Basic Facts about the Nigerian Navy.
The Nigerian Navy ties with the South Africa Navy as the only blue water capable littoral navies in Africa south of the Sahara.
The Nigerian Navy cummulatively has the most number of surface ships in sub Sahara Africa.
The South African navy is the only navy that operates submarines in sub-sahara Africa with one in active service and have plans to acquire more.
The Nigerian Navy has none, requests $300 million and targets 2021 for purchase.
Only three ships of the Nigerian Navy’s 75 surface fleet carry missiles.
The U.S Navy has the biggest submarine fleet with 75 in service.
Africa collectively has 3, two of those in South Africa.
The newest ships of the Nigerian Navy- NNS Unity and NNS Centenary have superb air defence radars, but China’s offer for anti-ship missiles was turned down to the dismay of the Chinese. Instead the expensive $120 million stealth corvettes are fitted with anti aircraft cannons that are manually controlled.
The flagship of the Nigerian Navy the 3,200 ton NNS Thunder has no air defence systems and relies solely on its 76 mm deck guns for offensive capability.
Of the three warships with air defence and anti ship missiles in the Nigerian Navy, one (NNS Aradu) has been moribound for nearly 11 years.
Yet Nigeria sits astride what is arguably the most richest and most important Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in all of Africa, extending 200 km from the bight of Benin to the atlantic. Nearly 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings comes from oil platforms in these waters. Nearly %70 of Africa’s total oil reserves are estimated to be found in the area, encompassing the Bakassi peninsula.
The long standing Nigeria-Camerooon conflict in the Bakassi peninsula, combined the desire of resource poor neighbouring states for control of large oil reserves has led to boundary disputes between Nigeria and her Francophone neighbours over navigation rights on the Lake Chad and Bakassi region.
Border skirmishes between Nigerian troops and Cameroonian Gandermes has brought the two countries to the brink of all out war, but the most notable of these territorial conflict occured in the eighties when Chadian troops invaded Nigerian territory and occupied several islands in the Lake Chad area in Borno State, infuriating the Nigerian government . This provoked a bitter response from the Shagari regime, resulting in what became known as the 3 day war, in which the Nigerian Army, backed by air power routed and pushed out the invaders right across the border kilometres into Chadian territory see Forgotten-facts-the-three-day-war-between-nigeria-and-chad/
If there is any country in Africa who needs a strong navy it is the Nigerian Navy. Given its size, wealth and history of territorial disputes the Nigerian Navy is by all account should be the best funded and best equiped Navy in Africa.