Southern Nigeria was a British protectorate in the coastal areas of modern-day Nigeria formed in 1900 from the union of the Niger Coast Protectorate with territories chartered by the Royal Niger Company below Lokoja on the Niger River.The Lagos colony was later added in 1906, and the territory was officially renamed the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria.Southerners, on their part, were not eager to embrace the extension of legislation originally meant for the north to the south.
Egerton himself did not always approve of these policies, and they were not strictly upheld.
The legal relationship between the Lagos government and the Yoruba states of the Lagos Colony was not clear, and it was not until 1908 that Egerton persuaded the Obas to accept the establishment of the Supreme Court in the main towns.
A Central Secretariat was instituted at Lagos, which was the seat of government, and the Nigerian Council (later the Legislative Council), was founded to provide a forum for representatives drawn from the provinces.
Certain services were integrated across the Northern and Southern Provinces because of their national significance—military, treasury, audit, posts and telegraphs, railways, survey, medical services, judicial and legal departments—and brought under the control of the Central Secretariat in Lagos.
Egerton endorsed the development of rubber plantations, a concept familiar to him from his time in Malaya, and arranged for land to be leased for this purpose.
This was the foundation of a highly successful industry.There was argument about the administration of duties on goods landed on the coast and carried into Northern Nigeria.And there was dispute over whether railway lines from the north should terminate at Lagos or should take alternative routes to the Niger River and the coast.He believed in deficit financing at certain periods of a colony's growth, which was reflected in his budgets from 1906 to 1912.He had a constant struggle to obtain approval for these budgets from the colonial office.Egerton came into conflict with the administration of Northern Nigeria on a number of issues.