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Basic History Of the Nigerian Navy - Facts You Need To Know

History Of the Nigerian Navy: Facts You Need To Know about the NN


According from the pass sources which later report to us on gbojom's blog that 

The Nigerian Navy originated from the colonial maritime department of the Royal Navy, which was the recognized naval force in Nigeria before the independence of the country from Britain.  This department got established in 1887, long before the amalgamation of the northern and southern parts of the country.
The department was sort of a quasi-military organization then and it was combining the duties of the modern day navy with those of the inland water ways and the Nigerian port authority.  They took part also in various military operations, especially against the Germans in Cameroun; that was during the World War 1, which was fought between 1914 and 1918.
The colonial administration in Nigeria then did not think it was necessary for the proper navy to be established for Nigeria.  They were of the opinion that it was the duty of the Royal Navy to provide required naval protection to Nigeria.
The maritime department was thought to be adequate to protect and secure Nigerian ports and its coastal approaches and also provide the required harbor services for the Royal navy ships that are on West African patrols.  This situation continued until the Second World War came to an end in 1945
Once the Second World War was over, the colonial administration decided it was time to place emphasis on port-related duties for the Marine Department.  They then made a proposal for the establishment of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

Those officers that were in the Marine Department, who were all Royal Navy Reserve officers refused to give up on this idea of the creation of Nigerian Navy one of such officers was Captain Skutil. This man was the very first officer that headed the Nigerian Navy Defense Force (NNDF) and he assumed this position in 1956.
He was undoubtedly a very strong believer in the establishment of Nigerian Navy.  His enthusiasm was so obvious to the extent that the late rear Admiral Nelson Soroh could not help but speak commendably about the riles of Captain Skutil in the establishment of the Nigerian Navy.

In 1956, a policy statement was made by the government for establishment t of the Nigerian Naval Force.  The NNDF started operation on the 1st of June, 1956 with eleven assorted ships and crafts; these comprised 2 survey vessels, 2 training boats, 1 patrol craft, 3 VIP boats, 1 tug  and 1 general purpose launch.
The very first naval legislation was however passed on the 1st of August, 1956 by the House of Representatives. It was later assented to by Sir James Robertson on the 5th of September, 1956; Sir James Robertson was the Governor General then.  This naval legislation was titled the Nigerian Navy Ordinance.
The NNDF was then designated as the Royal Nigerian Navy.  After Nigeria became an independent country in 1963, the prefix “Royal” was removed from its name and it became Nigerian Navy (NN).  There were some limitations in the ordinance that set up the Nigerian Navy.  For one, the Nigerian Navy was only allowed to patrol 3 nautical miles since this was the limit of the territorial waters.  The post independent Navy Act of 1964 however corrected the shortcomings.  With the Act, there was removal of the principal limitation of the Nigerian Navy to the country’s territorial waters.
Only very few patrol boats were at the disposal of the Nigerian Navy in these early years.  After sometimes anyway, the number of boats grew and the Nigerian Navy became a multi-mission maritime arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces having various peacetime and wartime roles.
The Nigerian Navy was charged accordingly by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 with the defense of Nigeria by sea.
Aside from that defense role, the Nigerian Navy was also charged with the duties of enforcing and also assisting in coordinating the enforcement of all pollution laws, fishery protection laws, bunkering laws, immigration laws, and custom laws.
They were also charged with the enforcement of all international and national maritime laws acceded to or ascribed to by Nigeria.  The Nigerian Navy was also charged by the Armed Forces Act to enforce and assist in the coordination and enforcement of all maritime laws, be it international or national.

They are also involved in the enforcing, coordination and promotion of safety regulations in the territorial waters and the EEZ of Nigeria.
The roles mentioned earlier do cover the full spectrum of diplomatic, policing and military functions of the modern day navy.
The Nigerian Navy contributed a great deal to the war during the Nigerian civil war their activities took full swing after the Aburi Talks were aborted in January 1967.
The Nigerian Navy continued to police the Nigerian territorial waters all through the period of the Nigerian Civil War to enforce the orders of the Federal Military Government on banning of shipping in the eastern part of Nigeria. During this period, the Nigerian Navy blocked the eastern coast effectively. As a result, large scale importation of arms and ammunition needed by Biafrans was rendered almost impossible.
The Nigerian Navy was also involved in several amphibious landings during the Nigerian civil war. Very good example was the Bonny landing that took place in July 1967.  This was labeled as the very first of its kind by a third world country. This was later followed by the Delta Ports amphibious operations and this took place in the middle of September, 1967; it led to the recapture of the Sapele, Koko and Warri Ports from the Biafrans.
The liberation of Calabar was also carried out in November 1967 by the Nigerian Navy.  The amphibious landing of the 3rd Marine Commandos at the beach-head in Oron was also another operation worthy of mentioning. This led to the capture of the mainland of Cross River State.
The Nigerian Navy also provided notable logistic supports to the Nigerian Army by shipping arms and ammunition to the Army. They also provide casualty evacuation service and were known to also help in carrying troops for reinforcement.  After the civil war anyway, more ships were procured by the Nigerian Navy and they are undoubtedly one of the most equipped in West Africa.

Recently according to the report on gbojom's blog
 The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas has commissioned a naval base as well as a Nigerian Navy Barracks at Banda area of Lokoja, Kogi State to boost its operations.




The Chief of Naval Staff was joined by the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello for the inauguration of the Naval Base named Nigerian Navy Ship Lugard (NNS Lugard) as well as a barracks built for its personnel in the area. 
                       Photo source:navy.mil.ng










Speaking  at the event, Ibas said the commissioning ceremony was significant as it would boost the capacity of the Nigerian Navy to support safe and unhindered activities across the nation’s maritime domain.  He said following the Federal Government’s initiative to dredge the River Niger and the planned establishment of inland ports at Baro, Lokoja and Onitsha, the need for the presence of the Nigerian Navy in the area to booster security along the waterways of the River Niger became expedient. The base, according to him, was envisaged as a naval cantonment with plans to host administrative and operational formations, barracks, schools, medical centres and other support units in the near future. He said the barracks project which consists of 95 housing units of various types, was to accommodate officers, ratings (junior personnel) and civilian staff of the Nigerian Navy. Ibas mentioned other aspects of the barracks project to include 1.856km access and link roads; electrification, water supply, car parks and recreational areas. Governor Yahaya Bello in his keynote address, commended the Nigerian Navy for its efforts in supporting internal security in the state in addition to ensuring security on the maritime corridor. He said the state government would continue to give the needed supports to the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies in the state to enable them discharge their statutory duties. Minister of Defense who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Naratu Batagarawa, in a goodwill message, said the commissioning ceremony aligns with the Federal Government’s resolve to secure and boost maritime activities along the waterways of River Niger. She said following the commissioning of the Baro Port and progress on the second Niger Bridge, the entrenchment of Naval Base presence in Banda, Lokoja, would provide the needed impetus for maritime activities to thrive unhindered. 

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