Although the military history of the West African
extends back a millennium or more, Nigeria's present-day
forces, like those of most African states, are the direct
descendants of colonial military units. The officer corps
made fully indigenous by the mid-1960s, and in 1990 the
armed forces were among the largest and most professional
Africa. The military and political functions and
peacekeeping roles of the armed forces have expanded
significantly but remained subject to several constraints.
Nigeria was still heavily dependent on foreign arms but
embarked on a program of military industrialization.
military service and a large demographic base made
easy, and training was highly professional. Nigeria's
challenge was to define its strategic interests and
missions more precisely and to achieve an appropriate
force structure to meet them.
Data as of June 1991