A. T. Ajayi


A lot of studies have tried to observe, scrutinize and assess the role played by the colonial government during their epoch of colonizing Nigeria. Even though we can’t take away their exploitative intension, it is however pertinent to admit that some of their policies “no matter how little” improve the knowledge and skills of Nigeria’s industrial sector. One of the country’s largest and oldest manufacturing sub-sectors is the Nigerian textile industry. Domestic production and consumption of cotton textiles in Nigeria conversely predated the colonization of the country by Britain. Production and consumption of textiles however, had become so widespread that by the middle of the nineteenth century, Kano (in northern Nigeria) has become the Manchester of West Africa. The textile industry has traveled a long and rugged road – from its pre-colonial cottage orientation, through it colonial struggle with imported textiles, to its current modernity. This paper looks at the effects of the colonial textile development policy on the industrial growth of Nigeria between 1945 and 1950. It however derives its strength from both primary and secondary materials available.


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Zurekas, Clarence, Economic Development: An Introduction, New York, Macmillan, 1979, p. 242.

For a detailed discussion on this Issue, see J.F. Ade Ajayi, “The Cultural factor in Technological Development”, in In Search of the Route to National Technological Development: A Compendium of Foundation Day Lectures, FUTA, Akure, 2004, pp. 160-161.

NAI, CSO 26/3638 S.3 Vol. II, p. 157.

Ibid. p. 61.

NAI, Ondo Prof 1/11836B, Textile Centre, Ado-Ekiti, 1949, p.1.

NAI, DCI 1/1 403 S.5, Textile Development Sectional Report 1946-52, p.1.


NAI, DCI 1/1 2792, Annual Report on the general progress of Development and Welfare Scheme, 1947, p.88.


Ibid. p.89.

NAI, DCI 1/1/402, Textile Centres Area, Ado-Ekiti matters affecting 1947-1949, p.209.

NAI, DCI 1/1 419/S.2, Export Market for Hand Woven Cloth (America) 1950 – 1952, p.A02.

NAI, DCI 1/1419 Vol. II, Disposal of cloth produced at Textile Centres, 1951-1952, p.50.

DCI 1/1 2792, Annual report on the general progress.

NAI DCI 1/1 403 S.5, pp.30-33.


NAL, RG/X42. Statement on the Activities of the Department of Commerce and Industries, 1949, p.11.

J.F. Ade Ajayi, “The Cultural Factor in Technological Development”, op cit., p.161.


NAI, Ondo Prof 1/1 1836A, p.118.

NAI, Ondo Prof 1/3 D.34, Development of Textile Industry, 1949, p.28.


Interview, Chief S.A. Obayemi, 70 years, former textile assistant, TTC Ado-Ekiti, 25 Waterworks Road, Ado-Ekiti, 10/7/94.

This opportunity was enjoyed mostly by the ex-servicemen who formed a clique of the ex-trainees

NAI, DCI/404, Textile Centre: Oyo Matters relating to, 1946-1949, p.192.

NAI, Oyo Prof 1/1/1757, p.49

NAI, Oyo Prof 1/1/1757, Vol. I, p.49

NAI, Oyo Prof 1/1/1757, p.49

NAI, DCI/1 2792, Annual Report on the Genera Progress of Development and Welfare Scheme 1948, p. 32.

NAI, DCI/1 403 IS. 5, Textile Development Sectional Report 1946-1952, p.4.

J.F. Ade Ajayi, “The Cultural Factor in Technology Development” in In Search of the Route to National Technological Development: A Compendium of Foundation Day Lectures, FUTA, Akure, 2004, pp. 160-161.

J.F. Ade Ajayi “The Cultural Factor in Technological Development, op.cit., p.161.

Peter, Kilby, Industrialization in Open Economic: Nigeria 1945-66, London, Cambridge University Press, 1969, pp. 303-314.



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