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......Victory is from God alone
The Nigerian Army (NA) the largest of the Nigerian Armed Forces, has about 80,000 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 influence of individual personalities are generally greater in the armies of developing states. 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.
Chief of Army Staff- Lt Gen O.A Ihejirika CFR
Military divisions in the Nigerian Army originated 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 atAgenebode. 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 BrigadeMaiduguri, 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, ordnance corps units as well as Combat Engineer Regiments, and many other service support units spread across the country.
Training and Doctrine Command formed in 1981, and is located at Minna. It supervises the army's schools, including the Depot. The Army sponsors theNigerian Military School at Zaria.
The history of the Nigerian Army dates to 1863, when Lt Glover of the Royal Navy selected 18 indigenes from the Northern part of the country and organized them into a local force, known as the "Glover Hausas". The small force was used by Glover as governor of Lagos to mount punitive expedition in the Lagos hinterland and to protect British trade routes around Lagos. In 1865, the "Glover Hausa" became a regular force with the name "Hausa Constabulary". It performed both police and military duties for the Lagos colonial government. It later became "Lagos Constabulary". On incorporation into the West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF) in 1901, it became "Lagos Battalion". In addition to this force, the British Government included the Royal Niger Company (RNC), Constabulary Force in Northern Nigeria in 1886 and the Oil Rivers irregular in 1891.
In 1889, Lord Fredrick Lugard had formed the incipient body of what was to be known in 1890, as the West Africa Frontier Force, (WAFF), in Jebba, Northern Nigeria. The new unit expanded by absorbing the Northern Nigeria-based elements of the Royal Niger Company (RNC) Constabulary. By the end of 1901, it had incorporated all paramilitary units in the other British dependencies into its command, thus fully meriting its designation "WAFF".
The establishment of West Africa Frontier Force (WAFF) led to the merger of all units into regiment in each of the dependencies. The merger in Nigeria produced the Northern Nigerian Regiment and Southern Nigerian Regiment.
The First commanders of the Southern Regiments of WAFF were Lt CHP Carter (1899-1901) and Col J Wilcox (1900-1909) respectively. The two regiments were later used for expeditions during the annexation of Nigeria by Lord Lugard between 1901 and 1903.
With the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, the unification of the Northern and Southern Regiments came into being and this witnessed the birth of the Nigerian Regiments.
The Northern Nigerian Regiments became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Nigerian Regiment, while the Southern Nigerian Regiment became the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Nigerian Regiments (NR). The Mounted Infantry of the Northern Regiments became the ordinary Infantry Battalion after the Second World War. A field artillery also existed in the Northern Regiment.
With the visit of Queen Elizabeth of Britain between 28 January and 15 February, 1956, the Nigerian regiment was renamed the Queens Own Nigerian Regiments (QONR). Also in the same year, the regionalization of the WAFF came into existence and each military force became independent of the other. As a result, the QONR became the Nigerian Military Force (NMF). By 1st June, 1958, the British Army Council in London relinquished control of NMF to the Nigerian Government.
In 1960, when Nigeria became independent, the NMF became known as the Royal Nigerian Army (RNA). When Nigeria became a republic, the RNA changed to the Nigerian Army. In the same year, the Army changed its uniform, rank structure and instruments from those of RWAFF to new ones including green khaki uniform.