Facts and Figures
Flag: Three equal vertical bands of green, white and green
Independence: 1st October, 1960
Administrative divisions: One federal capital territory and 36 states.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Cabinet: Federal Executive Council
Legislature: Bicameral National Assembly: Senate and House of Representatives
Judiciary: Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, High Court, Magistrate Court, Customary Court.
International organizations: ICC, ICRM, IDA,IFAD,IFC,IFRCS,IHO, ILO, IME, IMO, UNMOT, UNU,UPU,WCL,INTERPOL,IOC,ISO,ITU,MINURSO,NAM,AU,OPCW,OPEC,PCA,UN,UNCTAD,UNESCO,ECOWAS,UNHCR,UNIDO,UNIKOM,UNITAR,UNMIBH, ACP,AFDB,CCC,ECA,FAO,G- 15,G – 24,G- 77, IAEA,IBRD,ICAO,WFTU,WHO,WIPO,WMO,WTO,WTRO
Location: Western Africa, bordering the Gulf of Guinea; Niger and Chad (north) Benin (west) and Cameroon (east) .
Total Area: 923, 768 sq.km
Land Area: 910, 768 sq.km
Water: 13, 000 sq.km
Continental Shelf: 200 – m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Exclusive economic zone: 200NM
Territory Sea: 12NM
Climate: Varies: equatorial in south, tropical in center, arid in north.
Terrain: southern lowlands merge into central hills and plateaus: mountain in southeast, plains in north
Natural resources: petroleum, tin, columbite, iron ore, coal, limestone, lead, zinc, natural gas, niobium etc.
Arable land: 33.02%.
Permanent crops: 3.14%
Others: 63.84 %( 2005)
Irrigated land: 2,820sq.km (2003 est.)
Natural hazards: Periodic droughts, Flooding, Erosion
Environment- current issues:
• Soil degradation, rapid deforestation
• Desertification, urban air and water pollution
Population: 155,215,573 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 40.9% (male 32,476,681/female 31,064,539)
15-64 years: 55.9% (male 44,296,228/female 42,534,542)
65 years and over: 3.1% (male 2,341,228/female 2,502,355) (2011 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.935% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 35.51 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 16.06 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
At birth 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant Mortality Rate: Total: 91.54 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 97.42 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 85.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy: Total population: 47.56 years
Male: 46.76 years, Female: 48.41 years (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS – Adult prevalent rate: 3.6% (2009 est.)
People living with HIV/AIDS - 3.3 million (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – Deaths 220,000 (2009 est.)
Ethnics groups: Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is composed of more than 250 ethnic groups; the following are the most populous and politically influential: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, and Tiv 2.5%
Languages: English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Fulani and more than 200 others.
Religions: Muslim 50%, Christian 40%, indigenous believers 10%
Literacy: Age 15 and over can read and write
Total literate population: 68 %( 2003)
• Total : 3,505 km
• Narrow gauge: 3,505 km 1,067- m gauge (2010 est.)
• Total: 193,200km
• Paved: 28,980km
• Unpaved: 164,220km (2004 est.)
• Total: 54 (2010)
• Total with paved runways: 38 over 3,047 m: 9 2,438 to 3,047 m: 11 1,524 to 2,437 m: 10 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 3 (2010)
• Total with unpaved runways: 16 over 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2 914 to 1,523 m: 11 under 914 m: 2 (2010)
• Heliports: 4 (2010)
8,600 km (Niger and Benue rivers and smaller rivers and creeks) (2009)
Condensate 124km: gas 3,071km; liquid Petroleum gas 156km, Oil 4,347km; refined products 3,949km (2007)
Oil and Gas Production and Export
Oil production: 2.211 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil consumption: 280,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Oil exports: 2.327 million bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil proved reserve: 2.211 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Natural gas production: 32.82 billion cu m (2008 est.)
Natural gas proved reserve: 5.246 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
Ports and Terminals:
Bonny shore terminal, Calabar, Lagos
Telephone main lines in use: 1.419 million (2009)
Mobile cellular: 73.099 million (2009)
• GDP purchasing power parity $377.9 billion (2010 est.)
• GDP – real growth rate: 8.4% (2010 est.)
• GDP per capita: $2,500 (2010 est.)
Population below poverty line: 70% (2007 est.)
Inflation rate: 12.4 % (2011 est.)
Labour force: 48.33 million (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate: 4.9% (2007 est.)
External debt: $5.2billion (March 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment:
• At home: $67.23 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
• Abroad: $6.071 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Production: 21.92 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Consumption: 19.21 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Industries : crude oil, coal, tin, columbite, palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood, hides and skin, textiles, cement, and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizers, printing, ceramics, steel.
1 naira = 100 kobo
Naira (NGN) per US dollar - 150.88 (2010)
Fiscal year: Calendar year.
NIGERIA' S MILITARY STRUCTURE
The Nigerian Armed forces has the Executive president of the Nation as the commander-in-chief. The armed forces has three functional arms: The Army, The Navy and The AirForce. Each arm is headed by their respective Chief of Staff: however, the office of the Chief of General Staff exists that serves as the chief miliatry advisor to the President in collaboration with the National Security Adviser.
The Nigerian Navy
The Nigerian Navy owes its origin to the Nigerian Marine. Formed in 1914 after the amalgamation of the then Northern and Southern protectorates of Nigeria, the Nigerian Marine as it became known after 1914 was a quasi-military organization. Its origin lay with the Lagos Marines, which was first established in 1887 by the British Colonial Government. This Force later expanded to become the Southern Nigerian Marine in 1893. A Northern Nigeria equivalent of the same name was formed in 1900. The 2 Marines were merged in 1914 after Nigeria came under a single colonial administration. The responsibility of the Marine included administration of the ports and harbours, dredging of channels, bouyage and lighting. It also operated ferry services, touring launches and other small craft that plied the various creeks and other inland waterways. The Royal Navy provided the necessary military security as part of its overall military defence of the British Empire . Though it performed mostly coast guard functions, the Nigerian Marine saw action in the First World War as part of the British military offensive against German held Cameroon. This organization remained the only maritime outfit in Nigeria until 1955 when the British colonial authorities carried out a major reorganisation of Nigeria's maritime administration in order to improve efficiency. This re-organisation led to the establishment of 3 new organizations to undertake the various functions hitherto carried out by the Marine Department.
The first of these 3 new organizations was the Nigerian Ports Authority, which was charged with the running of ports and ensuring safe navigation. The second organisation was the Inland Waterways Department, which took over the running of ferries and touring launches. The third organisation was the Nigerian Naval Force, made up mostly of reserve Royal Navy officers and ex-Service personnel who were transferred to the Nigerian Ports Authority from the defunct Nigerian Marine. These officers and men never liked the transfer and pressed the Colonial Authorities to re-constitute them as the nucleus of a future Nigerian Navy. Under pressure from them, the Nigerian Naval Force was established on 1 June 1956 as a nucleus of a future Navy. Its primary responsibility was to train the necessary manpower and set up the appropriate infrastructure that will be utilized by the planned Navy. The first basic training establishment to train manpower for the future Navy - the HMNS QUORRA was started on 1 November 1957 with 60 junior ratings who underwent a 6 month basic seamanship course.
On 1st May 1958, a colonial ordinance formally brought the Nigerian Naval Force under the Naval Disciplinary Act. This act essentially brought the officers and men of the Nigerian Naval Force under the disciplinary procedures and legal regimes applicable to the Royal Navy.
In July 1959, the Nigerian Naval Force was transformed into a full fledged Navy when Queen Elizabeth granted permission for the Force to use the title ‘Royal Nigerian Navy’. The title was changed to the ‘Nigerian Navy’ in 1963 after Nigeria became a republic. The constitutional task of the Navy was expanded in 1964 after the repeal of the 1958 Ordinance. The new law known as the Navy Act of 1964 for the first time tasked the Navy with the military responsibility of “naval defence of Nigeria.” Other tasks assigned the Navy by the 1964 Act were essentially coast guard duties namely: assisting in enforcement of Customs laws, making of hydrographic surveys and training of officers and men in naval duties.
These tasks were essentially routine functions of any Navy. Consequently, the naval leadership began to mount pressure on the political leadership to re-define the constitutional role of the Navy. In 1993, this pressure yielded the desired result and under a new law; the Armed Forces Decree 105 now known as the Armed Forces Act, was incorporated as part of the 1999 Constitution. The Navy was given expanded military and constabulary roles especially in the oil and gas sectors of the Nigerian maritime economy.
The Naval Headquarters (NHQ)
The Naval Headquarters (NHQ) is the administrative and policy-making organ of the Nigerian Navy. At the head is the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) who exercises full command of the NN. To effect full command of the NN, the CNS has 6 staff branches in addition to the Office of the Navy Secretary. The staff branches are: Policy and Plans, Training and Operations, Administration, Naval Engineering, Logistics, Accounts and Budget. These branches are headed by Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of flag rank.
Directly under the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) are 2 operational commands (Western Naval Command and Eastern Naval Command) one training and one logistics command and several autonomous units.
The Western Naval Command
The Western Naval Command HQ is located at Apapa in Lagos. It covers the sea and coastal areas from the Nigeria/Benin border at Long 002o 49’ E to Long 006o E in Delta State from the Nigerian coastline to the limit of the nation’s EEZ. The Command has the following units under its jurisdiction:
- Western Fleet at Apapa.
- NNS BEECROFT, an operations base at Apapa.
- NNS DELTA, an operations base at Warri.
- NNS LUGARD, an operations base at Lokoja.
- Naval Air Station, Ojo, Lagos.
- Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital,Ojo, Lagos.
- Fleet Support Group (West) at Apapa.
- NNS WEY, a maintenance unit at Navy Town, Ojo.
- Forward Operating Bases (FOB) IGBOKODA and ESCRAVOS in Ondo and Delta States respectively.
- Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta.
- Nigerian Navy Hospital Warri.
- Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ojo.
The Eastern Naval Command
The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) is the second operations command of the NN and it covers the sea area from Long 006o E in Delta State to the Nigeria/Cameroon border at Long 008o 30’ E, and from the Nigerian coastline to the limit of the nation’s EEZ. The headquarters is at Calabar. The Command has the following units under its jurisdiction:
- NNS VICTORY, an operations base at Calabar.
- NNS PATHFINDER, an operations base at Port Harcourt.
- NNS JUBILEE, an operations base at Ikot Abasi.
- Eastern Fleet at Calabar.
- FOBs BONNY,EGUWEMA and IBAKA in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
- Fleet Support Group(East) at Calabar.
- Navy Hospitals at Calabar and Port Harcourt.
- Nigerian Navy Secondary Schools at Calabar and Port Harcourt.
Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC)
The main functions of the Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) are the coordination and harmonization of training doctrines and standards for all local training in the NN as evolved by the NHQ. The Command is headed by the FOC NAVTRAC, who is assisted by 9 PSOs namely: the CSO, the Command Technical Training Officer (CTTO), Command Logistic Training Officer (CLTO) and Command Medical Training Officer (CMTO). Others are the Command Academic Training Officer (CATO), CABO, CAO, CINTO and CPM. The units under NAVTRAC are:
- Sea Training Unit at Victoria Island, Lagos. It is responsible for Basic Operations Sea Training, Safety Operations Sea Training, and Consolidated Operations Sea Training of all NN ships when assigned. It also conducts harbour and ship acceptance trials of vessels after major refits.
- NNS QUORRA at Apapa, which caters for various forms of seamen professional courses for officers and ratings.
- Nigerian Navy Engineering College (NNEC) Sapele, which caters for the technical training of all NN technical personnel.
- The Nigerian Navy Finance and Logistic School (NNFLS) at Owerrinta.
- Nigerian Naval College ONURA and the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School (NNBTS), which are co-located at Onne, Port Harcourt. The 2 establishments conduct basic training for officers and ratings respectively.
- There are other professional schools, which include; the Medical Staff Training School, Offa in Kwara State, the NN School of Music at Otta and the Hydrographic School at Port Harcourt. Others are the Naval Provost and Regulating School, the Nigerian Navy Intelligence School and the Physical Training School all at Apapa, Lagos.
The Logistics Command
The Logistics Command is equally commanded by a FOC of Rear Admiral rank. The permanent HQ of the Command is at Oghara, Delta State though it’s presently operating from Sapele. However, the Nigerian Navy Order establishing the Logistics Command which is expected to stipulate the organization and responsibilities of the Command is still been awaited
The autonomous units
The autonomous units are those units, which require prudent management and high-level control that need not be duplicated or represented at the lower hierarchy. Though small in outfit, they report directly to the CNS. Prominent among the autonomous units is the Nigerian Naval Dockyard, located in Victoria Island, Lagos. Hitherto, third line maintenance was carried out either in a foreign dockyard or private ones in Nigeria, at very high cost. The Naval Dockyard in Lagos, which was commissioned on 27 August 1990, now takes care of this high level maintenance such as major overhaul of ships engines, additions and alterations, and modification of designs. The Naval Shipyard in Port Harcourt was also acquired in 1990 from Messrs Witt and Bush. Smaller ships of the NN and merchant ships are repaired there. The shipyard has built and delivered some tugboats and barges to some private organizations.
The NN Air Arm
The 101 Squadron was established in 1985, based at Navytown near Ojo and operated AgustaWestland Lynx helicopters for anti-submarine warfare and SAR operations from the Meko class frigate. For quite some time, the Squadron operates Agusta 109 Helicopters from Warri Naval Base on anti-smuggling and oil protection duties.
Organization onboard NN ships
There are 4 main departments onboard NN ships. These are operations, marine engineering, weapon engineering and logistics. An officer, who is referred to as the head of department, is in charge of each department. He reports directly to the commanding officer on operational matters or through the Executive Officer (XO) on all administrative matters. The XO is the second in command on all naval ships, as well as being the head of the Operations Department in smaller ships. However, in bigger ships while the XO remains the second in command, the Principal Warfare Officer is the head of the Operations Department. In the ratings cadre, the most senior seaman rating is referred to as the Coxswain. The Coxswain is responsible for organizing the ratings for work and discipline.
Special Boat Service
The Special Boat Service (SBS) is a special operations unit of the Nigerian Navy. It is a male only outfit and was fashioned the Royal Navy Special Boat Service. The roles of the Special Boat Services are predominantly focused on, but not restricted to, littoral and riverine operations, including Reconnaissance and Surveillance, Covert beach reconnaissance in advance of an amphibious assault, recovery or protection of ships and oil installations subject to hostile state or non-state action, Maritime Counter-Terrorism and offensive Action.
Nigerian Navy Fleet
In late 2006 and early 2007, a naval exercise was held which saw several previously thought unserviceable ships involved.
Frigates/Offshore Patrol Vessels
Ship name and Pennant no.
NNS Dorina (F81)
Vosper Thornycroft MK3
NNS Otobo (F82)
Vosper Thornycroft MK3
NNS Erinomi (F83)
Vosper Thornycroft MK9
Fast Attack Craft
Ship name and Pennant no.
NNS Ekpe (P178)
Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat
NNS Agu (P180)
Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat
NNS Burutu (P174)
Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft
NNS Zaria (??)
Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft
Ship name and Pennant no.
Inshore Patrol Craft
Shaldag MK2 Class Fast Patrol Boat
Active, Purchased in 2009
Manta Class Patrol Boat
Defender Class Boat (RB-S)
Ship name and Pennant no.
Ship name and Pennant no.
NNS Ambe (LST1312)
Ro-Ro Landing Ship, Tank
NNS Ofiom (LST1313)
Ro-Ro Landing Ship, Tank
Augusta A109 helicopter
Light utility helicopter
Medium utility helicopter
Retired from service
The Nigerian Air Force
Nigerian Air Force Headquarters (HQ NAF)
The Nigerian Air Force Headquarters (HQ NAF) consist of the office of the Chief of the Air Staff and 6 staff branches namely; Policy and Plans Branch, Operations Branch, Logistics Branch, Administration Branch, Inspections Branch and Air Secretary Branch. Each of the branches is headed by an Air Officer. The NAF Headquarters and indeed the NAF is headed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) who is the principal adviser to the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff, on air related defence matters. HQ NAF is responsible for establishing long and short-term mission objectives and articulating policies, plans and procedures for the attainment of the policies. In addition, HQ NAF liaises with the NA and NN on joint operational policies and plans.
The Mission and Vision of The Nigerian Air Force
To ensure the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the air while retaining a credible capacity to fulfill other airpower tasks demanded by national defence security imperatives.
"To position the NAF for sustained employment of airpower to meet joint national defence imperatives as well as provide swift response capabilities for emergencies and internal security challenges"
* Mission-oriented force development.
* Focused logistics support for greater efficiency and higher productivity.
* Qualitative training.
* Personnel motivation.
* Increased inter-service cooperation and advocacy.
NAF CORE VALUES
* Intergrity first
* Service before self
* Excellence in all we do
The origin of the Nigerian Armed Forces dates back to 1863 when the Hausa Constabulary was formed by the British. The Constabulary metamorphosed into the West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF) and then the Nigerian Regiment in 1956. It was then completely a land-based force. Later, the need to protect and patrol the Nigerian coastline and its resources led to the creation of the Nigerian Navy in 1956. These were the components of the Nigerian Armed Forces till 1962 when the idea of establishing an air force for Nigeria was first muted. The idea was triggered by the difficulties encountered when the country was called upon to participate in 2 foreign military operations in war-torn Republic of Congo in the early 1960s and to quell military insurrections in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in 1959. These missions saw Nigeria relying on civil aircraft or foreign air forces to convey her men and logistics to the theatre of conflict. Consequently, the establishment of a Nigerian Air Force was accepted in principle and the Nigerian Government approached a number of countries for assistance in training of Nigerian pilots as well as establishing the Force.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) was formally established on 18 April 1964 with the passage of the Air Force Act 1964 by the Nigerian Parliament. The Act summarised the objectives of the NAF as follows:
The Nigerian Air Force shall be charged with the defence of the Federal Republic by air, and to give effect thereto, the personnel shall be trained in such duties as in the air as well as on the ground.
This goal provided the platform as well as the focus for the evolution and initial development of the NAF, fondly referred to as ‘the pride of the nation’.
Evolution of the Nigerian Air Force
The evolution of the NAF of today could be broken down into 5 distinct eras: its early development (1961–1967), the Nigerian Civil War period (1967–1970), the post-civil war years (1970–1980), the era of consolidation (1980 – 1990) and 1990 to the present day.
Early Development (1961 – 1967). The significant milestones of early development of the NAF are as follows:
a. Foreign Assistance. Following the decision to establish the NAF, discussions were held with the governments of Canada, Germany, India and Ethiopia for pilot training. Ethiopia was the first to give a positive response when on 11 June 1962, His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Sellasie II granted the approval of 10 scholarship slots to train NAF pilots in Ethiopia. Thus, the first batch of cadets for training as Air Force officers were recruited and sent on training with the Ethiopian Air Force in July 1962. A second batch of 16 followed in February 1963 to train at the Royal Canadian Air Force, while 6 others were sent to the Indian Air Force in the same year. It was, however, the Germans that were more forthcoming on the issue of the establishment of the NAF and this resulted in the agreement between Nigeria and Germany for the engagement of the German Air Force Assistance Group (GAFAG) from the German Air Force (GAF). On 2 August 1963, an initial batch of 84 NAF officer cadets and recruits were despatched to Germany for training in flying and ground related duties.
b. Agreement with Germany. Following the initial agreement between Nigeria and the German Government in 1964, the GAFAG assumed the responsibility of building up the NAF. The German Air Force provided the platforms and logistics for the full take-off of the NAF and the training of its personnel, both locally and abroad. By May 1966, about 513 personnel had benefited from training facilities in Germany. The task of steering the infant NAF fell on the shoulders of Colonel G Kahtz now on record as the first Chief of the Air Staff assisted by other German officers. Colonel W Timming later took over NAF leadership from Colonel Kahtz on 24 November 1965. It was under this tutelage, that the nucleus of the NAF was established.
c. Undergraduate Pilot Training. A significant development in this era was the sending of NAF officer cadets for Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and Advanced Flying Course in the United States. Four cadets went to the United States in May 1964 and on completion of their course, returned to Nigeria on 14 September 1965. Notably, the 4 returned home with laurels. By this time, the batches sent to Canada, Ethiopia and India had returned to Nigeria with those from Ethiopia and Canada returning as commissioned officers, while those from India and the United States were presented locally before a board which considered them for commissioning in Nigeria. Except for the period of military sanctions against Nigeria, the USAF UPT programme has continued to be a major source of pilot production for the NAF.
d. Commencement of Local Flying Training. Local flying training started on 3 November 1965 when the first 18 trainees started training in NAF Base Kaduna. The training consisted of continuity flying training for young NAF pilots returning home from primary flying training abroad. The aircraft used were the Piaggio 149D Primary Trainer and the Dornier 27 light liaison transport aircraft.
e. “Nigerianization”. The agreement with GAF had only a 4 year life span during which the NAF could not have nurtured and trained NAF officers senior enough to take over command and administration of the Service from the Germans. The Nigerian government decided to transfer some Nigerian Army officers to the NAF to understudy the Germans and form the first nucleus of indigenous officers of the NAF in 1964. The officers were later given on-the-job training in various establishments of the Luftwaffe in Germany during which they understudied the GAF system of administration at the GAF Headquarters. On return to Nigeria in late 1964, they were appointed as Senior Air Officers with Germans assisting strictly in advisory capacities. The final step towards “Nigerianization” commenced with Nigerians taking over command of some of the units while the German officers became their advisers. Nevertheless, as a result of Nigeria’s first military coup de’tat of 15 January 1966, the Germans abruptly, unceremoniously and unilaterally, terminated their agreement with the Nigerian government and hurriedly left the country. They asserted that their contract was with a civilian democratic government and not a military government. Meanwhile, the leadership of the NAF fell on the shoulders of Lieutenant Colonel George Kurubo who became the first indigenous Commander of the NAF on 16 January 1966. Credit must be given to the Germans because by the time they left, a firm foundation was in place to enable the new Nigerian leadership develop the Force into its next stage.
The Civil War Period (1967 – 1970). The second stage in the evolution of the NAF was marked by the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War in August 1967. This era witnessed the launching of the young and inexperienced NAF into war after barely 3 years of its existence. During the Civil War, the NAF was initially tasked with providing light liaison transport. However, following the acquisition of the B-26 Bomber aircraft and helicopters by the Biafran Air Force, the Service was rapidly developed and tasked with reconnaissance, air defence and offensive roles. Ground attack aircraft such as the MiG 15 and 17, and medium transport aircraft were hurriedly acquired for the Service. Besides, more NAF units were established within this period to facilitate the prosecution of the war. The Civil War period thus signified a period of rapid growth and expansion in the NAF.
The Post-Civil War Years (1970-1980). The third phase in the evolution of the NAF was the post-civil war period (1970-1980) when the Service was faced with the challenges of reorganization after being plunged into war prematurely. Tactical aircraft were regrouped according to their roles while a NAF Training Command was established. An Advanced Flying Training Wing was subsequently established and equipped with the L-29 aircraft. The main thrust at this time was the need to establish an air force that would cater for the future. The force structure was modelled after those of the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force. 7. The Era of Consolidation (1980 – 1990).
The era of consolidation (1980 - 1990) marked a period of integration into global events and the building of a sophisticated air force with the capacity to assert and consolidate Nigeria’s posture and authority at both regional and sub-regional levels. Specifically, it marked the involvement of the NAF in several successful international peace support operations and internal security initiatives that have given it a pride of place in the World. This era saw the NAF expand its training and operational fleet as well as capabilities. With aircraft like the British Jaguar, the Russian MiG-21, the German Alpha Jet, the Italian Aermacchi MB-339A, the Czech L-29, the French Super Puma to mention a few. This period can be termed the ‘Golden Years’ of the NAF, because it saw the NAF at its highest level of professional development. The professional display of robust air power by the NAF during its NAF Day Celebration in 1988 where the then Ghanian leader, Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings, was the Guest of Honour was a glowing testimony to the status of the NAF during this period.
1990 to 2000. The period 1990 till about 2000 witnessed a steady decline in the fortunes of the NAF. Operational activities decreased to an all time low. By the end of this period, the effects of years of neglect and inadequate funding not only degraded operational readiness but culminated to infrastructural decay. This state of the NAF was occasioned by a combination of factors including a deliberate policy of neglect by some past administrations, politicisation of the military as a result of the military’s involvement in governance as well as poor leadership. This era also coincided with a period of national economic downturn and various international embargoes against Nigeria. All these combined to stunt the growth and development of the NAF and almost grounded it.
Notable Achievement of the Nigerian Air Force
Certain achievements of the NAF since establishment deserve specific mention. Significant among these are the NAF’s exploits in the Nigerian Civil War, liberation wars in Southern Africa and ECOMOG Operations.
The Nigerian Civil War. The earliest achievement of the NAF is the successful delivery of effective airpower in the Nigerian Civil War. The NAF entered the war in a state of doctrinal and physical un-preparedness. It possessed very limited air strength and lacked contingency plans for joint military operations. This resulted in the initial difficulty experienced. The initial struggle for the command of the air was fought over a variety of threats, unfavourable weather conditions and most importantly changing military strategies. There is no doubt that with a more domineering airpower and skilled manpower, the war could have ended much earlier. It would have denied the Biafrans the effective use of their assets while at the same time preventing them the use of airstrips within the enclave for arms importation. It would also have ensured that the ground forces received appropriate air cover at all times, thereby minimising the number of casualties. Notwithstanding, NAF played a pivotal role in ensuring that Nigeria remained a united entity.
Liberation War in Southern Africa. Again during the various liberation wars in Southern Africa, the Nigerian Air Force was actively involved in sustaining the struggle. The NAF flew several high risk C-130 missions to the front-line states of Zambia and Tanzania carrying military hardware, ammunitions and other logistic requirements to the liberation movements. These efforts contributed in no small measure to the eventual liberation of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.
Peace Support Operations. In the areas of peace support operations, the Nigerian Air Force has also left an indelible imprint. The Nigerian troops deployed to Lebanon on UN peace keeping operations from 1978 – 1982 relied entirely on NAF airlift assets for their sustenance. Also, the deployment, and withdrawal of the Nigerian contingent to OAU peacekeeping operations in Chad in 1982/83 were carried out by NAF C-130s. Aside from these major operations the NAF was involved in one way or the other, in peacekeeping efforts in Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kuwait etc. Lastly the successes recorded by ECOMOG forces in their peace keeping, and later peace enforcement efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone would have been at a far higher cost and perhaps impossible, without the critical contributions of NAF air power. At present, NAF C-130s are involved in airlift missions in Darfur in aid of UNAMID.
Mission in Aid to Civil Authority. In addition to the aforementioned missions, the NAF has been called upon to undertake missions in aid to the civil authority. These missions range from internal security assignments such as assisting the Nigerian Army in quelling riots to the provision of airlift to the Central Bank of Nigeria and other government service agencies. Indeed, most of the electoral materials used in the series of elections in the country were airlifted by the NAF. At the moment, the Service is involved in Internal Security operations in some parts of the country.
Training. The greatest strides of the NAF have been made in the areas of training and maintenance. The NAF today has established various schools in different specialties giving it a capacity to meet about 95% of its training requirements locally for non-technical trades and 60% for technical and pilot training. Besides, the Service has trained many pilots and aircraft technicians for many sister African countries like Ghana, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Republic of Benin and Niger. Of course, it has also trained some aircraft technicians for the Nigerian Army and a few pilots for the Nigerian Navy.
Establishment of Air Force Institute of Technology. In pursuit of its goal of raising the level of NAF’s technical manpower, the NAF established the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in 2008. The affiliation of the Institute with Cranfield University United Kingdom is a significant drive in making the institution world class There are ongoing measures to broaden the affiliation of AFIT with relevant aeronautical bodies that would further enhance its status as a premier class technology institute. This is a giant step in evolving a human resource base for self reliance in fleet maintenance for the NAF and other stake holders in the aviation industry.
With the advent of democracy in May 1999, the civilian administration identified the need to have a robust air force. Thus, it began to make committed efforts at revitalizing and restoring the Service. This entailed providing funds for revamping ageing platforms and systems while inducting new ones. The results of these efforts are gradually becoming visible with the arrival of some of the reactivated aircraft and the delivery of new ones. Hence, operations have picked up again and the NAF is on course to regain its glory. Presently, the NAF can boast of platforms essential for core capabilities.
The thrust of this administration will be consolidation of the gains of my predecessors by translating all the years of rejuvenation of the fleet into service delivery. The watchwords will be relevance and justification. This I believe would lead us into focusing on our mission: To ensure the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the air while retaining a credible capacity to fulfill other airpower tasks demanded by national defence and security imperatives.
The key drivers of the CAS Vision are Mission-oriented Force Development, Focused Logistics Support for Greater Efficiency and Higher Productivity, Qualitative Training, Personnel Motivation, Increased Inter-Service Cooperation and Advocacy. The realization of this Vision would lead to the attainment of the main objective of the Defence Transformation Programme which is geared towards ensuring that the Armed Forces of Nigeria ''possess capabilities across the full spectrum of potential military operations, including the ability to deploy rapidly within the nation, sub-region and other theatres of operations as may be directed from time to time by the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) to enable it execute its constitutional roles efficiently.''
The Fallen Heroes
The story of any war cannot be complete without counting the cost. The first NAF aircrew casualties were recorded in 1966 when Lieutenants Onyirimba and Onyeji crashed in a Piaggio 149D at Ibadan. This was before the Civil War. The early casualties after the declaration of war were Lieutenant Jide Akerele and Second Lieutenants Ozieh and Lawal. Lieutenant Akerele crashed in an L-29 aircraft in late 1967 while returning to base from a bombing raid to Onitsha in support of the 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army. Late Air Marshal Ibrahim Alfa (then a Lieutenant) who was his wingman reported that he suddenly stopped responding to radio calls and subsequently, his aircraft took a plunge and crashed. Since Akerele’s crash, there have been several other air accidents that prematurely claimed the lives of brilliant and resourceful personnel of the NAF.
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The Ejigbo C-130 Hercules Crash
A special mention must be made of the C-130 (NAF 911) air disaster of 26 September 1992 at Ejigbo in Lagos State. The crash was a national tragedy which claimed the lives of the officers of Course 15 of the Command and Staff College, Jaji, who were returning to the College after a study tour of naval establishments in Lagos. Casualties from this crash include personnel from the 3 Services, the Ministry of Defence and some sister African Countries. Those that crashed in the aircraft are listed in Tables 13 and 14. May their souls continue to repose in peace.
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Tactical Air Command, Makurdi
Tactical Air Command (TAC) is responsible for interpreting, implementing and controlling NAF operational plans.
- 64 Air Defence Group (ADG) Ikeja
- 75 Strike Group (75 STG)
- 81 Air Maritime Group (81 AMG), Benin
- 88 Military Airlift Group (88 MAG), Ikeja
- 97 Air Special Operations Group (97 SOG), Minna
- 99 Air Weapon School (99 AWS) Kainji
- 33 Logistics Group, Makurdi
- NAF Hospital, Makurdi
Training Command, Kaduna
Training Command (TC), located at Kaduna, is chiefly responsible for implementing NAF training policies. Ground training is also provided for support services and technical personnel.
- 301 Flying Training School, Kaduna
- 303 Flying Training School, Kano
- 305 Flying Training School, Enugu.
- 320 Technical Training Group, Kaduna
- 325 Ground Training Group, Kaduna
- 330 NAF Station, Jos
- 333 Logistics Group, Kaduna
- 335 Base Services Group, Kaduna
- 345 Aeoromedical Hospital, Kaduna
- NAF Hospital, Jos
- The Aeoromedical Centre Project at Kaduna
Logistics Command, Ikeja Lagos
The task of the Logistics Command (LC) is to procure, maintain and sustain equipment in a state of operational readiness and at a minimum cost consistent with NAF mission requirements.
- 401 Aircraft Maintenance Depot (401 ACMD), Ikeja
- 403 Electronic Maintenance Depot (403 EMD), Shasha
- 405 Central Armament Depot (405 CAD), Makurdi
- 407 Equipment Supply Depot (407 ESD), Ikeja
- 435 Base Service Group (435 BSG), Ikeja
- 445 NAF Hospital (445 NAF Hospital), Ikeja
- Mobility Command, Yenagoa
This new command (established 2011) has seven units spread across Lagos, Kwara (Illorin), Cross Rivers (Calabar) and Delta (Warri) states as well as Abuja and Bayelsa (Yenagoa). The Mobility Command has been given the responsibility to perform the airpower roles of tactical and strategic airlift in support of government and military operations.
Detachments, Wings and Forward Operational Bases
- NAF Detachment, Minna
- 204 Wing, Maiduguri
- 227 Wing, Ilorin
- NAF Calabar (FOB)
- NAF Ibadan (FOB)
- NAF Sokoto (FOB
Chengdu F-7 Airguard
Multi role fighter
11 F-7NI, 2 FT-7NI
Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet
Trainer/ light attack
24 delivered, 4 upgraded 2011
Trainer/ light attack
Aero L-39 Albatros
Trainer/ light attack
Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules
Dornier Do 228
NAF 930 & NAF 931 are both replacing 2 x Fokker F27 200-MAR
Agusta A 109
Light utility transport
Agusta AW 109 LUH
Light utility transport
Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma
Medium transport helicopter
Eurocopter AS 332 Super Puma
Medium transport helicopter
Mil Mi-35 Hind
Medium transport helicopter
Mil Mi-34 Hermit
Light utility helicopter
Dassault Falcon 900
Scottish Aviation Bulldog T1
MBB Bo 105
Light attack/trainer helicopter
Dornier Do 28
Dornier Do 27
Light utility helicopter
Van's Aircraft RV-6
The NAF's rank structure is similar to the British Royal Air Force's rank structure from where its ranks were derived.
In descending order of importance the NAF officer ranks are:
- Marshal of the Air Force
- Air Chief Marshal
- Air Marshal
- Air Vice Marshal
- Air Commodore
- Group Captain
- Wing Commander
- Squadron Leader
- Flight Lieutenant
- Flying Officer
- Pilot Officer
In descending order of importance the NAF airman ranks are:
- Air Warrant Officer
- Master Warrant Officer
- Warrant Officer
- Flight Sergeant
- Lance Corporal
As in any other military organisation, colours in the NAF have significance and connotations. The NAF was presented the Nigerian National Regimental Colours and its organisational Colours on 1 November 1976.
Subsequently the Tactical and Training Commands were presented with their Colours on 21 November 1982 while the Logistics Command got its own on 27 April 1985.
The NAF Colour has a sky blue background with the national flag at the top left edge. The NAF crest is imposed as an inset at the right edge of the flag. The sky blue colour signifies the clear operating environment in the sky.
As for the Commands, the Colours with their insignia connote what the Command stands for. Thus Tactical Air Command, which is the fighting arm that draws blood, has red as its colour. The Training Command has a similar colour with the NAF, which signify the clear blue sky in which NAF pilot training is conducted. The friendly yellow colour of the Logistics Command signifies the sustained support of the logisticians for operations.
Nigerian Air Force Crew Wings NAF wings were first introduced in 1967, but these were only for pilots, as other crew categories did not exist at this time. In 1983 however, new wings were introduced for all the seven aircrew categories i.e. pilots, navigators, flight nurses, paratroopers, flight engineers, flight surgeons and loadmasters. The pilot earns his flying wings immediately on completion of the primary and basic flying training. Similarly, all other categories qualify to earn their wings on attaining the prescribed specialist qualifications. The pilots being the only ones that carry out the actual flying are the only category in the NAF that wear full wings. All other categories wear half wings that are peculiar to their specialties. The wings exist in two forms, the metallic bronze and the ceremonial.
Rank Structure and Badges of Rank
Rank Structure and Badges of Rank As already noted, the NAF made its debut using a similar rank structure as the NA. However on 1 April 1976, a new rank structure was introduced for the NAF. The rank structure, which was modelled after that of the Royal Air Force, has been in use since then. Different badges of rank exist for each rank cadre from the youngest aircraftman/aircraftwoman who actually do not have any rank, to the highly esteemed rank of the Marshal of the Air Force. The badges of rank exist in the ceremonial and working dress forms.
The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) welcomes your enquiry about any issue of interest to you.
Following are ways to get in touch with NAF and its personnel.
General inquiries via electronic mail:
General inquiries via telephone:
Please call 09 - 8746907
Headquarters Abuja, Nigeria
Motto Victory is from God alone
The Nigerian Army (NA) the largest of the Nigerian Armed Forces, has about 100,000 professional personnel. The original elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) in Nigeria were formed in 1900.
During the Second World War, British-trained Nigerian troops saw action with the 1st (West Africa) Infantry Brigade, the 81st and the 82nd (West Africa) Divisions which fought in the East African Campaign (World War II) and in the Far East. In Nigeria, from a force of 8,000 in five infantry battalions and supporting units, strength rose to around 120,000 in three divisions by the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970. In terms of doctrine, the task of the Federal Nigerian army did not fundamentally change: its task remained to close with and defeat an organised enemy.
The rapid expansion saw a severe decline in troop quality. The Nigerian expansion process led to an extreme shortage of commissioned officers, with newly-created lieutenant-colonels commanding brigades, and platoons and companies often commanded by sergeants and warrant officers. This resulted in tentative command-and-control and in rudimentary staff work.
One result of the weak direction was that the Federals' three divisions fought independently, and competed for men and materiel. Writing in a 1984 study, Major Michael Stafford of the US Marine Corps noted that "Inexperienced, poorly trained and ineptly led soldiers manifested their lack of professionalism and indiscipline by massacres of innocent civilians and a failure to effectively execute infantry tactics."  Among the results was the 1967 Asaba massacre.
The influence of individual personalities are generally greater in the armies of developing states, as they tend to have weaker institutional frameworks. Key personalities involved in Nigeria included then-Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo is particularly important due to his efforts to reorganise his command, 3 Division, during the civil war to improve its logistics and administration. The reorganisation he instituted made the Division capable of carrying out the offensive that ended the civil war. The Nigerian Army fought the civil war significantly under-resourced; Obasanjo's memoirs chronicle the lack of any stocks of extra equipment for mobilisation, and the "haphazard and unreliable system of procurement and provisioning" which lasted for the entire period of the war. Arms embargoes imposed by several Western countries made the situation more difficult.
HQ 1 Division
HQ 2 Division
HQ 3 Armoured Division
HQ 81 Division
HQ 82 Division
Divisions in the Nigerian Army were first formed during the Nigerian Civil War, when in August–September 1967, 1 Area Command at Kaduna was redesignated 1 Infantry Division, 2 Division was formed under Colonel Murtala Mohammed, and the then Lagos Garrison Organisation was renamed 3 Infantry Division, later to become 3 Marine Commando Division.
"At the end of the Civil War, the three divisions of the army were reorganised into four divisions, with each controlling territories running from North to South in order to deemphasise the former regional structure. Each division thus had access to the sea thereby making triservice cooperation and logistic support easier. This deployment formula was later abandoned in favour of the present assignment of sectors to the divisions. Thus 1 Division with HQ at Kaduna is allocated the North West sector; 2 Division with HQ at lbadan South West sector, 3 Division with HQ at Jos North East sector and 82 Division with HQ at Enugu South East sector."
Its formations include the 1st Division, headquartered in Kaduna in the north-west, and 2nd Division (HQ Ibadan in the South-West, which includes 32 Artillery Brigade at Abeokuta). 2nd Division also possibly includes 4 Brigade at Benin City, with 19 Battalion at Okitipupa and 195 Battalion at Agenebode. 52 Signal Regiment may be the divisional signals unit. 3rd Armoured Division's headquarters is at Rukuba Cantonment, Jos, in the North-East, and includes 21 Armoured Brigade Maiduguri, 23 Brigade Yola, and 33 Artillery Brigades. 81st Division (Amphibious) HQ in Lagos, which includes the 9th Brigade, based at the Ikeja compound in Lagos, 82nd Division (Airborne and Amphibious) HQ in Enugu in the South-East, which includes the 2 Brigade at Port Harcourt, 13 Brigade at Calabar and the 34 Artillery Brigade at Obinze/Owerri. The Composite Division at Enugu was formed in 1964 as 4th Infantry Division, in 1975 became Lagos Garrison Organization; in 1981 became 4th Composite Division; became a Composite Division in May 2002. 3rd Armoured Division was responsible in 1983 for the security of areas bordering Chad.
Lagos and Abuja have garrison commands with the Lagos garrison as large as a division. 81 Division was the youngest Division in the Nigerian Army. The Division was formed on 26 May 2002 when the Lagos Garrison Command (as it then was) was upgraded to a full-fledged Division. The Division therefore inherited the security roles hitherto performed by the defunct Lagos Garrison Command. However a later undated article in a Nigerian online newspaper says the 81 Division was later again renamed the Lagos Garrison Command. In the 1980s, the Army's brigades included the 7th Infantry Brigade in Sokoto. There are also Divisional Artillery Brigades, among which are the 32 and 34 Artillery Brigades, ordinance corps units as well as Combat Engineer Regiments, and many other service support units spread across the country.
Training and Doctrine Command was formed in 1981, and is located at Minna. It supervises the army's schools, including the Depot. The Army sponsors the Nigerian Military School at Zaria
Nigerian military forces abroad
In December 1983, the new Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime announced that Nigeria could no longer afford an activist anti-colonial role in Africa. Anglophone ECOWAS members established ECOMOG, dominated by the Nigerian Army, in 1990 to intervene in the civil war in Liberia. The Army has demonstrated its capability to mobilize, deploy, and sustain brigade-sized forces in support of peacekeeping operations in Liberia. Smaller army forces have been previously sent on UN and ECOWAS deployments in the former Yugoslavia, Angola, Rwanda, Somalia, and Sierra Leone.
That policy statement did not deter Nigeria under Generals Ibrahim Babangida in 1990 and Sani Abacha in 1997 from sending peacekeeping troops as part of ECOMOG under the auspices of ECOWAS into Liberia and later Sierra Leone when civil wars broke out in those countries. President Olusegun Obasanjo in August 2003 committed Nigerian troops once again into Liberia, at the urging of the United States, to provide an interim presence until the UN's force UNMIL arrived. Charles Taylor was subsequently eased out of power and exiled to Nigeria.
In October 2004, Nigerian troops again deployed into Darfur, Sudan to spearhead an AU force to protect civilians in Darfur.
Nigeria claimed to have contributed more than 20,000 troops and police officers to various UN missions since 1960. The Nigeria Police Force and troops have served in places like UNIPOM (UN India-Pakistan Observer mission) 1965, UNIFIL in Lebanon 1978, the UN observer mission, UNIIMOG supervising the Iran-Iraq ceasefire in 1988, former Yugoslavia 1998, East Timor 1999, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) 2004. Nigerian officers have served as chiefs of defence in other countries, with Brigadier General Maxwell Khobe serving as Sierra Leone chief of staff in 1998-1999, and Nigerian officers acting as Command Officer-in-Charge of the Armed Forces of Liberia from at least 2007.
This section includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations. (May 2010)
Beretta M 1951 pistol
Walther P5 pistol
Browning Hi-Power pistol
FN FAL rifle
Heckler & Koch G3 rifle
FN FNC rifle
Daewoo K2 rifle
SIG SG 540 rifle
FN MAG machine gun
Blowpipe missile (MANPADS) - 48 launchers
SA-7 Grail MANPADS - 100 Launchers
Roland SP-SAM - 16 Launchers
Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun
ZSU-23-4 (SPAAG) - 30 Shilka\Gundish
ZU-23-2 (air defence gun) - 20
L16 81mm Mortar - 200
M-43 82mm Mortar - 100
Bofors FH-77 155mm towed howitzer - 73
D-30 122mm towed howitzer - 200
OTO Melara Mod 56 howitzer - 200
M-56 105mm towed howitzer - 200
Brandt 120mm Heavy-Mortar - 30
M-46 (field gun) - 7
Swingfire ATGM Launcher
Carl Gustav recoilless rifle 84mm RCL - 30
M40 recoilless rifle 106mm RCL
Self propelled Guns
BM-21 (rocket artillery) Grad 122mm\9K51 - 21
Palmaria 155mm SPH - 27
Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (tracked) Scorpion tank Alvis FV-101 76mm LT - 150
Alvis Scimitar 30mm gun ARV - 5
AMX-30 105mm MBT - 16
Vickers MK-III 105mm tank - 170 (IISS Military Balance 2007, p. 287)
T-55 (medium tank) 100mm MBT - 100 (IISS 2007)
T-72 125mm MBT-77
Armored Personal Vehicles
BTR-60 8x8 (APC) - 6
Véhicule Blindé Léger VBL - IISS Military Balance 2007 estimates Nigeria has '72 VBL (reported).'(p. 287)
Otokar Cobra light armoured vehicle 4x4 - 193
Alvis FV-601 Saladin 76mm 6x6 ARV - 16
Panhard ERC-90 Sagie 90mm 6x6 ARV - 46
Panhard AML-90 90mm 4x4 ARV - 120
Panhard AML-60 60mm 4x4 ARV - 60
Fox 30mm 4x4 ARV - 55
EngesaEE-9 Cascavel 90mm 6x6 ARV - 75
Engesa EE-11 Urutu 6x6 APC
Alvis FV-603 Saracen 6x6 APC United Kingdom - 10
Steyr 4K7FA-G127 APC - 250
MT-LB APC - 67
MOWAGLAV Piranaha 6x6 APC - 70
BTR-3U 8x8 APC - 47
Gaz BTR-80UM 8x8 APC - 47
Gila4x4[disambiguation needed ] APC - 12
Panhard M-3 4x4 APC - 18
Saxon 4x4 APC - 75
Vickers ARV Recovery Tank - 15
Vickers AVLB Briddging Tank - 18
Steyr 4KH7FA-SB-20 Greif Recovery Tank - 15
Steyr 19-S-25 4x4 Recovery truck
Steyr 32-S-29 6x6 Recovery truck
SDP-700 4x4 Truck
Land Rover 4x4
Steyr M-14 4x4