The Legacy of Imperialism in Nigeria

  • Justina Adalikwu-Obisike Burman University, Alberta, Canada
  • Ebere E. Obisike Burman University, Alberta, Canada


At independence in 1960, the colonial rule in Nigeria transformed into neo-colonialism. Nigeria gained political sovereignty through a negotiated settlement that has retained and maintained economic, commercial, and intellectual ties with the ex-colonial administrators and other western nations. Agriculture, which was the economic focus of the colonial administration took a back seat once oil was discovered in commercial quantity in present day Bayelsa state after several failed attempts dating back to 1913. As oil became the main economic attraction in the post-colonial rule, it had various implications for the political economy of Nigeria. Despite attempts to pursue agriculture as a colonial heritage and for the benefit of Nigerians, the discovery of oil in 1956 and the oil boom in the 1970s laid the foundation for Nigeria’s dependence on oil as the primary source of its GDP. Using secondary sources and insight from our previous fieldwork in the Niger Delta region, the main argument in this paper is that, imperialism perpetuated the exploitation of agricultural products while its legacy, neo-colonialism has preserved the exploitation of crude oil to the detriments of other economic ventures and the Nigerian masses. Therefore, we posit that the transformation of colonialism into neo-colonialism in Nigeria has resulted in desperation for Nigerians as this arrangement gives power without responsibility and exploitation without redress.


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How to Cite
Adalikwu-Obisike, J., & Obisike, E. E. (2019). The Legacy of Imperialism in Nigeria. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 15(16), 229.