After independence in 1960, brothels and prostitution that had been prohibited in the middle 1940s began to spring up again.
Trans-national commercial sex work which started during British colonial West Africa began to grow into a transcontinental business in the 1980s.
The colonial government also established a welfare and social services department to manage the hostel and rehabilitation of child prostitutes.
By 1946, a set of law was enacted that clearly defined prostitution and its prohibition.
Public opinion was also critical of the sex trade linking it with juvenile delinquency.
In 1932, Tijani Omoyele, a musician released an album, Asewo/ Omo j aguda (prostitutes are thieves or criminals).
Coercion happened in situations whereby the women or adolescents to be trafficked were asked to swear an oath that was administered by a African religion or juju priest.
Some personal items such as bodily fluids were taken by the priests for keeping or used to administer the oath and seal the agreement.
In Southern Nigeria, the activities of pimps or madams, underage prostitution and the operation or ownership of brothels are penalized under sections 223, 224, and 225 of the Nigerian Criminal Code.
Even though Nigerian law does not legalize commercial sex work, it is vague if such work is performed by an independent individual who operates on his or her own accord without the use of pimps or a brothel.
Starting in the early 1900s, the rising economic importance of Lagos as a seaport and capital city changed the political and economic landscape of the city and contributed to the arrival of Nigerians from the hinterland.
The demographic and commercial changes also expanded to commoditization of sex and by 1910, commercial sex services had become prevalent in Lagos.
In 1916, the colonial government enacted a law prohibiting solicitation by women but the law did not define prostitution.