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Global Firepower Index 2020: Nigeria Moves Up to 42nd Rank in Military Power

Nigeria has been ranked 42nd (PwrIndx rating of 0.6485) most powerful military in the world in 2020 with a significant improvement compared to its 44th position in 2019, according to the Global Firepower Index which provides latest data on 138 military powers.

The gain may not be surprising after all as Nigeria’s capital expenditure’s share in the defense budget increased from 9.8% in 2015 to 26.6% in 2019 and expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.55% to reach US$2.2 billion by 2024 according to

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Key findings from the report showed the following:

  • Manpower (Total Population: 203,452,505, Available Manpower: 77,108,499, Active Personnel: 120,000)
  • Airpower (Total strength: 129, Total Helicopters: 44, Total Attack Helicopters: 15, Dedicated Attack: 13, Fighters: 8)
  • Land Forces (Tanks: 253, Armoured Vehicles: 1,789, Self-Propelled Artillery: 25, Towed Artillery: 339, Rocket Projectors: 36)
  • Naval Forces (Total Assets: 75, Patrol: 100, Mine Warfare: 2)
  • Natural Resources (Oil Production: 1,946,000 bbl, Oil Consumption: 275,000 bbl, Proven Oil Reserves: 37,060,000,000 bbl)
  • Logistics (Labour Force: 60,080,000, Merchant Marine Strength: 576, Serviceable Airports: 54)
  • Financials (Defense Budget: 2,155,000,000 USD)
  • Geography (Land Area: 923,768 km2, Coastline Coverage: 853 km, Usable Waterways: 8600 km)
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In Africa, Egypt remains the continent’s leading military power and the 9th in the world followed by Algeria (28th in the world), South Africa (29th in the world), Nigeria (42nd in the world) and Angola coming 5th in Africa (56th in the world).

Globally, the top 5 of the world’s largest military powers remain dominated by the United States (0.0606), followed by Russia (0.0682), China (0.0691), India (0.0953) and Japan (0.1501).

The Global Firepower ranking utilizes over 50 individual factors to determine a given nation’s PowerIndex (‘PwrIndx’) score with categories ranging from military might, natural resources, finances, logistical capability, and geography. The ranking is based on the nation’s potential war-making capability across the land, sea, and air fought by conventional means.

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According to the “power index”, a perfect score a 0.0000 which is realistically unattainable in the scope of the current GFP formula; the smaller the PwrIndx value, the more powerful a nation’s theoretical fighting capability.

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