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Colonies such as Nigeria became part of British
expansion that focused on exploiting raw materials,
foodstuffs important to Western industrial development.
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
II, and constructed roads at an accelerating rate after
1930s. These developments, along with the introduction of
pound sterling as the universal medium of exchange,
export trade in tin, cotton, cocoa, groundnuts, and palm
Britain maintained its economic hegemony over the colonies
through military power, strategic alliances, and the
collaboration of indigenous rulers.
Data as of June 1991