrial system of the area was destroyed. Again, the British colonial government neglected the area in the provision of socio-economic amenities and infrastructure such as roads, water, schools, and hospitals. It was in this regard that abject poverty reined in the area up 1976 when the capital of the country was relocated there.
Keywords: Colonialism, Development, Underdevelopment, Manufacturing, Socio-economic, Amenities, Infrastructure
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