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The Politics of Urban Policies in Lagos, 1914 - 1960

L Davies


The formulation and implementation of policies in colonial Lagos were shrouded in politics. Indeed, there is commonality between policy and politics. For instance, people quarrel over which rules are to be enforced; what services are to be provided; how much money is to be spent; and what is the common good after all? Viewed from this perspective then, urban politics deals with the policies of urban government. Some studies on urbanisation in colonial Lagos, in the period under study have discussed urban policies among others, within the context of the advantages or benefits that Lagos derived from them. These studies argue that Lagos was not planned before the advent of the colonial government. None of these studies has drawn attention to the politics of the colonial government’s policies in Lagos. Thus, the present study aims at bridging the gap in the existing studies by focusing attention on the politics of colonial urban policies of town planning, segregation, sanitation, and land. The paper argues that the formulation and implementation of urban policies in Lagos in the period under study, were affected by the idea, behaviour, strategies, and resources available to the colonial government.

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eISSN: 1597-3778
print ISSN: 1597-3778