What Ghana’s Army Look Like Compared to Nigeria.

Little is known about the Ghanaian military. Ghana is easily amongst one of Africa’s most peaceful and politically stable countries, and has never really had to employ the use of her military, making the Ghanaian army one of the least combat experienced in Africa.

One look at the Ghanaian Army you see a country that,  although having limited financial resources takes the security of its people serious . One look at the Nigerian army and you see a country with unmatched financial and energy resources in Africa, but have an army that though unmatched in firepower visavis the region, is punching far below her weight. This despite a decade long security imperative and being one of Africa’s biggest defense spenders, with billions of dollars in annual budgetary  allocation and an extra $1 billion in emergency funding to buy arms.

One would expect that a country wealthy enough to spend almost the entire defence budget of Ghana on just 12 Super Tucano aircraft, will at least have a well equipped army in the league of other equally big defend spenders like Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and South Africa. Sadly that is not the case.

The Ghanaian  Navy and Air Force is basically non-existent. The Ghanaian air force fields no fighter jet, neither does the Ghanaian Navy have frigates or corvettes, and with an active duty personnel of 13,500 men, the Ghanaian military is certainly among the smallest in the world.

But that’s where the bad stuff ends.

While the Ghanaian Navy and Air Force might be nothing to write home about, the Ghanaian army is one of the most professional and best equiped in West Africa, and its easy to see why. Fundamentally its easier to kit a small army than a large one. Despite spending a paltry 2% of its GDP on defence, the Ghanaian army fields an impressive array of modern platforms, some of which cannot be found in the inventory of the Nigerian Army. It’s not hyperboly.

Special Relationship

The Special Relationship between Ghana and Nigeria has been one of the most enduring alliances in Africa, until recently that is. Simmering tensions between West Africa’s two greatest economic and military powers has raised doubts about the strength of the Nigeria-Ghana special relationship.

While Ghana is looking to befriend the West economically, especially since the discovery of oil, its growing diplomatic clout has increasingly focused in recent years on managing its national rank and file independent of ECOWAS’s periphery, and has taken the first step in becoming the only English-speaking nation in Africa to host a U.S military base. This move, not sanctioned by the ECOWAS Council could one day pose greater risk to Nigeria’s interests in ECOWAS beyond.

The range and capabilities of foreign military bases in West Africa continues to grow, making the region one of the worlds most militarized, and making a direct defense of Nigeria’s interests in the region potentially more costly.

As these trends continue, Nigeria will find itself gradually pushed more toward the threat of horizontal or vertical escalation for deterrence. If President Buhari loses the upcoming election and a more hardline proactive President takes office, there will be an attendant risks of counter-escalation. Neither Nigeria nor Ghana is likely to start a shooting war. Transnational wars is basically going extinct. Besides neither country have the logistical asset necessary to carry out military operations far from home base.

But because Nigeria’s leadership lack strategic depth, they have allowed the militarization of the region giving away Nigeria’s strategic advantage . So even an initially localized conflict could quickly spread into the economic, cyber, and space realms, by the powers that be. They can inflict considerable damage and brining Nigeria to her kneel without even stepping a foot on Nigerian soil.

Unlike Ghana or Mali or Chad or Cameroon or Egypt, or Algeria….or basically any country with competent leaders, Nigeria does not have military allies with any country to back up its ambitions. In a region saturated with powers competing for influence and building permanent military facilities, Nigeria’s far bigger navy or Air Force counts for nothing. The country will be pummeled into submission.

Also Nigeria far outspends the next 14 member states combined when it comes to defense. But there is hardly any corresponding assets on the ground. The Nigerian government has had ten years to build up a military powerful enough to provide some semblance of deterrence. Close relations with North Korea, China, Brazil and even Russia have made overtures to the Nigerian government on security cooperation. The offers were all rejected.

One advantage for Nigeria ? It’s massive population. Nigeria counts roughly 200,000 active service members, and another 32,000 in reserves and 180,000 military police, or the largest ground force in sub-sahara Africa.

Let’s take a look at some of the weapons system in the Ghanaian army arsenal.

WZ524 Infantry Fighting Vehicle

This infantry fighting vehicle is armed 12.7mm heavy machine gun, and the other with a small turret armed with a 35mm grenade launcher, a 7.62mm co-axial general purpose machine gun and a roof mounted 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun.

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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle

The Nigerian army equivalent of this class of IFV is the Ukranian built BTR-3 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

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Nigerian Army BTR-3 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
Ghana Army D-30 122 mm towed artillery gun.
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Ghana Army D-30 122 mm towed artillery gun.
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Ghana Army field artillery troops.

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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle

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Ghana Army Piranha amoured infantry fighting vehicle.
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Ghana Army Piranha amoured infantry fighting vehicle.

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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
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Ghana Army RM-70 Multiple Launch Rocket Artillery System.
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Ghana Army RM-70 Multiple Launch Rocket Artillery System.
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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
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Ghana army WZ524 Amoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle
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Ghana Army Humvees.
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Female Ghanaian soldiers.



7 Replies to “What Ghana’s Army Look Like Compared to Nigeria.”

  1. all these are junk bro, compared to the Nigeria army arsenal, and point of correction, the Nigeria army has the best and most capable logistics at it disposal, with over 6000+ logistical vehicle, in terms of harware and personel, The Nigeria army outnumber the Ghanian, 10 -1. You get that bro

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr Pelumioshin, your analogy is flawed. Never did I say the Ghanaian armed forces trumps that of Nigeria. I am simply making a case in which deep down you know I am %100. Nigeria has no equivalent to those Chinese tank destroyers fielded by the Chadian and Ghanaian armed forces. The closest we have to that is BTR-3. For a country barely the size of Lagos with an economy barely half that of Lagos and facing no clear external threat the Ghanaian armed forces looks like it’s in pretty good shape. They have basically the same artillery hardware and some. This post is an indictment of the Nigerian army. You cannot honestly tell me that for a country that’s been at war for over a decade with over $26 billion spent on security, what we have in ground is worthy of Africa’s wealthiest country with arguably one of the most combat experience. It is sad the Nigerian armed forces should be up there with nations of the same league as Nigeria, I’m talking about South Africa, Algeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Morroco. These countries have a fraction of Nigeria’s financial options. We can aquire platform without touching our dollar reserves by paying with commodities. The security imperative is there, the need for a strong military is obvious, yet we choose to remain in the league of tiny countries whose combined active duty forces is about half the size of the Nigerian police force. Does it not bother you that Africa’s first trillion dollar economy with the second in foreign reserves (after Algeria) find it difficult to kit all units of the army with the Beryl assault rifle and dump the AK-47 for good? Does it not bother you that Nigeria has about six F-7Ni interceptors to protect Nigerias airspace? Does it not bother you that a nation at war still refuses to invest in modern platforms, instead we fly L-39ZA and Alpha jet trainers as the workhorse of the Nigerian Air Force? There is no greater patriot than I am and you know that. But there are times we have to put aside patriotic sentiment and have the truth. Take a good look at the Ghanaian armed forces. This country spends $350 million on defence. That’s less than the amount Nigeria is expending to aquire 12 turboprop Super Tucabo aircraft. Think about that for a second. We are one of Africa’s biggest defence spenders….it is sad the kind of leadership Nigeria has been bedevilled with. What will it take for the Nigerian government to take the security of th3 nation serious? A nuclear attack? What will it take for Nigerians to stop making excuses for the corrupt officials who allocate billions of dollars in annual defence spending but with nothing to show for it. All we hear about is the NAF opening a sewing machine factory, a sporting complex, housing units….meanwhile the Air Force lacks capital assets despite the fact the security situation is getting worse. Does it not bother you that countries like Cameroon and Chad can unilaterally carry out unauthorized military operation on Nigerian soil, raze down villages, kill civilians and casually stroll back across the border. Does it not bother you that the weaker Nigeria has gotten, the greater the intensity of foreign military bases right in our own backyard. Is that something to be proud of? 6,000 logistical vehicles cannot defend Nigeria’s airspace. Does it not bother you that countries like Chad and Gabon field SA-7 long range SAM batteries…not one battery but six. If Ghana finds itself at war with some radical group that has killed 30,000 of it’s citizens will the Ghanaian or any same government with the wealth of Nigeria prosecute the war the way Nigeria has been doing? Let’s do some critical thinking here and realise the Nigerian people is being shortchaned. Do not forget this is a trillion dollar economy with the world’s 10th largest proven oil reserves of about 40 billion barrels valued at over $6 trillion. If Ghana has 40 billion in proven oil reserve do you think they will not invest heavily in platforms to defend these assets? We talking about SAM batteries, interceptor aircraft, a well equipped Navy..possibly a submarine. The Nigerian military has lost strategic ground, that vacum created has been filled up by France and the United States. History will not forgive this generation of Nigerian leadership.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wow! your really an eye opener, deep down i can understand you so much, but what’s really happening, is it the decision makers or the so-called cabal, or should i say the so called power that be are hindering Nigeria from purchasing or what? what is really the problem here, kindly let me know, maybe i could make an article of it

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nigeria is stuck in an ideological and generational battle. We have the progressive SOUTH, educated with lots of people capable of taking this nation to the promised land. Then we have the north, of which %70 of its 80 million people is deliberately left uneducated by the cabals afraid of change, lacking in economic power the only thing they have is power and they are determined impose their unqualified leaders on the rest of the country at all cost. Deliberately kept illiterate, they become malleable to the whims and caprices of the northern elites.

        So we now have a situation where by 80 million southerners, the most educated and entrepreneurial group in Africa who’s back lies Nigeria’s economic development….doing their best to put the country on the path of development. All you need do is look at Lagos state, Aftica’s 5th largest economy with a GDP more than two of East Africa’s largest economy (Kenya and Ehtiopia) plus Ghana combined. Building Africa’s biggest infrastructural project not with oil money but private public partnership. This is a region rife with competent leaders and trying hard to put Nigeria on the part of progress.

        Then we have Northern Nigeria trying very hard to take Nigeria back to the stone ages with an army of 80 million northerners ready for Jihad should the north lose their grip on political power. Consequently we are rulled people who are incompetent and unqualified to run a company much less a country. They will go to war if the balance of political power goes to the progressive South. When Buhari lost his 3rd presidential bid youth corners and Christians in the north were hunted down and killed. One female corper was dismembered, cut into two.

        It will be naivety of the highest order if we expect a man that cannot properly articulate a sentence to understand and navigate the world of strategic geopolitics. It’s really sad that in just 5 years right under our noses the strategic balance in what used to be our exclusive sphere of influence has shifted to countries with educated and visionary leaders. Ghana today is the diplomatic heavyweight of West Africa…But then can you blame them? Can Buhari go to the UN and clearly articulate his vision for the region?

        It’s sad. When Nigeria lost Bakassi to Cameroon, the Nigerian Navy Eastern Command in Calabar lost access to the sea. For the first time in our history a Nigerian warship must seek permission from Cameroon to transit to the Atlantic. Till today that capability gap has not being plugged because we have clueless and unqualified people running the affairs of the country. We’ve had 13 years to rebuild the Nigerian armed forces….nothing has been done. Those in power do not understand the concept of strategic defence, air land and sea fusion in military posture. They fail to leverage on Nigeria’s economic and diplomatic power to further our national interest.

        Just take a look at our service chiefs. Absolutely clueless. We have a Chief of Air Staff that opens a ñew sewing machine factory every month..a gymnasium, sporting complexes……yet the Nigerian Air Force is overstretched. Since 2005 no new platforms have been acquired….when Nigeria finally decide to aquire platforms after 13 years what do we do? ….we spend almost a billion dollars buying 12 P51-Mustang with fancy toys…meanwhile our pilots are dying, not to enemy fire but to crashes because of the crap Nigeria flies. How many pilots have been lost to crashes !

        Then the Nigerian Military High Command decides to inject almost a billion dollars annually in extra budgetary funding specifically for the Boko Haram campaigne….and what does our Air Chief do? He starts building an army….completely forsaking it’s statutory role of defending the nation’s airspace, the NAF decides to time to compete with the Nigerian Army for combat duties in the Sambisa, all just for millions in operational allocations.

        Between 2013 and today three Air ForceSpecial Forces groups have been formed and there are plans for more, two tailoring compkex have bern built. A sports complex have been built, a forensic centre have beem opened, These are the men Nigeria is bedevilled with to handle out security.

        Competent people like Sowore or Elumelu or Fashola will never ever see the seat of power. Instead it’s men like Buhari or Atiku we keep recycling.
        Nigeria has had several opportunities to solidy it’s leadership position in Africa and build a strong deterrent. But those are the helm of affairs are just too clueless and corrupt to see this. Nations around Nigeria, nations who are not at war and forging strategic alliances and building up their military. We are stuck with leaders more concerned with creating fields for cattle herders and seeking re-election.

        These men have turned a bright and promising country into a laughing stock. Countries like Niger and Ghana are emboldened to publicly ridicule the Nigerian president with zero fear of retribution. We spend $300 million to settle the political impasse in the Gambia yet cannot release $200 million to retrofit and bring NNS Aradu back to service.


  2. Sometimes I really do think this writer, and a host of other Nigeria writers just want to spite and bring up controversial topics, for clearly know reason @ all, just make the comparison and save us the rest trash.


  3. Lol.. for myopic individuals such as Doigha Gift, sentiments cloud judgments, ignorance betides ineptitude. You lack the capacity to examine and criticize such an important topic. You’ll do better in gossip blogs!

    Perestroika has done a really good job outlining the deficiencies plaguing us collectively as a nation. Those patriotic enough with deep knowledge of politics and history would understand better. However, it is important to know that discussing these issues on blogs and pages will do little in correcting these ills & putting us on the right track.

    I’m more interested in reading about plans & strategies that’s can be put in place to change the current tide.


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