Development of ferry service on the lower Niger, 1901-1960

  • Anthony Danladi Ali


The paper demonstrates colonial government efforts in developing water transportation on the Lower Niger River by maintaining vessels as vehicles of transportation from the beginning of the twentieth century. Government departments were set up at various times to oversee activities of users of the River Niger. For instance in 1901, the colonial government established the Government Marine Department (GMD) as a special department in charge of water transportation. Also, in 1954, the Inland Waterways Department (I.W.D) was established. This study is significant because it showcases that inland water transportation was very vital for effective administration of the provinces in the Lower Niger. The paper shows that without an adequate supply of launches, government administration and provision of stores were quite difficult. In Nigeria, before the 1900s, there were no roads or rail ways, the dominant transportation available in the provinces of the Lower Niger was inland waterways transportation. This study relies on historical methodology through the application of primary and secondary sources.


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