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Nigeria: Information on the Nigerian army: ranks, rank structure, badges and uniforms

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 March 1994
Citation / Document Symbol NGA16447.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Nigeria: Information on the Nigerian army: ranks, rank structure, badges and uniforms, 1 March 1994, NGA16447.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab2b50.html [accessed 31 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

The Nigerian army was established in 1862 (Nigeria: A Country Study 1992, 269). The army first recruited mainly from the Hausa ethnic group, a factor which reportedly accounts for the persistent ethnic imbalance in the Nigerian army today (ibid.).

Under section 197 of the 1979 Constitution, the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and has the power to appoint the Chief of the Defence Staff as well as heads of the various military services (ibid., 271).

Ranks and structures of the armed forces apparently changed with different governments. When General Babangida came to power in 1985, he established the rank of president and commander of the armed forces and introduced changes in the ministry of defence and of the armed forces (ibid., 247). By 1990, the army of 80,000 had been divided into four divisions.

The First Mechanized Infantry Division, headquartered at Kaduna, had brigades at Sokoto, Kano, and Minna. The second Mechanized Infantry Division was headquartered at Ibadan. The Third Armoured Division was based at Jos, with one mechanized and two armoured brigades. The Eighty-second (Airborne) division, stationed at Enugu in the southeast, that three brigades (airborne, airmobile, and amphibious) to defend the Cameroon border and for other foreign commitments. Each of the four divisions had an artillery and engineering brigade and a reconnaissance battalion (ibid., 273-74).

 According to this source, in the late 1990s, badges of ranks were patterned on those of the British army with the exception that the Nigerian eagle replaced the British crown on the insignia of majors and higher ranking officers (ibid.,

296-97).

More detailed information on the Nigerian army, its structure, enlisted ranks and insignia, is contained in the attached document.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

Reference

Nigeria: A Country Study. 1992. Edited by Helen Chapin Metz. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Attachment

Nigeria: A Country Study. 1992. Edited by Helen Chapin Metz. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, pp.268-97.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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