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The Ministry of Defence was established on 1st October, 1958 with the statutory responsibility of overseeing the Defence profile of the country from the perspective of the Armed Forces. It, therefore, supervises the Defence Headquarters, the Services namely, Army, Navy and Air Force as well as Tri-Services Institutions/Parastatals.

Main Mandates

i. Maintain men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in a state of combat readiness on land, sea and air;
ii. Maintain a proper balance in arms and men to meet needs of internal and external security;
iii. Make provisions for the welfare of the men of the Armed Forces in terms of training, accommodation, health care and other benefits aimed at boosting their morale;
iv. Enhance the capabilities and sophistication of the country’s defence industries, in order to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign sources of supply;
v. Enhance security in the African continent by promoting a collective defence system through bilateral, sub-regional and continental co-operation;
vi. Contribute towards peace and stability in the world through the United Nations Organization (UNO) the African Union; (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); and
vii. Responsible for the formulation and execution of the National Defence Policy.

Structure of the Ministry

The organizational structure of the Ministry is made up of the civilian and military components. The civilian cell has six services and four operational departments each headed by a Director. The Honourable Minister assisted by Honourable Minister of State is the Chief Executive of the Ministry. The Permanent Secretary is the Accounting and Chief Administrative Officer of the Ministry. He coordinates and directs the activities of the Departments and Units in the Ministry. Recently, the Office of the Director (Office of the Permanent Secretary) Special Duties was created to oversee the following units in the Ministry:
i. Ministerial Servicom Unit;
ii. Reform Unit;
iii. Internal Audit;
iv. Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit;
v. Stock Verification Unit;
vi. Protocol Unit; and
vii. Press and Public Relations Unit.

Civilian Component

The departments in the Ministry of Defence Headquarters are:
i. Human Resource Management Department
ii. Finance and Accounts Department
iii. Planning, Research and Statistics Department
iv. Procurement Department
v. Legal Department
vi. Medical Services Department

Operational Departments

i. Joint Services Department
ii. Army Affairs Department
iii. Navy Affairs Department
iv. Air Force Affairs Department

Military Component

The Armed Forces Services Headquarters of the Ministry comprise the following:
i. Defence Headquarters
ii. Nigerian Army headquarters
iii. Nigerian Navy Headquarters
iv. Nigerian Air Force Headquarters

The control of the Armed Forces, their joint operations and training rest with the Chief of Defence Staff who coordinates the three Services while the three Service Chiefs are responsible for the day to day running of their respective Services.



Honorable Minister of Defence.




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