The British Nigeria (Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria) was created as a merger of Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria on 1 January 1914, partly because of uneven economy in the two territories, and also due to growing tension with the German colonies.
Colonies such as Nigeria became part of British imperial expansion that focused on exploiting raw materials, minerals, and foodstuffs important to Western industrial development. Britain tried to encourage tropical export crops in Nigeria and to stimulate demand there for British manufactured goods. The colonies built a railroad network between the 1890s and 1930s, and constructed roads at an accelerating rate after the 1930s. These developments, along with the introduction of the pound sterling as the universal medium of exchange, encouraged export trade in tin, cotton, cocoa, groundnuts, and palm oil.
Local agricultural products include cassava (tapioca), corn, millet, peanuts, rice, rubber, sorghum, and yams.
The West African Currency Board (WACB, headquartered in London) acts as the central bank and issues the British West African pound, also used in British West Africa.
The Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) is the army group, that has joint command in Nigeria, Gold Coast, Sierra Leone and Gambia. is organized in 4 regiments and Volunteer Corps. British officers and noncommissioned officers organize, train, and equip regiments of the RWAFF.