The Federation of Nigeria was a predecessor to modern-day Nigeria from 1954 to 1963. It was a British protectorate until its independence on 1 October 1960.

Federation of Nigeria
Motto: "Unity and Faith"
Anthem: God Save the Queen (until 1960)
Nigeria, We Hail Thee (from 1960)
Location of Nigeria
StatusBritish protectorate (1954–1960)
Sovereign state (1960–1963)
GovernmentFederation as British protectorate (1954–1960)
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy (1960–1963)
• 1954–1960
Elizabeth II (as Queen of the United Kingdom)
• 1960–1963
Elizabeth II (as Queen of Nigeria)
• 1954–1955
John Stuart Macpherson
• 1955–1960
James Wilson Robertson
• 1960–1963
Nnamdi Azikiwe
Prime Minister 
• 1960–1963
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
• Upper house
• Lower house
House of Representatives
Historical eraCold War
• Established
1 October 1960
1 October 1963
CurrencyNigerian pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria
First Nigerian Republic
Nigerian 1-shilling coin, 1959

British rule of Colonial Nigeria ended in 1960, when the Nigeria Independence Act 1960[2] made the federation an independent sovereign state. Elizabeth II remained head of state as the Queen of Nigeria, as well as other dominions and commonwealth realms. Her constitutional roles in Nigeria were exercisable by the Governor-General of Nigeria. Three people held the office of governor-general during the whole existence of the Federation of Nigeria:

  1. Sir John Stuart Macpherson 1954 – 15 June 1955
  2. Sir James Wilson Robertson 15 June 1955 – 16 November 1960
  3. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe 16 November 1960 – 1 October 1963

Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa held office as prime minister (and head of government).

The Federal Republic of Nigeria came into existence on 1 October 1963.[3] The monarchy was abolished and Nigeria became a republic within the Commonwealth. Following the abolition of the monarchy, former Governor-General Nnamdi Azikiwe became President of Nigeria, as a ceremonial post under the 1963 constitution.

Elizabeth II visited Nigeria in 1956 (28 January–16 February).

Stamps of the Federation


See also



  1. ^ "The Constitution of the Federation of Nigeria (1960)" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  2. ^ Nigeria Independence Act 1960, 8 & 9 Eliz. 2 c.55
  3. ^ Nigeria Republic Act 1963, c. 57