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The territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria; it lasted until the 1903 break-up of the Empire into various European colonies.

For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa.

This name was coined in the late 19th century by British journalist Flora Shaw, who later married Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator.The modern state originated from British colonial rule beginning in the 19th century, and took its present territorial shape with the merging of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate in 1914.The British set up administrative and legal structures while practising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms.Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem–Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa.The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911.

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