NNSL Online Archive


The Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) was the state-owned carrier of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 1959 to 1995, when it was liquidated. In its heyday, the NNSL was the pride of Nigeria and, by extension, Africa, as she offered direct and indirect employment to thousands of people in Nigeria and abroad. Under her wings, thousands of nationals and other Africans were trained in seafaring skills which they continued to use for their livelihoods thereafter.

Since the liquidation exercise, Nigeria’s efforts to refloat a national carrier of equivalent status have not materialized. As part of the objectives of this archive project, we have conducted oral interviews of the surviving seafarers, especially the master mariners, marine engineers and radio officers. These are presented here with other artefacts and information about the company for preview by interested members of the public.

Featured Pages

Links to interesting pages on the site...

History of NNSL

As the first high technology firm established by the independent nationstate, NNSL packs a lot of history. As one of the chief executive officers of the company put, everybody who became somebody in the new nation had something connected to NNSL either in Nigeria or overseas. There are many pages of this history in the archive. See Story of the National Line

Mission to Seamen

See some of the activities concerning the work of seafarers and the issues at stake in the Nigerian industry.

NNSL Pensions, Associations

Former employees of the NNSL continue to aggregate under various platforms and banners, including the Pensioners Welfare Association, the Nigerian Associations of Master Mariners, the Nigerian Institution of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects, the UK Association of former NNSL employees, etc. We have covered some of them in the archive records. You can visit the NNSL Pensioners Welfare Association here

NNSL Marine Casualties: The Sinking of Mv River Gurara

Read the inside details of how the ill-fated ship was lost at Cape Espichel in February 1989. See here for the story.

Many ships were used in the activities of the shipping line, for training, trading, as owned, on charter and for various purposes, including wartime assistance to Nigerian soldiers during the civil war. We have some of the pictures and brief characteristics of the vessels used. Click here to access Fleet History page.

NNSL E-book