Nigerian Navy

Nigerian Navy
Naval Ensign of Nigeria.svg
Nigerian Naval Ensign
Country Nigeria
Type Navy
Motto Onward Together
Vice Admiral Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim
Naval Ensign of Nigeria Naval Ensign of Nigeria.svg

The Nigerian Navy (NN) is a branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The Nigerian Navy is among the largest Navies on the African continent, consisting of about 15,000 personnel, including those of the Coast Guard.



Nigeria (orthographic projection).svg

In 1887, the Colonial Government of Nigeria established the Lagos Marine as a quasi-military organisation combining the duties of present day Nigeria Ports Authority, the Inland Waterways and the maritime policing duties of a modern day Navy.[1] What is today known as the NN is an offshoot of the colonial Nigerian Marine Department of the Royal Navy (RN), which was established to further the interest of the British in the West African subregion. When Northern and Southern Nigeria were brought together as one country in 1914, the two marine forces became the Nigeria Marine, and on 1 June 1956 after lobbying for a full-fledged naval force instead of a ports authority, the Nigerian Naval Force (NNF) was established in April 1956. The force was later renamed Naval Defence Force (NDF) of Nigeria. On 1 May 1958, the NDF was legally established as a force and re-designated Royal Nigerian Navy. HMS Hare, an Algerine class minesweeper was renamed Nigeria and recommissioned as the flagship of the Royal Nigerian Navy on 21 July 1959. The prefix ‘Royal’ was a mark of allegiance to the Queen of England. However, on Nigeria’s attainment of a republican status in 1963, the prefix ‘Royal’ was dropped and this gave birth to the NN. The modern day NN subsequently came into being legally through the Act of Parliament No 21 of 1964.

Command structure

The Naval Headquarters (NHQ)

Nigeria Navy Officers Meeting with a U.S. Commander Of Africa Partnership Station West

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:

  1. Western Fleet at Apapa.
  2. NNS BEECROFT, an operations base at Apapa.
  3. NNS DELTA, an operations base at Warri.
  4. NNS LUGARD, an operations base at Lokoja.
  5. Naval Air Station, Ojo, Lagos.
  6. Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital,Ojo, Lagos.
  7. Fleet Support Group (West) at Apapa.
  8. NNS WEY, a maintenance unit at Navy Town, Ojo.
  9. Forward Operating Bases (FOB) IGBOKODA and ESCRAVOS in Ondo and Delta States respectively.
  10. Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta.
  11. Nigerian Navy Hospital Warri.

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:

  1. NNS VICTORY, an operations base at Calabar.
  2. NNS PATHFINDER, an operations base at Port Harcourt.
  3. NNS JUBILEE, an operations base at Ikot Abasi.
  4. Eastern Fleet at Calabar.
  5. FOBs BONNY,EGUWEMA and IBAKA in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom States respectively.
  6. Fleet Support Group(East) at Calabar.
  7. Navy Hospitals at Calabar and Port Harcourt.
  8. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. NNS QUORRA at Apapa, which caters for various forms of seamen professional courses for officers and ratings.
  3. Nigerian Navy Engineering College (NNEC) Sapele, which caters for the technical training of all NN technical personnel.
  4. The Nigerian Navy Finance and Logistic School (NNFLS) at Owerrinta.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. [2]

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.[3]

Special Boat Service

The Special Boat Service during a parade in Abuja

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.[4]

Nigerian Navy Fleet

In late 2006 and early 2007, a naval exercise was held which saw several previously thought unserviceable ships involved.[5]

Frigates/Offshore Patrol Vessels

Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Aradu (F89) MEKO 360 Type H1 Frigate  Germany Nigerian navy flagship carrier (may soon be replaced)
NNS Thunder (F90) Hamilton class cutter  United States ex USCGC Chase (WHEC-718)Left for Nigeria on 21/11/2011[6]


Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Dorina (F81) Vosper Thornycroft MK3  United Kingdom
NNS Otobo (F82) Vosper Thornycroft MK3  United Kingdom
NNS Erinomi (F83) Vosper Thornycroft MK9  United Kingdom
NNS Enymiri (F84) Vosper Thornycroft MK9  United Kingdom Active as of 2007[7]

Fast Attack Crafts

Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Ekpe (P178) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany
NNS Damisa (P179) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany Active as of 2007[7]
NNS Agu (P180) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany
NNS Siri (P181) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France Active as of 2007[7]
NNS Ayam (P182) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France Active as of 2007[7]
NNS Ekun (P183) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France Active as of 2007[7]
NNS Burutu (P174) Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft  Singapore
NNS Zaria (??) Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft  Singapore

Patrol Cutters

Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Kyanwa (A 501) Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Sedge (WLB-402)[8]
NNS Ologbo (A 502) Class A, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Cowslip (WLB-277)[9]
NNS Nwamba (A 503) Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Firebush (WLB-393)[10]
NNS Obula (A 504) Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Sassafras (WLB-401)[11]

Inshore Patrol Crafts

Type In service Origin Notes
Shaldag MK2 Class Fast Patrol Boat 2  Israel Active, Purchased in 2009[12]
Manta Class Patrol Boat  ??  Singapore
Defender Class Boat (RB-S)  ??  United States


Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Ohue (M371) Lerici Class Coastal minesweeper  Italy Non-operational (JFS 1999)[13]
NNS 'Barama (M372) Lerici Class Coastal minesweeper  Italy Non-operational (JFS 1999)[13]

Amphibious Ships

Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Ambe (LST1312) Ro-Ro Landing Ship, Tank  Germany Active as of 2007[7]
NNS Ofiom (LST1313) Ro-Ro Landing Ship, Tank  Germany  ??


Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Lana (A 498) Bulldog class survey vessel  United Kingdom Active as of 2010[14]
NNS Amariya (??)  ??  Nigeria Presidential yacht and training ship[7]
NNS Argungu (P 165) Argungu Class  Germany  ??
NNS Yola (P 166) Argungu Class  Germany  ??
NNS Bras (P 169) Argungu Class  Germany  ??
NNS Epe (P 170) Argungu Class  Germany  ??
NNS Makurdi (P 167) Makurdi Class  United Kingdom  ??
NNS Hadejia (P 168) Makurdi Class  United Kingdom  ??
NNS Jebba (P 171) Makurdi Class  United Kingdom  ??
NNS Oguta (P 172) Makurdi Class  United Kingdom  ??
NNS Ruwan Yaro (A 497)  ??  Nigeria decommissioned 2001[13]

Naval Aviation

Aircraft Type Origin In service Notes
Augusta A109 helicopter Light utility helicopter  Italy 4
Aeronautics Aerostar Reconnaissance UAV  Israel  ?? Purchased together with Unmanned Sea Vehicle (USV)[15]
Lynx helicopters Medium utility helicopter  United Kingdom Retired from service


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta — The Nigerian Navy Secondary School Abeokuta, is a secondary school located in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. It was founded in 1990 but the first set of students resumed on 2 Mar 1991. Contents 1 Background 2 Historical Perspective 2.1 First… …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Armed Forces — Current form 1960 Service branches Army …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Air Force — logo Founded 18 April 1964 Country …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Army — Crest of the Nigerian Army Active Country Nigeria Type …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Independence Medal — ribbon of medal Awarded by Nigeria, United Kingdom Type …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Merchant Navy — The Nigerian Merchant Navy (NMN) consists of ships, their crew and supporting organizations owned by Nigerians and engaged in cabotage and international trade with Nigeria. The name has also been used by private organizations seeking roles in… …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Ministry of Defence — The Nigerian Ministry of Defence is the government department charged with ensuring Nigeria s national security. It consists of the defence services headquarters, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Navy, and other defence… …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Ports Authority — The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is a federal government agency that governs and operates the ports of Nigeria. The major ports controlled by the NPA include: the Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port in Lagos; Calabar Port, Delta Port,… …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Civil War — The independent state of the Republic of Biafra in June 1967. Date …   Wikipedia

  • Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency — Formation 1 August 2006 Purpose/focus Regulate the maritime industry of Nigerian Headquarters Maritime House, #4, Burma Road, Apapa, Lagos …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.