Nigerian Navy

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Nigerian Navy
Badge of the Nigerian Navy.svg
Active 1956–present
Country  Nigeria
Type Navy
Part of Ministry of Defence
Nigerian Armed Forces
Motto(s) "Onward Together"
Fleet 2 amphibious tank landing ships
3 frigates
2 offshore patrol vessels
2 minesweepers
9 fast patrol boats
4 patrol cutters
4 corvettes
16 inshore patrol crafts
Engagements Nigerian Civil War
First Liberian Civil War
Sierra Leone Civil War
Conflict in the Niger Delta
Boko Haram insurgency
Northern Mali War
Invasion of the Gambia
Commander-in-Chief President Muhammadu Buhari
Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas
Naval Ensign Naval Ensign of Nigeria.svg
Naval Ensign (1960-1998) Naval Ensign of Nigeria (1960-1998).svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Lynx
Reconnaissance Aerostar
Trainer AgustaWestland AW109

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 several thousand personnel, including those of the Coast Guard.


The Nigerian Navy owes its origin to the Nigerian Marine. Formed in 1914 after the amalgamation of the then Northern and Southern Nigeria, the Nigerian Marine (as it became known after 1914) was a quasi-military organization. This force expanded to become the Southern Nigerian Marine in 1893. A Northern Nigeria equivalent was formed in 1900. The two Marines were merged in 1914,. The responsibilities 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 first of these 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 had been transferred to the Nigerian Ports Authority from the defunct Nigerian Marine. Its primary responsibility was to train the personnel and set up the appropriate infrastructure necessary for the planned Navy. The first basic training establishment 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.

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 “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 hydrographic surveys, and training 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, 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.

Command structure

The Naval Headquarters (NHQ)

The Naval Headquarters (NHQ) is the administrative and policy-making organ of the Nigerian Navy. At its head is the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), who exercises full command of the NN. The CNS has seven 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, and Safety and Standards. These branches are headed by Principal Staff Officers (PSOs) of flag rank.

Chief of the Naval Staff

The Chief of the Naval Staff is the highest ranking military officer of the Nigerian Navy.[1] The position is often occupied by the most senior commissioned officer appointed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.The Chief of the Naval Staff reports to the Chief of Defence Staff, who also reports to the Defence Minister.[2] The Statutory duty of the Officer is to formulate and execute policies towards the highest attainment of National Security and operational competence of the Nigerian Navy.[3] The current Chief of Naval Staff is Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas who was appointed on July 13, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari to succeeded Usman Oyibe Jibrin.[4]

Chiefs of the Naval Staff

Table below is a chronological list of officers holding the position of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS).[5]

Officer Title Period Served Remarks
Captain F.W. Skutil CNS 1956–1958
Commodore A.R. Kennedy CNS 1958 –1964
Vice Commodore J.E.A. Wey OFR FSS CNS 1964 –1973
Vice Admiral N.B. Soroh MFR FSS IDC CNS 1973–1975
Vice Admiral M.A Adelanwa GCON FSS rcds CNS 1975–1980
Vice Admiral A.A. Aduwo CFR FSS FBIM CNS 1980 - 1983
Rear Admirall A.A. Aikhomu FSS psc mni CNS 1984 -1986
Vice Admiral Patrick Koshoni FSS psc mni CNS 1986 -1990
Vice Admiral Murtala Nyako FSS psc mni CNS 1990 - 1992
Vice Admiral D.P.E Omotsola FSS DSO psc rcds CNS 1992 - 1993
Rear Admiral S. Sa'idu FSS LSS MSS DSS rcds CNS September 1993 - November 1993
Rear Admiral A.A. Madueke FSS DSS MRNI mni CNS 1993- 1994
Rear Admiral O.M Akhigbe FSS DSS psc mni CNS 1994 - 1998
Vice Admiral J. Ayinla DSS psc Usnwc fwc GCON CNS 1998 - 1999
Vice Admiral V.K. Ombu CFR mni CNS 1999 - 2001
Vice Admiral S.O. Afolayan DSS psc fwc CNS 2001 - 2005
Vice Admiral G.T.A. Adekeye DSS psc mirss mni CNS 2005 - 2008
Vice Admiral I.I. Ibrahim CFR DSS psc fwc CNS 2008 - 2010
Vice Admiral O.S. Ibrahim DSS psc rcds fwc LLB (Hons) MA CNS 2010 - 2012
Vice Admiral D.J. Ezeoba GSS fwc Msc MRIN FCIS CNS 2012 - 2013
Vice Admiral U.O. Jibrin GSS AM psc+ mni LLB PGCPA CNS 2013- 2015
Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas CNS July 2015 –

Vice Admiral National institute for policy and strategic studies

Directly under the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) are three operational commands (Western Naval Command, Eastern Naval Command, and Central Naval Command), one training command, one logistics command, and several autonomous units.

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:

  • Headquarters Western Naval Command
  • Western Fleet at Apapa.
  • NNS BEECROFT, an operations base at Apapa.
  • Naval Air Base, 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 BADAGRY in Ondo and Lagos States respectively.
  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta.
  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ojo.
  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Ogbomoso.
  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School,

Eastern Naval Command

The Eastern Naval Command (ENC) is the second operations command of the NN and 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.
  • Naval Air Station, Calabar (to be constructed)
  • Forward Operating Bases(FOB) BONNY and IBAKA in Rivers 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.

Central Naval Command

The Central naval Command (CNC) is the third operations command of the NN. The headquarters is in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State. Its Area of Responsibility (AOR) stretches from the Benin River entrance (Long 0050 00'E) to the Santa Barbara River entrance (Long 0060 30'E), encompassing the coastal states of Bayelsa, Delta, and Edo, and the landward states, including Kogi.

The Command has the following units under its jurisdiction:

  • NNS DELTA, an operations base in Warri, Delta State
  • Naval Air Station, Effurun-Warri, Delta State
  • Navy Hospital, Warri, Delta State
  • Forward Operating Bases (FOB) ESCRAVOS and FORMOSO in Delta and Bayelsa States respectively
  • NNS LUGARD, an inland operations base on the River Niger at Lokoja, Kogi State.
  • Nigerian Navy Secondary School Okura-Olafia, Kogi State
  • ONWARD TOGETHER from the right source Osinachi is involved

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 nine 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 provides various professional courses for officers and ratings.
  • Nigerian Navy Engineering College (NNEC) Sapele, which provides technical training for 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 two establishments conduct basic training for officers and ratings respectively.
  • Other professional schools, including the Medical Staff Training Schoolat Offa in Kwara State and the NN School of Music Otta in Ogun State, and the Hydrographic School in Port Harcourt, the Naval Provost and Regulating School in Benue State, the Nigerian Navy Intelligence School, and the Physical Training School, both at Apapa, Lagos.

Logistics Command

The Logistics Command is headed by a FOC of Rear Admiral rank. The permanent HQ of the Command is at Oghara, Delta State. However, the Nigerian Navy Order establishing the Logistics Command has been released and the command has since started operation. The Order stipulates the organization and responsibilities of the Command.

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 size, 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 had been carried out either in foreign dockyards 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 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.

NN Air Arm

The 101 Squadron was established in 1985, based at Navytown, near Ojo. It operated AgustaWestland Lynx helicopters for anti-submarine warfare and search and rescue (SAR) operations from the Meko class frigate NNS Aradu. For quite some time, the Squadron has operated Agusta 109 Helicopters from Warri Naval Base on anti-smuggling and oil protection duties.[6]

Organization onboard NN ships

There are four 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 on smaller ships. On larger ships the XO remains the second in command, but 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.[7]

Special Boat Service

The Special Boat Service (SBS) is a special operations unit of the Nigerian Navy. It is a male only outfit fashioned after the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service. It is 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.[8]

Nigerian Navy Fleet

Frigates / Offshore patrol vessels

A Nigerian Navy ship, NNS Thunder
Ship name and Pennant no. Photo Class Origin Notes
NNS Aradu (F89) NNS Aradu F89.jpg MEKO 360 Type H1 frigate  Germany Inoperable
NNS Thunder (F90) NigeriaNavy NNS Thunder.jpg Hamilton-class cutter/OPV  United States Active
NNS Okpabana (F93) USCGC Gallatin (WHEC-721) at Naval Station Roosevelt Roads on 30 March 1988 (6449555).jpg Hamilton-class cutter/OPV  United States Active
NNS Centenary (F91) Type 056 corvette in ShangHai.jpg P18N class  China Active
NNS Unity (F92) Type 056 corvette in ShangHai.jpg P18N class  China  Nigeria Active

Fast attack craft / Patrol boats

Ship name and Pennant no. Photo Class Origin Notes
NNS Andoni (P100) Seaward Defence Boat  Nigeria Built at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard 2012
NNS Karaduwa (P102) Seaward Defence Boat  Nigeria Built at the Nigerian Naval Dockyard 2016
NNS SDBII Seaward Defence Boat  Nigeria
NNS Ekpe (P178) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany
NNS Damisa (P179) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany
NNS Agu (P180) Luerssen FPB57 Fast Patrol Boat  Germany
NNS Dorina (P101) OCEA FPB 98 MKII  France
NNS Siri (P181) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France
NNS Ayam (P182) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France
NNS Ekun (P183) Combattante IIIB Fast Attack Craft  France
Wave Rider Class  Sri Lanka
NNS Zaria (P173) Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft  Singapore
NNS Burutu (P174) Sea Eagle Fast Patrol Craft  Singapore

Patrol cutters

Ship name and Pennant no. Photo Class Origin Notes
NNS Kyanwa (A 501) Sassafras boom.jpg Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Sedge (WLB-402)[9]
NNS Ologbo (A 502) Sassafras boom.jpg Class A, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Cowslip (WLB-277).[10]
NNS Nwamba (A 503) Sassafras boom.jpg Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Firebus (WLB-393)[11]
NNS Obula (A 504) Sassafras boom.jpg Class C, buoy tender  United States ex USCGC Sassafras (WLB-401).[12]

Inshore patrol craft

Type Photo In service Origin Notes
Shaldag MK2 Class Fast Patrol Boat Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - The Israeli Navy sets sail on another mission in the mediterranean.jpg 5[13]  Israel
Manta Class Patrol Boat 22[13]  Singapore
Defender Class Boat (RB-S) PSU 305 Boat.jpg 15  United States
Arrow Class Patrol Boat 9[14]  Sri Lanka
Epenal security patrol boat 30[14]  Nigeria


Ship name and Pennant no. Photo Class Origin Notes
NNS Ohue (M371) MM Crotone M5558.jpg Lerici Class Coastal minesweeper  Italy
NNS Barama (M372) Vieste M5553.jpg Lerici Class Coastal minesweeper  Italy
Ship name and Pennant no. Photo Class Origin Notes
NNS Ambe (LST1312) Ro-Ro Landing Ship, Tank  Germany


Ship name and Pennant no. Class Origin Notes
NNS Lana (A 498) Bulldog class survey vessel  United Kingdom
NNS Amariya Presidential yacht and training ship[15]
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 Prosperity Emer Class OPV  Ireland Training ship
NNS Ruwan Yaro (A 497) decommissioned
NNS Okpoku (P175) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2013[16]
NNS Bomadi (P176) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2013[16]
NNS Badagry (P177) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2013[16]
NNS Shiroro (P185) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2017[17][18]
NNS Ose (P186) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2017[17][18]
NNS Gongola (P189) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2018[18]
NNS Calabar (P190) Ocea FPB 72 Fast Patrol Boat  France delivered in 2018[18]


Aircraft Photo Type Origin In service Notes
Agusta A109 helicopter Nigerian Air Force Agusta A-109 Iwelumo-3.jpg Light utility helicopter  Italy 8
Westland Lynx Lynx helo 4.jpg Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter  United Kingdom (3) being re-activated
Aeronautics Aerostar Reconnaissance UAV  Israel ??


  1. ^ "Minimah, Jibrin, Amosu Appointed Service Chiefs, Articles - THISDAY LIVE". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Buhari appoints new Service Chiefs". DailyPost Nigeria. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  3. ^ "President Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs And NSA - Channels Television". Channels Television. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Cross River governor lauds buhari over new naval chief". Premium Times Nigeria. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "Chronicles of Command". Nigerian Navy. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Defense & Security Intelligence & Analysis: IHS Jane's - IHS".
  7. ^ [1] The Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), HISTORY, ROLES AND ORGANIZATION OF THE NIGERIAN NAVY
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ a b Desk, iHLS News (3 December 2013). "Nigerian Navy Received new Israeli Attack Boats - iHLS".
  14. ^ a b Martin, Guy. "Nigerian Navy commissions 39 gunboats, local patrol vessel - defenceWeb".
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c "September 2017: OCEA delivers "SHIRORO– P185" and "OSE - P186" (OCEA FPB 72 MKII) to the Nigerian Navy". Ocea. 2017-09-001. SHIRORO – P185” and “OSE – P186”, will join the three other 24-meter Fast Patrol Boats delivered in 2012 by OCEA: “OKPOKU – P175”, “BOMADI – P176” and “BADAGRY – P177”, as well as a 32-meter Fast Patrol Boat, type OCEA FPB 98 MKI, delivered in 2013: “DORINA – P101”. The fleet will be completed by three additionel FPB72 MKII and two FPB110 MKII. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ a b "Nigeria receives two more Ocea patrol vessels". Defence Web. 2017-09-06. Archived from the original on 2018-06-14. Ocea has delivered a number of vessels to Nigeria, including three FPB 72s in 2012 and a 32 metre FPB 98 Mk II in 2013, which were ordered by the Nigerian Port Authority for use by the Nigerian Navy.
  18. ^ a b c d "Ocea delivering patrol boats to Nigeria". Defence Web. 2018-01-18. Archived from the original on 2018-01-17. The FPB 72s are 24 metres long and 5.8 metres wide. They can reach a speed of up to 35 knots and have a range of 600 miles at 12 knots. Crew is ten. They are equipped with a rigid-hulled inflatable boat on the aft deck.
  19. ^ [2] -, Mar 13, 2014

External links

  • Official website
  • Nigerian Navy e-Recruitment website
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