You are an energy rich nation with the world’s 10th largest proven oil reserve. To prevent past mistakes and protect your country you want to send out a massive army to destroy your enemy?
then you need a bigger at my size.
The Nigerian Army is poised to increase the size of its troops from 150,000 today to 220,000 by 2019 under new plans announced by the Defence Ministry. Under the new plans, Nigeria will formerly establish an Army Aviation Corp of about 3,000 men and rotary winged aircraft as, and recruit 30,00 men by 2018, bringing its total service personnel to 180,000. This is roughly on par with the size of the British armed forces current size of 194,000.
Recruites undergoing training.
Recruits undergo training at the headquaters of the Depot of the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State in northcentral Nigeria, on October 5, 2017. The military has been criticized for human rights abuses and claiming Boko Haram’s defeat numerous times. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images.
Since the end of the civil war, the army has never been as necessary as it is now. The decade long assymetric war against Boko Haram and the embarassing occupation of Nigerian territory the size of Scotland during 2014 and 2015 had a profound effect on Nigeria’s military restructuring.
In the mid-1980’s, Nigeria’s strategy focused on the fear of an illegal incursion into Nigerian territory by her Franciphone neighbors.
Commensurate with this threat, Nigeria’s military organisation emphasized long range heavily amoured defensive ground forces and a robust air force. In essence, lots of men and artillery and air power.
By the early 90’s the danger from Chad and Cameroon ebbed, and the Nigerian military revised it’s war strategy to that of a highly mobile expeditionary fighting force. This doctrine sought to move the fighting away from the Nigerian homeland. It shifted attention from Nigerian territory to the West African frontier and beyond, with combat and peace keeping operations as far south as Somalia.
The Nigerian air force asserted in its contribution to the official expeditionary doctrine. Which is why the NAF operates the largest fleet of Hercules C-130 and other heavy lift assets, because Nigeria deploys forces all over Africa.
Similarly the Nigerian Navy is huge. Which more tonnage than the entire West African navies combined, and to the GFPI (global firepower index) is the 4th most powerful in Africa after Egypt, Algeria and Morocco.
…..let’s skip to the Nigerian army today.
As a country Nigeria has been at war non-stop for the past 12 years. the longest stretch of warfare in the history of Nigeria. By 2003 the size of the Nigerian military culmulatively was 80,000, with 60,000 in the Nigerian Army. The smallest its been since the civil war ended.
Too much complacency regarding the military and too weak a tragic imagination about the consequences of lack of investments in human and material resoources eroding the preparedness and capability of the armed forces.
As recently as decade ago the Nigerian army was considered one of the best equipped fighting force on the continent. But the Boko Haram insurgency brought to light embarrassing equipment shortages that saw soldiers giving 30 rounds in some cases and sent into battle, using Toyota Hillux vans for amoured personnel carriers, a vehicle most associated with militias than national armies. Of the 80,000 active duty troops only about 20,000 were equipped for combat operations.
By all measures, today’s professionalized military is also better trained, motivated, and disciplined than it was five years ago. Matching this new level of profesionalism and training with an active duty force of about 200,000 is what Nigeria needs to effectively protect the country.