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Origin Of The Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy came into existence on the 26th of March 1956. That year, the House of Representatives approved the establishment of the Navy. It was initially called the Nigerian Naval Force. It was created out of a former quasi-military force known as the Nigerian Marine that was under the Ministry of Transport for marine policing duties.

The authorization of the Nigerian Navy as a branch of the Armed Forces in 1958 came as part of the pre-independence Nigerian nationalism, which demanded that Nigeria ought to be an independent nation state and have correspondingly independent Armed Forces to defend its sovereignty and to protect its economic resources. That was the year the name Nigerian Naval Force was changed to the Royal Nigerian Navy (RNN).

On its creation as a Naval Force in 1956, only 11 assorted boats and harbour craft and about 200 officers and men were transferred to it by the defunct Nigerian Marine. The Nigerian Navy has today emerged as a multi-mission branch of the Armed Forces with wartime roles and multifarious peacetime duties in aid of the economy and survival of the nation.


1956 – 1966

01 Jun 56 The Naval Force commenced operation with 11 Assorted Ships and Crafts

03 Aug 56 The first Nigerian Navy Ordnance was assented to by Sir James Wilson Robertson, Governor-General and C-IN-C (Ordnance no28 of I956)

01 Nov 57 Her Majesty Nigerian Naval Ship QUORRA became the Royal Nigerian Navy’s first training school for Basic and Divisional (B&D) training

01 May 58 The Nigerian Navy was formerly and legally established as a “Force” in accordance with the Nigerian Navy ordnance of 1956

21 Jun 59 HMS HARE was transferred by Royal Navy to the Nigerian Navy and renamed HMNS NIGERIA

30 Sep 60 Ordinary Seaman Salawuddeen Akano of the Nigerian navy (Later became Commodore and now deceased) lowered the Union Jack to symbolize the end of British Colonial Rule in Nigeria and later hoisted the Green – White – Green flag to mark Nigeria’s independence on 01 Oct 60.

21 Sep 65 NNS OBUMA (EX NIGRIA) first commissioned.

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1966 – 1976

26 Jul 67 Bonny landing as first naval operation during the Civil War.

Sep 67 Amphibious operation to capture the riverine part of Warri, Koko and Sapele

Nov 67 Amphibious landing of 3rd Marine Commando at Oron, beachland.

05 Jan 68 Timely arrival of NNS OBUMA at Bunny resulting in reversal of an ugly situation in the War effort

27 Sep 69 NND Victoria Island (formerly Elder Dempster Line Shipyard) was formally declared open by Colonel (retired as Brigadier) Mobolaji Johnson, the then Lagos State Military Governor

May 74 Navy Week Celebrated for the first Time

May 75 Navy Week Celebrated with Sports

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1976 – 1986

1976 NNS ENYIMIRI and NNS ERINOMI delivered to NN (MK 9 Corvettes).

1978 NNS AMBE and OFION (LSTs) delivered to NN

10 Jul 81 NNS BECROFT (the first Nigerian Naval Base) renamed NNS OLOKUN. The “bee” symbol on the logo changed to “mermaid”

1981 NN Barracks (Navy Town) Ojo commissioned

25 Sep 81 NNC ONURA commissioned for the training of naval cadets alongside NDA

02 Jul 82 12 Pioneer students of Naval Faculty, Course, Command and Staff College, Jaji graduated

1982 NNS ARADU and the Fast Attack Crafts (NNS AGU, DAMISA, EKPE, AYAM, EKUN and SIRI) delivered to NN

22 Feb 83 Commandant, US Coast Guard addressed a 2-day NN Workshop on “Smuggling and Coastal Piracy in Nigeria”

11 Jun 83 First Regular Course Cadets of NNC ONURA passed out.

19 Dec 84 First Batch of Mechanicians (54 in number) trained locally at NN Technical School in Port Harcourt passed out.

01 Feb 85 NNS QUORRA commissioned as a comprehensive professional school

31 Mar – 09 Apr 85 Operation SEADOG (Joint training exercise in which 10 naval ships participated)

29 Apr – 05 May 85 First International Naval Equipment Exhibition held at NNS QUORRA

01 May 86 Naval Air Station (NAS) Ojo commissioned

09 May 86 NNS OMALOKUN Warri (now NN DELTA) commissioned

1986 Mine Counter Measure Vessel (NNS BARAMA and OHUE) delivered to the NN

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1986 – 1996

30 Jan 87 NNS OKEMINI (now NNS PATHFINDER), Port Harcourt commissioned

25 Feb 87 Sea Exercise DANKE (Joint maneuver between NN Western Fleet and German Navy Ships on visit to Nigeria in Feb 87)

06 Mar 87 Sea Exercise ODABO (Joint Maneuver between NN western and Brazilian Task Group consisting of 2 frigates and a Submarine which visited Nigeria in Mar 87)

4 May 87 HQ ENC relocated from Naval Base Calabar to essien Town thereby breaking the mix of co-locating Command Hqs in the main bases

21 Mar 87 Evolution of NN Trident Maritime Strategy

12 Aug 87 Presidential Review NN Fleet by the President and Commander in Chief Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (then Maj Gen)

11 Aug 88 Seventh and last batch of cadets passed out from NNC ONURA

Mar 90 NN Shipyard, Port Harcourt aquired from witt and Busch

Aug 90 NN Ships deployed for ECOMOG operations in Liberia

27 Aug 90 Naval Dockyard, victoria Island re-commissioned after modernization

1991 Establishment of FOB IBAKA

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1996 – DATE

1997 NUA relocated from Garki to Mogadishu Barracks, Abuja

2002 Re-strucuring of NHQ and establishment of Naval Medical Center, Onne

Sep 02 NN Logistics Corps established.

Mar 03 NNS KYANWA ad OLOGBO (Cat Class joined NN fleet)

2003 NNO establishing Sea Training Command Promulgated

Jul 03 Reactivation of NN Ships commenced

Sep 03 NNS NWAMBA joined the NN Fleet

Mar 04 NNS OBULA joined the NN Fleet

May 04 Four additional Agusta helicopters joined the NN Fleet Air Arm

10 - 15 May 04 Exercise TAKUTE EKPE (Joint Amphibious Landing)

Feb 05 Relocation of NN Medical Staff Training School from Apapa, Lagos State to Offa, Kwara State

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