This threepenny stamp shows the first Jebba Bridge in 1910. The bridge built across the River Niger made it possible to travel for the first time by rail from Lagos in the far south, to Kano in the north. A narrow gauge steam locomotive engine runs along the bottom of the stamp and British imperial rule is reflected in the crown of Queen Elizabeth II, floating on steam from the engine.
The commercial success of the British Empire was powered by the railways that carried agricultural produce, and heavy minerals to the coast for export. Personnel and smaller volumes of manufactured goods travelled in the opposite direction.
The island at the centre of the stamp, is the original settlement of Jebba, hub of the kingdom of the Nupe people, which flourished in the 1500’s . Today most of the town is built on the south bank of the River.
The first Jebba Bridge was upstaged in the mid 1970’s by a highway bridge reflecting the massive expansion in motor traffic. As the railways declined the 1910 railway bridge was barely used. In 2010 the government began to rehabilitate the railway system which on completion will bring a new lease of life to the Jebba Bridge.