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The Nigerian Marine Department contribution to British colonial economy

William Abiodun Duyile


The paper examines the contributions of the Marine Department to the development of the colonial economy and its impact on the maritime development of Nigeria. It further investigates how the colonial Maritime Department could be described as the chief exploitative instrument used by the British to perpetuate their exploitative policies in the Colonial Nigerian State. The paper relies on both primary and secondary sources. The primary sources were based on oral interviews and archival materials. Secondary sources on the other hand, included literature such as books and newspapers. The oral interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. The documentary data were subjected to internal and external criticism for authentication and then to textual and contextual analysis The paper finds out that the activities of the Marine Department opened up the littoral routes through the dredging of Nigeria’s maritime environment for trade between the coastal states and their hinterland counterpart fostering a merger of both economies, paving the way for the colonial economic exploitation of Southern Nigeria. The paper proves that the Marine Department was a significant revenue earner for the colonial administration. This means that it was the Marine Department that opened up littoral routes through the dredging of the maritime floor between coastal and hinterland states and it merged both economies, in the Southern Nigeria.

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