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Igbo Enterprises in Kano: A Study of Igbo Automobile Spare Parts Business, 1960-date

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Abstract

The Igbo are among the most dispersed peoples in the world today. Their migrations which began in the pre-colonial period were induced by such factors as high population density, depreciating soil fertility, land scarcity and trade, among others. In Nigeria, their emergence in Kano early in the 2Oth century was to take advantage of the British colonial policies of rail line construction and employment in the colonial service. However, the introduction of motor vehicles and the commercialization of road transport in the colony, exposed the need for regular supply of spare parts for the vehicles, many of which plied long distances on bad roads. Some of the Igbo seized this opportunity to fill the yawning gap, by venturing into the sale of automobile spare parts. Employing their enterprising skill, vision, spirit, driven by achievement motivation and brushing aside the suffocating conditions in the occasionally hostile environment, they emerged from the ravages of the civil war to take total dominance of the business. In fact, some of the Igbo automobile spare parts dealers in Kano, despite several other obstacles and risks to their lives, have grown from being importers to manufacturers of same in Nigeria, with factories established in the country.
Keywords – Enterprise, automobile, opportunity, apprenticeship