history of colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis, 1903 -1960.

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1.1 Introduction

With the colonial conquest of Katsina Emirate in 1903 the British colonial masters established social, economic and political policies in order to archive their objective which was not far away from economic exploitation.  Some of these policies include the Native Authority System, the of Katsina College in 1921, Native Authority Treasury, Native Authority Agric Department, Native Authority Health Department and Native Authority Police Department among others. It is imperative to note that all these efforts made by the British government were aimed to facilitate economic exploitation and political oppression, in Katsina metropolis.

This research is therefore attempted to examine the history of Katsina prior the advent of colonialism. The research also analyzed the British conquest and occupation of Katsina metropolis as well as the political and economic changes that took place during the colonial period. But the work centered on the History of Colonial Infrastructures in Katsina Metropolis, 1903-1960.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Colonial infrastructure refers to the basic facilities needed for the functioning of community or society which were provided or established by the colonial government during colonial period. For example, Native Authority, Treasury, Central Prison, Katsina College to mention but a few. Several researches have been carried out on colonialism in Katsina metropolis but nothing much has been said about the colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis which to date. Therefore, the need to study a history of colonial Infrastructure in Katsina Metropolis 1903 to 1960 became imperative, because of the fact that literatures about the colonial infrastructure are very rare. Notwithstanding, the study of these colonial infrastructure in Katsina is vital. It is therefore, important to identify some crucial questions on based on our area of study.

  1. Why did the British conquered and occupied Katsina?
  2. Why British established such infrastructure?
  3. How did the infrastructure impacted the life of Katsina people?
  4. Is the infrastructure still in existence?

This research will therefore attempt to critically examine the aforementioned questions so as to obtain a concise and readable research.

1.3 significance of the study

A study of colonial infrastructure in katsina metropolis is very important because it portray the nature and significance of the colonial infrastructure if there is any. This research is also important owing to the fact that it acquaints us with, the knowledge of colonial activities used to facilitate the consolidation of colonial rule in Katsina metropolis most of these colonial infrastructures were also constructed through local labour and resources of Katsina. In addition, the research also contributes educationally to the existing knowledge of colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis.



1.4 Aim and Objectives

The aim of the research is to reconstruct the history of colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis, 1903 -1960.The study attempts to achieve the following objectives

  1. To assess the reasons why British Conquered and occupied Katsina metropolis in 1903.
  2. To analyze the operation of colonial infrastructure during colonial period.
  3. To explain why the British government provided such infrastructure.
  4. To examine the impact of colonial infrastructure on Katsina people during and after colonial period.

1.5 Scope and Limitation

The scope of the research covers the colonial period in Katsina metropolis1903-1960. Indeed, 1903 was another landmark in the history of katsina because that was when the British government conquered and established it control over the area. Additionally, the 1960 was another milestone in the political history not only Katsina but Nigeria in general because that was the period when Nigeria got her independence. Furthermore, this research has encountered with several limitations such as the time frame, financial problem among others.

1.6 Justification of the study

Few literatures on colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis are very rare. This research is therefore important to the other researchers who are willing to further their research academically, because it highlights the history of Katsina, reasons why the British conquered Katsina and why they provided such infrastructure in the area.

1.7 The Conceptual Clarification

Colonialism is an extension political control by one powerful nation over a weaker nation. These foreign immigrant dominated countries where they settled not only political but social and economic in order to sustain their domination of the people there and impose various taxes.

Colonialism is the exploitation, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of territory, by powerful country. It was a setup of unequal relationship between colonial power and colonies and often between the colonist and indigenous population.

Infrastructure is the large scale public services system and facilities which include power supply, public transportation, telecommunication, roads, schools and hospitals.Etc17

1.8   Theoretical Framework

Walter Rodney in his theory of colonial infrastructures said “Faced with the evidence of European exploitation of Africa, many bourgeois writers would concede at least partially that colonialism was a system which functioned well in the interest of the metro poles. However, they would then urge that another issue to be resolved is how much European did for Africans, and that it is necessary to draw up a ‘balance sheet of colonialism’ on that balance sheet, they place both the ‘credit’ and the ‘debits’ and quite often conclude that the good outweighed the bad. That particular conclusion can quite easily be challenged. But attention should also be draw to the fact that there is process of reasoning, is itself misleading. The reasoning has some sentimental persuasiveness. It appeals to common sentiment that ‘after all there must be two sides to a thing. The argument suggests that on the one hand there was exploitation and oppression, but on the other hand colonial government did much for the benefit of Africans and they developed Africa. It is our contention that this is completely false colonialism had only one hand it was one armed bandit. what did colonial government do in the interest of Africans supposedly the built railroad school, hospitals and the like sum total of these services was amazingly small.18

Theory of underdevelopment Rodney having discussed development makes it easier to consider that the concept of underdevelopment is not absence of development. Obviously underdevelopment is not absence of development. Underdevelopment makes sense only as means of comparing levels of development. It is very much tied to the fact that human social development has been uneven and from a strictly economic view point. Some human groups have advanced further by producing more and becoming more wealthy.19

The moment that one group appears to be wealthier than others, some enquiry is bound to take place as to the reason for the differences .After British had begun to  move ahead of the rest of Europe in the 18th century, the famous British economist Adam Smith felt it necessary to look into the causes behind the ‘wealth of nations’. At the same time, many Russians were very concerned about the fact that their country was ‘backward’ in comparison with England, France and Germany in the 18th century and subsequently in the 19th century. On the one hand, Europe and North America and on the other hand Africa, Asia and Latin America. In comparison with the first, the second group can be said to be backward or underdeveloped. At all times, therefore one of the ideas behind under development is a comparative one. It is possible to compare the country and determine whether or not it had developed, and is possible to compare the economies of any two countries or sets of countries at any given period in time.20



1.9 Research Methodology

Generally, two major important sources will be used in conducting this research work that is the primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include Oral interview with some people of katsina metropolis.

Secondary Sources which include published and unpublished materials will also be consulting. Such published sources include books, Journals, articles, as well as magazines, while unpublished sources include Thesis, Dissertation, and B .A Project.

1.10 Review Related Literature

The study by M.A Mamman 21, examines the role of Native Authority in the implementation and operation of the British economic policies only Mamman’s study is on agrarian and pastoral Colonial Policies with the emphasis on the exploitative nature of the British Colonial Economic Policies in Northern Nigeria .However, the proximity of the area of this study i.e [Katsina Emirate] to that of the present study make it very useful as a source of information to our study.

The next book to be considered here is by lugga.22 The book explore Colonial and post Colonial History of Sullubawa ruling Family of Katsina Emirate. The provision of may colonial infrastructure especially the division of katsina Native Authority in several department in order to facilitate maximum exploitation of the resources of katsina.

Another work, by Labo.23 The book discuss vividly about colonial activities, British conquest of Katsina, deposition and appointment of new emirs by the British, colonial infrastructures and especially history of Katsina during colonial period, the prominent people who worked in the department also included but the book fails to cover the whole of colonial period, which present work is going to fill.

This book has discussed about colonial history of Katsina but did not reach to independence era. That this gap present study will fill.

Another important book, the Great Province by Lugga.24 This study discuss about colonial history of Katsina and the study gave general survey concerning colonial infrastructure and the activities of colonial in the history of Katsina. But the book emphasized much on development of the province especially for the provision of the social amenities. This work almost observed general history of Katsina but did not give much details regarding implication of colonial policy on infrastructural activities.

The next book to review is by Imam and Commessie.25   This work discussed about history of Katsina particularly the period from 1944 to 1960. Some infrastructures were built in Katsina during this period which includes Remand Home, Veterinary Clinic e.t.c. The book emphasised of the Emir Alhaji Sir Usman Nagogo from 1944 to 1960 but neglect 1920 – 1944. It is this gap that the present study hopes to fill.

Then the work of Labo26. This study discussed about history of Kano since pre-colonial era and during colonial period it also looks into the colonial history of kano and the infrastructural development of the period. It however fails to give out why these infrastructures were provide although his study is on kano. It would help me in proper focus of my work.

Abubakars work 27 concentrated in the study of colonial rule in whole of Sokoto Caliphate it discusses the Colonial exploitation in Sokoto. This work discuss about colonial activities in Sokoto especially during colonial period up to independence era 1960.

Another work by Lugga.28 This book laid foundation about pre-western education, Northern Nigeria education policies and subsequently establishment of Katsina College which was the one of the famous colonial infrastructure in Katsina metropolis.

1.11 Conclusion

Since colonial infrastructures is considered as important in the history of Katsina, this work became interested in finding why the Europeans provided such infrastructures and what is their impact on the history of Katsina 1903 – 1960. It also highlight it contributed to underdevelopment of Katsina and facilitate colonialism in Katsina.


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