The cancellations of Nigeria


Nigeria is a big country, with over 100 million citizens living in thousands of settlements which range from tiny roadless villages to the megalopolis of Lagos. Postal services started up in the mid-nineteenth century in Lagos then spread up the Niger river, and by the early years of the twentieth century they had expanded to cover the whole of what, in 1914, became the nation of Nigeria.

That makes for a rich postal history, and for a great many post offices and agencies. In turn those have used thousands of different cancellers, and this website is dedicated to exploring their variety and usage dates. The site consists of three key sections, plus this introduction and a contact page.

The Lists presents a catalogue, by post office / postal agency, of all the distinguishable cancellers used from the opening of each office until its closure or until 1980 (whichever came earlier), including earliest and latest known use. New lists uploaded March 2020. Over the past few years I've added information from my own collecting about usage after 1980, though this is inevitably less complete than pre-1981 data which is based on Jones' book (see sources).

The lists page also includes 4 more general lists: a complete list of offices with information on locations, a copy of the data published by NIPOST listing all offices open in c 2000, a list of 'unseen' offices, and a list of labels for collectors.

Sources describes where the list information has come from.

Methods explains how information from the various sources was collated and harmonised, and describes assumptions made in the process.

Contact emphasises that this is a work in progress, and that I would greatly welcome both comment on the site and additional information to make the lists more accurate. Not only are they inevitably incomplete, but earliest and latest known dates are bound to change, and of course, there will be mistakes for which I must acknowledge sole responsibility.

Finally, I would like to thank the West Africa Study Circle, and individual members who share this interest, for much support, information and advice.

Paul Redhead