Situated in the central Savannah belt of Northern Nigeria, Kaduna town was founded by the first Governor-General of Nigeria, Sir Frederick Lugard in 1917 and served as the administrative capital for the then Northern Provinces of Nigeria. In 1967, the former Northern Region was broken into six st~tes. Kaduna then became the capital of North Central State. Later, in 1976, it was called Kaduna State. In 1987, Katsina State was created out of KadunaState. Kaduna which is one of the cosmopolitan towns in Nigeria, remains one of the most bustling centres for political and socio-economic activities.
The Na-tionalArchives branch office, Kaduna was opened in June 1957 when work on the accessioning of records of the Secretariat, Northern Provinces commenced. In 1963 the permanent building at 6 Yakubu Gowon Way (formerly Hospital Road) was opened.

The office was one of the first three archival permanent buildings set up by the Federal Government between 1958 and 1963 to receive records from the offices in the three regions of the Federation. Kaduna is connected to other parts of Nigeria by air, rail and roads. The town is about 90 minutes drive from the Federal Capital of Abuja that lies to the South of the State. It is linked with Abuja by a dual carriage way.

As a result of political and administrative changes sixteen states have been created out of the former Northern Region namely, Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The holdings of the Kaduna branch office of the National Archives are related to the administrative development of the North- from the inception of Colonial government in Northern Nigeria (1900). Records of the Secretariat, Northern Provinces (SNP) 1900-59, as well as a large section of those of the Premier's office 1954-66, are in the National Archives custody. There are also records of the defunct
ministries and parastatals of the then Northern Regional Government. A large number of official and non-official publications are also available. The Kaduna office is also the depository of records from Provincial, Divisional and District offices in the former Northern Nigeria.

Other records in the custody of the National Archives, Kaduna include pictorial archives, cartographic archives as well as a large collection of Newspapers. There are also a large collection of Arabic manuscripts dating from 1111 A.D. to the present.

Communications: The Director, National Archives, P.M.B. 2067 Hospital Road, Kaduna.
Tel: 062 -212953 or 211220 or 212558.


The Secretary Northern Provinces record group contains records of the activities of the British colonial administration in the Northern provinces of Nigeria. These records were transferred from the
Office of the Civil Secretary at Kaduna to the National Archives.
From 1830 when the mouth of River Niger was discovered, various European trading firms established at different points along the Niger. British firms trading on the Niger were amalgamated under Sir George Goldie to form the National African Company. In 1886 the company was granted a royal charter and it became the Royal Niger Company. Apart from its commercial activities, the company was authorised by its charter to carry out administrative functions on behalf of the British Government. The company had its own Court of Justice and a constabulary.

On 31st December 1899 the charter of the Royal Niger Company was revoked, and the administrative functions of the of company were taken over by the British government which appointed Colonel, later, Sir Frederick Lugard the first British High Commissioner for the Northern Provinces with its headquarters first at Lokoja (1900), then Zungeru (1901) and at Kaduna(1917).

Under Sir Lugard, the Northern protectorate was divided into provinces under Residents. Each province was divided "into Districts, administered by Districts Officers. Native Courts were also established for the administration of Justice.

In 1914 this protectorate was amalgamated with Southern Protectorate to form the Protectorate of Nigeria under a Governor-General. Departments whose function were common e.g. Railways, Colliery, Army, Post and Telegraphs, Treasury, Surveys and Judiciary were supervised by the central secretariat under the Governor-General.


1 Despatches 1900-1912 77 volumes
.1 Northern Nigeria Despatches to the Secretary of State
1902-1912 23''
.2 Northern Nigeria Despatches from the Secretary of State 1900-1912 52''
.3 West African Frontier Force Despatches to the Secretary of State 1903-1905 1 volume/s
.4 West African Frontier Force Despatches from the Secretary of State 1912 1''
2 Registers 1900-1957 26''
.1 Registers of Despatches from the Secretary of State 1900-1921 4''
.2 Index of Despatches to and from the Secretary of State 1909-1913 1''
.3 Registers of Incoming Correspondence 1911-1957 15''
.4 Registers of Outgoing Correspondence 1901-1957 6''
3.1 Acknowledgment of Despatches and, .Record of Telegrams to the Secretary of State for the Colonies 1907-1911 4''
.2 Telegram Books 1900 1''
.3 Acknowledgment of Despatches from the Secretary of State by the Governor Northern Provinces 1908-1910 2''
.4 RECORDS BOOKS 1916-1954 5''
.1 Tax Record Book 1916-1923 1''
.2 Local Leave Record Book 1927-1928 2''
.3 Departure Book 1931-1954 1''
.1 Memoranda from the Secretary Northern Provinces 1926-1946 11''
.2 Circular letters from the Secretary Northern Provinces 1915-1935 17''
6-21 GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE 1900-1960 39,316 files



The Premier's Office was created in 1954 as the highest office of government in the Northern Region. The office was responsible for policy formulation, co-ordination of the activities of all organs and agencies of the regional government, appointment of Commissions of Enquiry, control of protocol and organising Regional Executive Council. It was also responsible for matters relating to the Houses of Assembly and Chiefs; the Regional gazettes, the organisation of yearly pilgrimage to Mecca and the co-ordination of all official engagements in the region.


1-6 General Correspondence 1914-1968 5994 files
.7 Registers 1901-1944 3 volume/s
.8 Books 1901-1944 13''
.1 School Books 1914-1937 8''
.2 District Note Book 1937 1''
.3 Province Sheet Book 1901-1935 1''
.4 Horticultural Society Minute Book 1918 1''
.5 Chief Commissioner Northern Provinces 1938-1944 1''
.6 Forestry Department Library Catalogue    


On 1st April, 1956 an Administrator was appointed by the Governor-in-Council for the administra
tion of Kaduna Township. The Administrator was responsible to the Governor-in-Council. L~ter
Kaduna Township was administered by the.Kaduna L~al Authority. These two areas were merged
to form the Kaduna Capital Territory. Which was divided into various council areas.
1 Judicial Records 1933-1967 499 volume/s
.1 Criminal Case Record Books 1946-1967 153''
.2 Civil Case Books 1933-1966 346''
2-4 General Correspondence 1941-1967 164 files



On 1st January, 1900. Great Britain took over the administration of parts of the Northern Nigeria from Royal Niger Company whose charter was revoked on the 31st December, 1899. The protectorate of Northern Nigeria was proclaimed and a High Commissioner was appointed. At the inception of British rule in Northern Nigeria eleven provinces; Sokoto, Bornu, Zaria, Bauchi, BORNU, Kontagora, Bida, norin, Kabba, Lower Benue or Nassarawa and Upper Bemae were created for administrative convenience. The number of provinces increased to sixteen after the conclusion of the Sokoto-Kano campaign in 1903. The same year Gwandu province was added to bring the number of the provinces up to seventeen.

In 1911 the number of provinces was reduced to thirteen, and after the First World War it was again reduced to twelve. In 1926 there was a reorganisation of the administrative structure of the whole Northern Provinces. As a result of the reorganisation Adamawa and Plateau Provinces were created while Munshi and Nassarawa Provinces were abolished. In 1966 the number of provinces in Northern Nigeria stood at thirteen namely Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Borno, Bauchi, Zaria Niger, ILORIN,Kabba, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Benue Provinces. In May 1967 the thirteen provinces of the Northern Region were abolished. For administrative convenience, each of the provinces was divided into a number of divisions and each division into a number of district. Some important divisions, Sokoto, Kano retained their Emirate status. In most cases the divisions were created along the lines of Emirates in existence during the caliphate era.

Administratively each province was placed under the control of a Resident while the Divisions were under the supervision of District officers. The District Officers exercised indirect control over the
. Emirs who were in-charge of the Emirates. With the introduction of Native Administration system, the paramount Emirs were constituted into native authorities and in other places the Emirate Council became the Native Authority. The native Authorities maintained law and order in their areas of jurisdiction, established prisons, administrative departments to take charge of education, agriculture, dispensaries, veterinary and public works. Each Native Authority had a Native Treasury into which revenues accruing from royalties and taxes; and Native authority shares ~ the total revenue were paid. The native Administration system was later replaced by the new Local Government system introduced in 1976.

The concept of Adamawa Province dates' back to 1915 at the end of the Cameroon campaign and following the withdrawal of the Allied Forces in the South of Cameroons and the need to provide for the administration of the conquered areas. However modem Adamawa provi:rJce emerged as a result of the 1926 general reorganisation in the Northern Protectorate which abolished !be old Yola and Muri provinces. The new Adamawa Province was an amalgam of the former \01a and ~luri Province with parts of the old Muri Province and of the mandated Cameroons area. 'The new province adopted the name used by the natives, Adamawa, with headquarters at Jimeta. The pu;viuce was divided into four administrative divisions, Yola, Numan, Muri Emirate with (independent "Tase and Mumuye) and Gashaka.
1-17 General Correspondence of the Adamawa Provincial Office
1901-1957 1,589 files



In 1902 Bauchi Province was created at the inception of British administration in Northern Nigeria. In 1906 the province consisted of four administrative divisions namely, Baucbi Emirate, Gombe, Bukuru and the Kanam and Angass. In 1907 the Tangale Division was added. In 1911 the name Bauchi Province was changed to that of the central province. In 1914 the original name was restored. The provincial headquarters was up to the end of 1910 at Bauchi. It was later transferred to Naraguta and back to Bauchi in 1917. In 1967 the Bauchi province was abolished when the former Northern Region was split into six states.


1 REGISTER 1918-1919 1 volume
2-5 General Correspondence Files and District Reports 1910-1958 610 files


1 General Correspondence of Azare District Office
1907-1957 244 files



1 General Correspondence of Gombe District Office
1912-1956 19 files






1 General Correspondence of Bauchi Native Authority 1936-1967 886 files



1 REGISTERS 1924-1960 124 volume/s
.1 Court Registers 1940-1959 83''
.2 Loan Registers 1926-1953 9''
.3 Birth & Delth Registers 1937-1960 4''
.4 License Register 1950-1956 1''
.5 Tax Registers 1924-1957 1''
.6 Miscellanous 1941-1946 6''
2 RECORD BOOKS 1922-1957 66''
.1 Minute Books (Hausa) 1944-1957 6''
.2 Touring Diaries 1941-1951 4''
.3 Treasury Books 1947-1952 3''
.4 Account Books 1922-1961 47''
.5 Salary Books 1933-1947 6''
3 LEDGERS 1938-1959 32''
.1 Mixed Farming Ledger 1941-1959 17''
.2 Advance Ledger 1938-1954 13''
.3 Store Ledger 1952-1957 13''
.6 General Correspondence 1930-1963 661 files



In 1900 Benue Province was one of the (Civil) provinces created py Lord Lugard when he took over
the administration of Northern Nigeria from the Royal Niger Company. InAugust 1900 there was an
administrative reorganisation which resulted in the splitting of the Benue province into Upper and

Lower Benue. The Lower Benue Province was renamed Nassarawa Province. In 1902 the headquarters of the province was transferred to Keffi. Following the general reorganisation of the Northern provinces in 1926, the province was renamed Benue Province. In 1933 Kentu was transferred to Benue Province.
At inception the province was divided into five Administrative Divisions, Keffi with 14 districts, Abuja with 9 districts, Lafia with 9 districts, Jamaa with 9 districts, and Nassarawa division. In January, 1910 the Koton Karifi division was transferred from Kabba to Nassarawa. In 1912, the province which had up to this date consisted of six Divisions was re divided into four administrative divisions, Keffi, Abuja, Lafia and Jamaa.

1 REGISTERS 1921-1960 77 volume/s
.1 Register of Incoming Correspondence 1940-1948 24''
.2 Register of Outgoing Correspondence   1''
.3 Register of Mining Leases   1''
.4 Register of Liquor Books 1954-1955 1''
.5 Protectorate Court Revenue Earning Register   1 volume/s
.6 Marriage Registers 1934-1960 47''
.7 Freed Slaves Registers 1916-1932 1''
2 RECORD BOOKS 1940-1948 4''
.1 Benue Provincial Development Committee Meeting   1''
.2 Civil Summon Books   1''
.3 Departmental Vote Book (Expenditure) Account Book   2''




3 General Correspondence Files of Gboko Divisional Office
1915-1963 1,548 files
1-6 General Correspondence Files 1924-1968 485 files



1 Court Records Books 1948-1959 3 volume/s
2-4 General Correspondence Files 1946-1964 419 files



1 General Correspondence Files of Keffi Divisional Office
1936-1975 600 files



1-3 General Correspondence Files of Keffi Native Authority Office
1933-1960 382 files



1-3 General Correspondence Files of Lafia Divisional Office
1920-1961 1''
1 Registers 1934-1963 47 volumes
.1 Inward Correspondence Register 1934-1959 8''
.2 Outward Correspondence Register 1948-1963 2''
2 Court Records 1935-1962 124''
.1 Criminal Case Books 1937-1962 62''
.2 Civil Case Books 1935-1961 62''
3-5 General Correspondence 1936-1963 518''



1-2 General Correspondence 1930-1968 26 files



1 Court Minute Books 1924-1943 4 volume/s
2 Touring Books, Diaries and Registers 1935-1950 10''
.1 Touring Note Book 1939-1944 1''
.2 Touring Diaries 1931-1952 3''
.3 Political Diary 1935-1936 1 volume
.4 Correspondence Register 1938-1939 1''
.5 Cash Books 1937-1950 3''
.6 Idoma Division Intelligence Book 1943 1''
3-4 General Correspondence 1934-1961 105 files


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