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Nigeria Military


The Nigerian military are charged with protecting The Federal Republic of Nigeira, promoting the Nigeria's global security interests and supporting peacekeeping efforts especially in West Africa. The Nigerian military consist of an Army, a Navy and an Air Force. The military in Nigeria have played a major role in the country's history since independence.

The Nigerian Army, the largest of the services, has about 67,000 personnel. Its formations include the 1st Mechanised Infantry Division, headquartered in Kaduna in the north-west, and 2nd Mechanised Infantry Division (HQ Ibadan in the South-West, includes 32 Artillery Brigade at Abeokuta), 3rd Armoured Division (HQ Rukuba Cantonment, Jos in the North-East, and including 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 13 Brigade at Calabar and 34 Artillery Brigade at Obinze/Owerri, and the Abuja-based Guards Brigade. 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.

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.

The Army has demonstrated its capability to mobilise, deploy, and sustain brigade-sized forces in support of peacekeeping operations in Liberia. Smaller forces have been previously sent to the former Yugoslavia, Angola, Rwanda, Somalia and Sierra Leone.

The Nigerian Navy command structure consists of the Naval Headquarters based in Abuja, two operational commands with headquarters in Lagos and Calabar, two training commands with headquarters in Lagos but with training facilities spread all over Nigeria, two operational bases, five forward operational bases (with two more soon to come on stream), two dockyards located in Lagos and Port Harcourt and two fleets based in Lagos and Calabar. The Navy has 8,000 personnel, including those of the Coast Guard.

Nigeria has pursued a policy of developing domestic training and military production capabilities. Nigeria has continued a strict policy of diversification in her military procurement from various countries.

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