Moses Coker

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Moses Coker was a Nigerian enterpreneur who like a few of his contemporaries, succeeded in business working as an agent for an European firm, in his case the firm was J.J. Horsfield. But, he still had to face colonial obstacles, as African shippers were given little allocation for shipping space especially during the Great War. His case was also remarkable as many Eurpoean firms and their branches were dominated at the top echelons by Europeans clerks and businessmen.


Moses Coker was born in 1877 at Abeokuta, in present day Ogun State. He was educated at Abeokuta and later went to a school in Lagos. He started work as a junior clerk at the Lagos secretariat. Within a few months, he was moved to the position of clerk at the Lagos Railway Store. But it was the firm of Messrs. Pickering & Berthoud that he gained extensive experience and knowledge in general merchandising. He later worked for Hon Ajasa, a lawyer in Lagos. However, he left the chambers in 1898 and joined J.J. Horsfield, a firm which had recently established a branch in Lagos. In 1903, he was made the firm's agent in Nigeria. He succeeded in the position and expanded the firm to other locales, including Abeokuta and Ibadan.