Whose culture was it part of again? I’m always forgetting.
In the particular year that I stayed in Kano, groundnuts were being purchased at the controlled price of £21 4s a ton. In theory, the difference between this and the world price of £71 a ton was accounted for by freight, duty levied by the Nigerian Government and the surplus accumulated by the Nigerian Ground Nut Marketing Board. In fact … £18 a ton, almost as much as was paid to the farmer who grew the groundnuts, went as a profit to the Ministry of Food in Britain which bought the output at a controlled price of £53.
Not only was Britain in practice taking … what amounted to a tax of £18 a ton on Nigerian groundnuts while the official tax of the Nigerian Government was only £3 6s but the surpluses of the Marketing Board in that year, equivalent to £13 on each ton of groundnuts, was invested in Britain and not in Nigeria and was lent to the British Government at a very low rate of interest. The net result was that for every ton of groundnuts grown in Nigeria, the Nigerians had, by way of export tax and payment made to their own growers, £24 10s, while Britain, either absolutely or by the way of low interest loans, took £36 10s.
A depressing aside from Reap the Whirlwind, Geoffrey Bing’s account of the Nkrumah years in Ghana.