AN EXAMINATION OF THE NEXUS BETWEEN MODERN TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC GROWTH IN COLONIAL EASTERN NIGERIA (Published)
At the beginning of colonial administration, the British government envisaged her Nigerian territory to play a dual role: source of agricultural raw-materials and mineral resources for British industries; as well as an assured protected market for British manufactures. Thus, the provision of modern transport infrastructure was therefore required to achieve the above economic motive for the British colonization of Nigeria. Modern transport infrastructure in Eastern Nigeria was vital as it was thought as the surest way ‘to open up the vast hinterlands of the region to civilization’. Consequently, the colonial government laid emphasis on rail, roads, and harbor development, and these boosted its desired strategy for the economic exploitation of the vast resources of the region. Against this backdrop, this paper examines the development of modern transport infrastructure and their effects on the colonial economy of Eastern Nigeria. Utilizing both primary and secondary sources of data, the paper argues hat although the colonial government had ulterior motives in the development of these infrastructure, but they no doubt boosted socio-economic activities, and as well led to the emergence of major urban centers in Eastern Nigeria. It concludes by emphasizing the need for governments at various levels in modern South-east states of Nigeria and the federal government to give priority to the development and sustenance of modern transport infrastructure as this will facilitate the actualization of the much orchestrated Vision Twenty, twenty-twenty [20, 2020] of the present civilian administration in Nigeria.