Current State of Infrastructure

For many Nigerians, a sense of insecurity comes not so much from traditional (i.e., mainly military) security concerns, but from concerns about their survival, self-preservation and well-being. Security means protection from the threat of diseases, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environmental degradation.

The current security situation in Nigeria is characterised by threats that are mainly unconventional in nature. These threats include:

  • insurgency characterised by terrorism, kidnapping, assassinations and armed robbery;
  • organised crime such as smuggling, oil theft, illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism, drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking and internet/cyber related crimes;
  • cross-border banditry;
  • ethno-religious clashes;
  • ‘blow back effects’ from Mali operations and other similar operations in which Nigeria is participating;
  • economic, political and financial crimes, such as corruption, embezzlement, large scale fraud, money laundering, and election rigging;
  • common theft, petty fraud and cheating; and
  • human security threats such as climate change, pervasive poverty, food insecurity, economic insecurity, health insecurity, political insecurity, environmental insecurity, physical insecurity, community insecurity and social insecurity, among many others.

Vital Registration

Nigeria currently has around 3,000 registration centres across the country. Accurate vital records of life events provide a reliable and comprehensive identification system that enhances the security of any nation, which is an essential component of contemporary security management. The current coverage of vital registration in Nigeria is low, with the following very poor coverage benchmarks:

  • Birth registration: 38 per cent
  • Death registration: 10 per cent
  • Marriage/divorce: 0 per cent

The following challenges give rise to this unsatisfactory level of vital registration coverage.

  • Inadequate ICT infrastructure for the National Population Commission (NatPopC). A manual system of registration is currently in use, with registration taking place in only 2,951 centres instead of 180,000 registration centres across the country.
  • Custody of the E-Passport database is with a consultant, IRIS. This should be in the custody of the National Immigration Service to provide easy access to relevant data for the Population Commission.
  • Inadequate funding has ensured that the basic infrastructure requirements of the agency have largely not been met.


There are 11 agencies in this sub-sector namely: Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Prison Service, Federal Fire Service, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Federal Road Safety Commission, Defence Industry Corporation of Nigeria, Nigeria Immigration Service, Security and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Nigerian Communication Satellite (NigComSat). The eleven agencies within this sector have been grouped into three sub-sectors for simplification: Civilian defence, Military defence, and others. The challenges for each sub-sector are discussed below.

Civilian Defence

Nigerian Police Force

Nigeria currently has around 2,000 police stations. The vision of the Police Force is to make Nigeria safer and more secure for economic development and growth; and to create a safe and secure environment for everyone living in Nigeria. Substantial expenditure has been made on infrastructure and training programmes for the Police Force in recent years. Implementation of communication and information technology infrastructure is ongoing. The Police Force has also acquired a private, dedicated and secure communications platform as well as customised patrol vehicles for monitoring, tracking and combating crimes and criminality in the country through collaboration with development partners.


The challenges faced by the Nigerian Police Force include:

  • weak investigation infrastructure, required for the revitalisation of criminal intelligence gathering techniques and pilot implementation of a National Integrated Intelligence Strategy;
  • lack of forensic laboratories/fingerprint database;
  • inadequate effective ICT infrastructure;
  • old and dilapidating police stations, buildings, accommodation and offices;
  • poor and unserviceable vehicles and weaponry; and
  • inadequate training infrastructure.


Nigerian Prison Service

The Nigerian Prison Service (NPS) is the third arm of the Criminal Justice System after the Police and Courts. The Service is under the supervision and control of the Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board.

The Prison Service is responsible for taking into lawful custody all those certified to be so kept by courts of competent jurisdiction. The Service has the responsibility to produce suspects in courts as and when due; to  identify the causes of their anti-social dispositions; to set in motion mechanisms for their treatment and training for eventual reintegration into society as normal law abiding citizens on discharge.

Nigerian prisons have historically been overcrowded. By the end of January 2013, there were 52,904 persons incarcerated in 235 prisons across the country. The total capacity of the prisons was 47,284 – therefore Nigeria’s prisons were overcrowded by 12 per cent.

The current infrastructure stock consists of 235 conventional prisons; 30 barracks; seven workshops for operations and maintenance; four training schools; five officers’ messes; one shooting range; and one armoury. However, almost all of this stock is dilapidated, sub-standard, ill-equipped or obsolete.

Challenges facing the Nigerian Prison Service include:

  • weak and inadequate prison structures, with insufficient facilities for identification, treatment and re-integration of convicted persons;
  • old, dilapidated transportation fleets that are inadequate to meet the court needs of awaiting trial prisoners; and
  • insufficient budgetary allocation to develop infrastructure and rehabilitate convicted persons.

Federal Fire Service

The Federal Fire Service is responsible for rescue, fire prevention and mitigation, fire fighting, paramedic and information services. The main goal of the Fire Service is to minimise fire and other emergency incidents resulting in loss of life and property.

The current infrastructure stock consists of 322 Fire Stations and five training schools. Of these, 10 fire stations and two training schools are owned by the Federal Government, while the remaining are owned by the State Governments and the FCT. The average emergency response time for buildings within 18 square kilometres of a fire station is 35 minutes. Nigeria has 8,000 firemen, of whom only 1,200 are trained according to standard requirements. The ratio of fire-fighters to the population in Nigeria is 1:20,000, while the internationally recommended ratio is 1:1,000.

The challenges the Federal Fire Service faces include:

  • inadequate fire-fighting facilities, equipment and infrastructure;
  • absence of sustained training and manpower development programmes, with underfunded and poorly equipped training facilities; and
  • inadequate funds to run operations, maintain facilities and equipment.

Federal Road Safety Commission

The FRSC is a government agency with statutory responsibilities for road safety administration in Nigeria. The FRSC currently has, among others, 182 unit commands, 140 driver’s license centres, and 3 license plate production plants.

The main opportunities for the FRSC lie in:

  • an electronic national driver’s license, vehicle and offenders register, hosting over 10 million records and all managed by FRSC officials;
  • three plants for the production of license plates and driver’s licenses;
  • an ultra-modern communication centre to enable reduced response time to road traffic crash incidents; and
  • emergency ambulances and road side clinics located at crash-prone areas for prompt response and medical treatment to road traffic crash victims.

The main challenges facing the FRSC include:

  • lack of electronic monitoring of highways;
  • inadequate capacity for highway security operations;
  • inadequate and unreliable identity check technology; and
  • inadequate of ICT security equipment.

Military Defence

The Nigerian Armed Forces currently have 200,000 troops and 300,000 para-military personnel on active duty. The objectives of the Armed Forces are to:

  • Defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria and provide aid to civil authority to attain a safe and secure environment for economic growth;
  • Achieve a full complement of the military defence system of Nigeria both in the air and on the ground.

The main challenge the Armed Forces are currently facing is inadequate funding for enhanced operations, training, equipment and intelligence. 

Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army formations include the 1st Division, headquartered in Kaduna (North-West), the 2nd Division headquartered in Ibadan (South-West), 3rd Division in Jos (North-Central), 82nd Division in Enugu (South-East) garrison commands in Lagos and Abuja, and many service support units spread across the country. The training and doctrine commands are located in Minna, which supervise the Army’s schools and the Depot.

Opportunities for the Army exist in the:

  • deployment of trained personnel from Nigerian Army Training Centre (NATRAC) to units in some flash point State capitals, highways and Forward Operation Bases, to respond to threats and emergencies regarding internal security;
  • challenge of command, control, and communication, currently being addressed through the Nigerian Army Low Altitude Platform Stations (NALAPS), in collaboration with Lighter than Air Systems;
  • establishment of a Special Operations Command (NASOC), four Special Operations Groups, and sufficient company strength to be attached to all units in each State capital; and
  • incorporation of modern surveillance devices and improvement of technical intelligence.

Nigerian Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is the air arm of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is one of the largest in West Africa, consisting of about 10,000 personnel stationed around ten bases.

The Air Force is organised to meet current requirements of the service and the defence needs of the country. Its current structure is along a service Headquarters, 6 principal staff branches, 4 Direct Reporting Units and 4 operational commands.

The main opportunity available for the Air Force is the use of communications satellites and unmanned aerial/ground/surface vehicle (UAV/UGV/USV). This will provide capabilities for effective surveillance, tactical mobility, border patrol, military operations, disaster and emergency management and monitoring of critical infrastructure such as pipeline monitoring.

The challenges facing the Air Force include:

  • dilapidating runways and taxiways and unserviceable aircraft;
  • poor operational support facilities (hangar facilities and workshops; staff/crew utility vehicles; ammunition storage facilities; bulk fuel installations);
  • inadequate electronic equipment (radars, navigational aids, control tower/base operations equipment, meteorological equipment);
  • inadequate infrastructure and training aids; and
  • dearth of ground-based air defence systems.

Nigerian Navy

The Navy is responsible for the naval defence of Nigeria; assisting to enforce Customs laws; carrying out hydrographical surveys and safeguarding the country’s maritime economy especially in the oil and gas sectors.

The Navy currently has 39 vessels and more than 10 helicopters split between the Western Naval Command and the Eastern Naval Command. The main infrastructure-related objective of the Navy is to develop infrastructure support for sustaining its operational, administrative and welfare responsibilities for the next two decades.

The main infrastructure challenges the Navy is facing include:

  • inadequate maritime and air domain Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), target identification and maritime picture compilation;
  • inadequate of coastal observation posts and maritime patrol aircraft; and
  • inability to mount a quick response to emergencies at sea due to lack of essential facilities.


Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)

NSCDC is a para-military agency of the Federal government, commissioned to provide measures against threats, attacks and disasters against Nigeria and its citizenry.

The objectives of the NSCDC are to:

  • protect critical infrastructure and national assets;
  • license, supervise and monitor the operations of private guard companies in the country; and
  • provide rescue and emergency aid during natural or man-made disaster.

The current infrastructure stock consists of three State Commands, 10 divisional offices, 12 dormitories, three training colleges, 30 classrooms, three commandants’ residences and two shooting ranges. The main challenges facing the NSCDC include:

  • shortage of manpower;
  • inadequate funding; and
  • weak synergies and collaboration among security agencies.

Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON)

The main objective of the agency is to produce arms, ammunition, weapons and machinery to meet Nigeria’s defence needs. DICON’s current infrastructure stock includes:

  • nine factories and workshops
  • one arms production line
  • two laboratories

One of the major challenges faced by the DICON is the unavailability of production plants and simulation centres.

Nigeria Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT)

The key objective of this agency is to deploy communication satellite resources for maritime, defence, aviation and other security needs of the nation. The opportunities for NIGCOMSAT include:

  • the capacity to provide the military and other security agencies with a communications service and bandwidth requirements for all platforms;
  • deploying Beyond Line-of-Site (BLOS) connectivity for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Nigeria; and
  • becoming the cornerstone for universal access, bedrock for ICT development, backbone of social, political and economic re-engineering in Nigeria and Africa in general.

Nigeria Immigration Service

The key objective of this agency is to establish a technology platform to address the operational challenges of modern migration, relevant to the world security order and responsive to global migration trends. An opportunity exists for improving the level of monitoring at the borders by installing CCTV cameras.