Chief of the Nigerian Navy, Vice Admiral D.J. Ezeoba(left) presenting a gift to Chief of the South African Navy, Vice Admiral J. Mudimu

L-R: Commodore S.M.D. Usman alongside
Chief of the Nigerian Navy, Vice Admiral D.J. Ezeoba during his official address

SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY (press release)
Article and photos by LS Nkululeko Zulu

Following the Bilateral Defence Protocol signed between South Africa and Nigeria during the state visit of Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, to South Africa in May this year, the Chief of the Nigerian Navy, V Adm Joseph Ezeoba conducted a visit to South Africa to further cement bilateral cooperation between the two giants of the continent.

The visit took place from 03-07 June 2013 and entailed tours to different locations around the country.On Monday, 03 June 2013, Chief of the Nigerian Navy made a courtesy call to Chief of the South African Navy (C Navy), V Adm Johannes Mudimu at the Navy Headquarters, Pretoria. V Adm Ezeoba was welcomed by a Guard of Honour and escorted to the office of C Navy. V Adm Ezeoba and his team were given a Strategic Orientation of the South African Navy by Director Maritime Plans, R Adm (JG) S. Pillay.

After the orientation the two Chiefs had an opportunity to address issues up for discussion and C Navy said “Nigeria and South Africa must lead the way for other African countries to follow because the super powers of this world will always undermine the African continent’s efforts if they do not properly police their own territorial waters.”

His counterpart V Adm Ezeoba said “If we are able to enforce a legal framework on the continent’s maritime governance, it would allow for mutual cooperation by way of training and joint exercises that will allow African countries to interact freely at sea and build structures that will help the continent promote economic development.”

The courtesy visit was concluded when gifts were exchanged and refreshments served.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. beegeagle says:

    Delighted to see the return of this black and classy ceremonial uniform which appears to have disappeared since the time as CNS of Vice Admiral Akin Aduwo which ended in 1983. I CANNOT recall seeing any naval officer out and about in this uniform for any ceremonial parade since the time when Commodore (later Admiral) Augustus Aikhomu emerged as CNS under the Buhari-led FMG.

    Haven attained the rank of Commodore in 1980, Augustus Aikhomu became a Rear Admiral (months after becoming CNS), alongside Patrick Koshoni, in 1984. Both naval brasshats (Koshoni later took over as CNS fron Aikhomu in October 1986) got elevated to the rank of Vice Admiral on October 1st 1987 while Aikhomu became a full Admiral in September 1990 when he retired from service.

    However, when Admiral Aikhomu died two years ago and NTA News visited his Apapa, Lagos residence, there was quite oddly a potrait of the man dressed up in this kind of black ceremonial dress which he never wore throughout his time as CNS, CGS and Vice President.
    The NN need to return this uniform to ‘high visibility’ as was the case when true naval greats and pioneers such as Vice Admiral JEA Wey, the immortal Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, Vice Admiral Husseini Abdullahi and Vice Admiral Michael Adelanwa bestrode the horizon of the NN.

    Truly, I was PARTICULARLY delighted to see this beautiful, black uniform again. Takes me right back to my primary school days in the 1980s.

    Only two weeks ago, Freeegulf and I also noted the return of the garrison hat to the NA kit.

  2. Gen. Beeg…incoming message. kindly respond to ur mail

  3. Henry says:

    Yeah, the black ceremonial uniform looks really good on the CNS.

  4. (@lordfej) says: a video documentary on the Nigerian navy

  5. beegeagle says:

    Meanwhile, I think that there is a paradigm shift in the Navy which has gone unnoticed.

    Last weekend, we had a first-ever joint P-O-P of 3,133 recruits of the Army’s 69 RRI and 1,200 recruits of the Navy’s Batch 22 Intake. They trained together at ZARIA and our First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ezeoba, was the Reviewing Officer on the day.

    Two things are remarkable about that joint training and double-header POP.

    – the NA usually take on about 7,500 rookies yearly, training them in two batches of 3600+ recruits for six months at the Depot Nigerian Army. Surprisingly, this batch had 3,133 Army recruits whereas the NA are forming about ten more battalions at this time. So could it be that supplementary training programs at supporting institutions such as the Base Camp are ongoing? Are we going to see three Army intakes this year – with the new Nigerian Army Training Centre at Kontagora which can host thousands of trainees and the NA Base Camp taking care of the training of these recruits? Could this be the reason behind the fact of the NA training 1,000 troops at a naval facility as was reported recently – creating space for NATRAC to train new recruits in tandem with the Depot NA?

    – the NN passed out all of 1,200 ratings, trained to the precise infantry standards of the Army. The NN are thus clearly spiking their numbers as well. Are we about to see the emergence of the Naval Infantry Regiment which one has repeatedly called for? Very possibly so, even if for the sake of ‘parity’. Remember that the NAF have ground troops as well…infantrymen of the NAF Regiment and artillerymen of the National Air Defence Corps?

    Tis all getting really interesting. We shall see. Growth in men and materials remains our strategic goal and we invariably prevail. Watch this space then



    “However, it is clear that as far as CTCOIN goes, we have gone beyond the stage of pre-emptive posturing and are now fated to counteract the menace of armed conflicts all around us. Whereas the Police only wield rifles, militants and terrorists are on the prowl and use GPMGs, .50 calibre HMGs, 14.5mm AAMGs and RPGs. The civil Police, acting alone, do not have the firepower to counteract such military-grade weaponry. Better to have 150, 000 troops and 500,000 cops than 100,000 troops and 600,000 cops.

    Moving on, I would also love to see the 15,000-man NN and 15,000-man NAF raise their manpower strengths to 17,000 men and 18,000 men respectively.

    For the NAF, I want to see a repositioned 2,000-man NAF Regiment deployed as six 250-man NAF Regt Groups at Kano, PHC, Lagos, ABJ, MDGR and Owerri and five 100-man NAF Regt detachments at Sokoto, Jos, Benin, Makurdi and Mubi (including a small NAF air station with a Super Puma and two armed Agusta A109 LUH)

    For the NN, I would similarly want to see a 1,500-man Naval Infantry Regiment with three 200-man Groups at Lagos, Calabar and Brass and nine 100-man detachments at Abuja, Lokoja, PHC, Bonny, Igbokoda, Escravos, Warri, Ibaka and Oguta.”

    • CHYDE says:


  6. beegeagle says:

    For those of us who have not really heard about the African naval colossus that was Nelson Bossman Soroh, here is a bit about why he was a true pioneer

    Rear Admiral Nelson Bossman Soroh, MFR FSS idc
    Chief of the Naval Staff (January 1973 – July 1975)


    Admiral Soroh was not the first indigenous officer to rise to the headship of the Nigerian Navy, but his career was characterised by a litany of Nigerian, West African and African firsts.

    *He was the FIRST seaman officer to become the Chief of the Naval Staff;

    *the FIRST Able Seaman to become a cadet in the whole of West Africa;

    *the FIRST African to be accepted for training at the Royal Navy for Sub-tech course with effect from 21 August 1958;

    *the FIRST Nigerian to command a warship when he was appointed to command HMNS KADUNA, taking over from an RN officer, Lieutenant Commander Walting from December 1960;

    * the FIRST black African to sail a warship between Europe and Africa. He was commanding officer of HMNS OGOJA which was sailed to Lagos 27 September 1963.

    *He was the FIRST commanding officer of the flagship NNS NIGERIA (later renamed OBUMA), a Dutch-built frigate.

    *He was the FIRST Seaman to be appointed Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff and the appointment was made personal to him at a time when the CNS was absorbed almost totally in state matters.

    *He was the FIRST Nigerian Admiral to publish his autobiography, “A Sailor’s Dream” adjudged to be a classic on the Nigerian Navy and leadership.

    *He was even the FIRST officer to start a naval magazine “Anchors Aweigh”.

  7. originalpato says:

    @Chyde, getting fighter jets for the NN is encroaching on NAF territory. What the NN needs are @ least a squadron of (12 in number) MPA like the ATR 72 aircraft for Surveillance, SAR, Anti Piracy and Anti-Submarine Warfare in addition to at least 3 squadrons of helicopters. Also the NN needs some serious Frigates and a dedicated Helicopter Carrier.

  8. Gen Beeg, still awaiting your email ooh. Pls kindly reply asap

  9. CHYDE says:

    @ Originalplato, may be you should take a look at the US Navy as well as the Russian Navy, you’ll see that as far as military activities are concerned, being ‘RIGID’ doesn’t help. Beegs rightly made mention of the NN sending men to receiving ‘army infantry’ training ask yourself why is the NN doing this i actually came across some of the POP pictures,, if i should go by your comment, the navy should probably be restricted to the high sea and by default limiting the Navy SBS, take a look at the US Naval seals, a lot is said about the US Marines, but i bet not too many people know how effective and deadly the Naval SEALS are. For me its called thinking out of the box. Take a look at this:, : We are talking of a MODERN Armed force my bro

  10. CHYDE says:

    Can some one please tell the people at the MoD to have a look at this from the Paris Air show :

    • ifiok umoeka says:

      Gen, do we even have a building named after this guy? We should induct a military hall of fame where all our men of honor should be recognized.

      @ chyde, I think that originalplato is right. The countries u’ve mentioned have a budget larger than africa’s total budget (US) or Nigeria’s (russia). We can’t think of giving the navy fighters when they don’t have frigates and sub while the airforce lacks a decent trainer. So who do we give the destroyers to, the police?
      On the no. of the army vis the police, I will argue that instead of increasing the army by 50%, double the MOPOL and equip everyone from the armed forces to the interior ministry troops. Give them all the right tools for the job. With 1 squadron of terminators, we would have achieved more in the NE than with an extra battalion! The army is only called upon because the police are not up to it.

      • ifiok umoeka says:

        I say, increase the size of the army special forces, double the no. of the MOPOL, get every one trained, equipped and motivated and u’ll see a drastic improvement in our security situation.

      • CHYDE says:

        @ Ifiok,we can always start from somewhere, remember orignalplato used the word ‘encroaching’, Nigeria must not have the budgets of the US and Russia ( i never intended to make such a comparison, but to show that the practice of giving the Navy ‘wings’ isn’t new at all) to go into such a practice. Yes there is an urgent need to develop or as i want to put it overhaul the NAF, gradually giving the Navy Ariel ability certainly is not a bad idea especially in this era, but i do agree that the ‘first’ priority is the NAF . And instead of increasing the number of MOPOL i’ll go Beegs way, increase the size of the Military.

      • igbi says:

        We already have enough mopol, what we need is more soldiers given the fact that 100000 is not enough to defend a nation of 170000000 people.
        We already have more than 300000 policemen, yet it is the army which is smaller than the police that is always called upon. I think the police should be retrained, and I think our 80000 NSCDC should all be trained in weapons handling and warfare and police work. That would be the way forward.

  11. ifiok umoeka says:

    Bro, in many years to come, u’ll say I said it. If increasing the size of the military is so they can take police actions then they’ll pay the price for it as they will falter when hardcore hot way present itself. If we had a proper police force, we wouldn’t be talking about BH. I’m for institutions playing their traditional role well before playing in anors backyard. I still maintain that a 50% hike in troop no. is not the ans. Try a 50% in equipment and training coupled with the right doctrine, motivation and leadership and the boys will get the jobs done in style

  12. (@lordfej) says:

    please because people have bigger budgets doesn’t mean we should not have proper equipment. i am in support of the navy having sukhois that would b able to carry out air to sea attacks and anti ship missiles we don’t need much just 12. 6 in Lagos and another 6 in ph. it is very necessary and every standard naval has air wings at least the pilots would have their combat training or doctrine pending when the navy gets an air craft carrier. Look at India her navy patrols most of the coastline of its neighbor and Nigeria are gonna be up to that level. Lets accept that we are big and act that way. God bless Nigeria and May she live long and stay strong

    • CHYDE says:

      Pheew!!!!!! Finally, someone sees things from my point of view. to add to your point , we need possibly another 6-10 in the Cross River/Akwa ibom axis for obvious reasons. @ Ifiok a 50% increase in equipment and training and if may add re-orientationcoupled with the right doctrine, motivation and leadership. I agree with perfectly, while still looking at increasing our military size and capability.

  13. ifiok umoeka says:

    So what will be the mission of the airforce? See guys I don’t have a problem with us having aircraft carriers and the navy having fighters etc, I’m saying that let each service get proficient in fulfilling it role first. CAs are for force projection and not coastal defence. With our relatively short coastline the airforce can handle it if again its properly equipped. Don’t forget, CAs cost money to buy, equip and operate! Take the ex soviet vessel that india bought, it cost ~$3bn minus training for the over 1500 men to man it. Add 24 mig 29ks, ~18 medium class ASW copters and at least 6 escorts, weapons and crews and u have a bill of not less than $12bn. Bros if u get that money, bring am come, u’ll. Not believe what our security sector will achieve with that! That’s why only big boys have carriers and dedicated naval combat aviation wings

  14. ifiok umoeka says:

    Thailand started from somewhere. Today, they have a carrier, no air assets for it and not escort. 2day, its called the most expensive royal yatch as most times the thai king retreats they for a cruise. Guess what, the thai ecn is bigger than ours. By 2030 we can think of it (if the ecn permits) but for now just give us amphibious ships, escorts and subs.

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