The statutory responsibilities assigned to the NN which are aimed at achieving our national defence objectives are categorized into 3 broad spheres of military, diplomatic and policing roles:
1. Military Role. Military role of the ENC is primarily the seaward defence of the south eastern flank of the nation stretching from the Bight of Benin and encompassing the Gulf of Guinea up to the limits of our EEZ. This enormous task is achieved by adopting the concept of Sea Control (sea use and sea denial) within the ENC AOR. Prominent elements of sea control adopted in the successful conduct of NN Military Role in the ENC AOR are:
- (1) Deterrence which is achieved by sustained presence at sea.
- (2) Sea Blockade.
- (3) Amphibious operations.
- (4) Naval gunfire support and shore bombardment.
- (5) Aggressive inshore and offshore patrols.
- (6) Integrated logistics supplies and re-supplies.
- (7) Strategic sealift operations.
2. Diplomatic Role. NN diplomatic role in the ENC AOR is a function of manipulation from a position of strength and prestige. This is achieved by forward presence as demonstrated by the presence of the FOBs; and flag showing visits as directed by NHQ from time to time. The ENC is also the primary point of contact for Cameroun, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe and Gabon. Immense economic activities and human traffic between Nigeria and these countries engender diplomatic and security issues that must be managed well.
3. Policing Role. The policing role of the ENC within its AOR encompasses the following:
- (1) Coordinated information gathering.
- (2) Prevention of illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalism and other forms of illegalities in the production and distribution of petroleum products.
- (3) Prevention of smuggling at sea.
- (4) Anti-piracy and sea robbery patrol.
- (5) Fisheries protection patrol.
- (6) Immigration and drug control patrol.
- (7) Anti-pollution patrol and environmental protection.
- (8) Control of marine research.
- (9) Search and Rescue operations.