West Africa – Nigeria

NIGERIA Historic

 

West Africa  had four British-governed territories until March 1957, when Gold Coast/Ghana become the first to obtain independence under Kwame Nkrumah.   (Actually, there was also the ex-German Trust Territory of the British Cameroons, which was  absorbed into Nigeria).

The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria were the other three and we see below a smart sports saloon of the 1930/40s,  from the Nigerian city  of  Onitsha in Anambra State.    The port city lies on the banks of the Niger river and was an important trading settlement in palm oil.    This expat.  had been so successful there as to own and run what seems to be a very prestigious motor (Bentley? Jaguar? Alvis?), and ship it home to England, where member Pemberton shot it in the late 1940s in London.

Nigerian reg. ON 1175 is  from Onitsha, seen in the 1940s in Oxford, on an unidentified car.  Pemberton archive

Nigerian reg. ON 1175 is from Onitsha, seen in the 1940s in Oxford, on a yet-unidentified car (any ideas?).            Pemberton archive 1940s

Below   John P. also saw this 1948 Morris Oxford OM type, with the unusual  OO code, probably signifying Abuja, now the administrative capital.    Fortunately for us, he was carrying his camera on  this wintry day in London.

OO 3860 is an unlisted area code, but may be from Abuja (OOA), seen on a 1940s Morris Oxford.   Pemberton Archive

OO 3860 is an unlisted area code, but may be from Abuja (OOA), seen on a 1948 Morris Oxford MO.     Pemberton Archive late 1940s

OO 3860  —  Most interesting data concerning the Morris Oxford above may be read below,  from Morris specialist SMODRIVER – see his 17/2/2013  notes in the Comments section.

 

BYA 2866 was caught stationary in traffic during the early 1960s, and had the oval WAN not have been mounted, we would have been baffled by the non-African look of the plates.    BYA = Jos city, a prosperous tin-mining area .

BYA 2866 was seen in London by EU38 in the 1960s, coded for Jos, capital of Plateau state.   On a VW Karmann-Ghia.   Brumby archive

BYA 2866 was seen in London by EU38 in the 1960s, coded for Jos, capital of Plateau state. On a VW Karmann-Ghia. Brumby archive

LA 1561 is an early 1950s Lagos registration, shot by member Reg Wilson in Britain in 1954.    Rover 60.   Wilson archive

LA 1561 is an early 1950s Lagos registration, shot by member Reg Wilson in Britain in 1954 on a Rover 75 P4 saloon.     Wilson archive 1954

Z 2779 is a Flickr-sourced Picture of a Ford Consul Mk2 in Zaria, Kaduna state.

Z 2779 is a Flickr-sourced picture of a Ford Consul Mk2 in Zaria, Kaduna state.    Must be about 1958.

Official series below, from Nigeria 1960-70……

This Mini-Minor Traveller was a rare Nigerian Diplomatic Corps to be seen in London during the 1960s by EU38.    Red, cast-alloy plates abbreviated Federation of Nigeria and were not thought to be country-coded.    Brumby archive

This Mini-Minor Traveller shows the rare Nigerian Diplomatic Corps series, seen in London during the 1960s by EU38.     Red, cast-alloy plates abbreviating ‘Federation of Nigeria’  are not thought to have  been country-coded.          Brumby archive

This time, seen in Nigeria, another layout of the Federation-period CD plates, pressed on soft alloy sheet and un-coded.   Brumby archive

This time, seen in Nigeria, a variant layout of the red Federation-period CD plates, pressed on soft alloy sheet and  believed un-coded.         Brumby archive 1970s

 

Below:     CMD = Chef du Mission Diplomatique – Chief of Diplomatic Mission – Ambassador.

61 CMD was an ambassador's plate, possibly for Hungary, and taken during the 1970s in Abuja by Murray Bailey.

61 CMD was an ambassador’s plate, possibly for Hungary, and taken during the 1970s in Abuja by Murray Bailey 1970s.

Early issue government series FGN 103 from 1960s or 1970s.   Info needed.    Brumby archie

Early issue Federal Government of Nigeria series FGN 103 from 1960s or 1970s. Info needed.                         Brumby archive

 

Below17 may be coded for the National Planning Commission, seen on this later-series1970s Nigeria Federal Government plate.

A Federal Government plate of the 1970s on a Range Rover, in Lagos.Brumby archive

17 FGN 260 – a Federal Government plate of the 1970s on a Range Rover,      in Lagos.
Brumby archive

Army, Navy, Air Force and Police each had their own prefixes. (Army not shown):

Air force motorbike and Navy Land Rover.

Nigerian Air Force motorbike (leading zero) and Navy Land Rover.  Brumby archive,1970s.

Nigerian Police Force.   Austin 3-ton truck.

Nigerian Police Force. Austin 3-ton truck. 1970s

Below:    Another civilian series commenced in the early  1970s, using a regional code, with a serial number followed by a town code.  Varying colours used for differing vehicle types.

OG...E codes Ake Abeokuta in the 1990s series.  Orange on black was for cargo vehicles.

OGE codes Ake Abeokuta in the 1970s series. Orange on black was for cargo vehicles.              Brumby archive (plate)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A radical change in Nigerian plate styles occurred in 1992 when the US style and dimensions of pressed plates appeared, continuing in use today.     In earlier years, it was not uncommon to see Nigerian plates in UK, but for the last 30 years, it is possible that only one or two have been seen in all of Europe.

UNLESS YOU KNOW BETTER!!             Share it with us, please….

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7 Responses to West Africa – Nigeria

  1. Bart WIJNBERG says:

    Your first car seems to be a Citroën Traction Avant.

    • David Wilson says:

      I thought so too at first, but thinking “British” it looks something like a Riley… I remember my Dinky Toys!

    • Bart – Citroen never fitted wire wheels, using the chromium knock-off hubs which are showing on this car. And David, I don’t think Rileys did, either, except on early 1930s models such as the Lynx and Kestrel. Might this be an Alvis, a Jaguar or a small Bentley?

  2. smodriver says:

    Hello – if Abuja, the Morris Oxford ‘MO’ 003860 above would have been delivered by Nuffield Exports to the Nigerian dealer: Compagnie Francaise de L’Afrique (CFAO)- from the very early type round lights, it would be a 1948 car and so is just one of 24 all LHD despatched.

  3. rogerkimbell says:

    When I was in Lagos in the mid late seventies the traffic situation was horrendous so the government decreed that even numbered plated vehicles could be out on the roads on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and odd numbered ones on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

    The number used was the first digit and not the last as one might have expected.

    Because of this everyone bought or borrowed even/odd numbered vehicles with the end result that the traffic congestion remained as before!

  4. Those are remarkable details from ‘smodriver’ concerning the )) 3860 Morris Oxford! Clearly another hobbyist with an eye for very close detail! Thank you, ‘smodriver’ – and for your advice on the Somaliland estate car version of the same model on another Page.

  5. richardpd says:

    I didn’t think Nigeria switched sides of the roads until the 1970s, so OO 3860 might have been RHD, I can’t tell from the picture.

    Still it’s interesting that so few early ones were LHD, I guess even with “export or die” most were going to Commonwealth countries.

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