BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN NAVY

The origin of the Nigerian Navy could be traced to the Marine Department of the Royal Navy established in 1887 as a quasi-military organization, which combined the duties of the present-day Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority and the Nigerian Navy. Elements of the Marine Department took part in military operations against the Germans in Cameroun during the First World War between 1914–1918. However, the colonial administration disbanded the colonial Marine Department and the 250 officers and men of the disbanded Marine Department were put together to form the nucleus of the Nigerian Naval Force (NNF) in April 1956. The Force was later renamed Naval Defence Force (NDF) of Nigeria which commenced operation on 1 June 1956. On 1 August 1956, the first legislation on the Navy was passed by the House of Representatives and was assented to on 5 September 1956 by Sir James Robertson, the Governor-General of Nigeria. It was called the Nigerian Navy Ordinance. The Ordinance re-designated the NNDF as the Royal Nigerian Navy. Consequently, on 1 May 1958, the NDF was legally established as a force and re-designated Royal Nigerian Navy (RNN) as a mark of allegiance to the Queen of England.

In 1963, when Nigeria became a republic, the prefix “Royal” was dropped and the name became the Nigerian Navy (NN). The modern day NN came into being legally through the Act of Parliament No 21 of 1964. At inception, the NN was statutorily required to patrol only 3 nautical miles, which was the limit of the territorial waters. The post-independence Navy Act of 1964, formally established the NN and removed the limitation of the NN operations to the country’s territorial waters. However, the NN remained with a few patrol boats without evolving significantly into a multi-mission maritime arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 and the National Defence Policy 2006 accordingly charged the NN with the defence of Nigeria by sea. These statutes also expanded NN roles to cover the full spectrum of military, policing and diplomatic functions of a modern navy. Performing these roles efficiently and effectively entails linkage and synergy with the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and other relevant maritime security agencies. 

The origin of the Nigerian Navy could be traced to the Marine Department of the Royal Navy established in 1887 as a quasi-military organization, which combined the duties of the present-day Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority and the Nigerian Navy. Elements of the Marine Department took part in military operations against the Germans in Cameroun during the First World War between 1914–1918. However, the colonial administration disbanded the colonial Marine Department and the 250 officers and men of the disbanded Marine Department were put together to form the nucleus of the Nigerian Naval Force (NNF) in April 1956. The Force was later renamed Naval Defence Force (NDF) of Nigeria which commenced operation on 1 June 1956. On 1 August 1956, the first legislation on the Navy was passed by the House of Representatives and was assented to on 5 September 1956 by Sir James Robertson, the Governor-General of Nigeria. It was called the Nigerian Navy Ordinance. The Ordinance re-designated the NNDF as the Royal Nigerian Navy. Consequently, on 1 May 1958, the NDF was legally established as a force and re-designated Royal Nigerian Navy (RNN) as a mark of allegiance to the Queen of England.

In 1963, when Nigeria became a republic, the prefix “Royal” was dropped and the name became the Nigerian Navy (NN). The modern day NN came into being legally through the Act of Parliament No 21 of 1964. At inception, the NN was statutorily required to patrol only 3 nautical miles, which was the limit of the territorial waters. The post-independence Navy Act of 1964, formally established the NN and removed the limitation of the NN operations to the country’s territorial waters. However, the NN remained with a few patrol boats without evolving significantly into a multi-mission maritime arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 and the National Defence Policy 2006 accordingly charged the NN with the defence of Nigeria by sea. These statutes also expanded NN roles to cover the full spectrum of military, policing and diplomatic functions of a modern navy. Performing these roles efficiently and effectively entails linkage and synergy with the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and other relevant maritime security agencies.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NIGERIAN NAVY

CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF (CNS)

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas was born on 27 September 1960 in Nko, Cross River State, South South Nigeria. He enlisted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of 26 Regular Course on 20 June 1979 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 1 January 1983. The Chief of the Naval Staff began his primary education at Nko Primary School, Nko in 1966 and completed at Big Qua Primary School, Calabar in 1971.

He proceeded to the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute Calabar from 1972 to 1976. Between 1977 and 1979, he attended the School of Basic Studies Ogoja before proceeding to the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1979. Vice Admiral Ibas has held several appointments in the Nigerian Navy, amongst which were Executive Officer of NNS SIRI, NNS EKUN and NNS AMBE. Others include Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy Under Water Warfare School, Directing Staff at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Chief of Administration, NHQ and GMD/CEO of Nigerian Navy Holdings Limited before becoming the CNS. 

In the course of a distinguished service in the Nigerian Navy, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas has earned several prestigious awards including the Silver Jubilee Medal, ECOMOG Medal, Forces Service Star, Meritorious Service Star, Distinguished Service Star and the General Service Star. Others are the Passed Staff Course (DAGGER) and a Fellow of the National Defence College (NDC).

CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF (CNS)
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