Nigeria's Defence Intelligence Agency was created when, in 1986, fulfilling one of the promises made in his first national address as president, Ibrahim Babangida issued Decree Number 19, dissolving the National Security Organization (NSO) and restructuring the country's security services into three separate entities under the Office of the Co-ordinator of National Security.
The Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) was given responsibility for military intelligence. The other two agencies were:
- State Security Service (SSS), responsible for domestic intelligence
- National Intelligence Agency (NIA), responsible for Foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations
Operatives within the Defence Intelligence Agency go under a 12-week training process at the Defence Intelligence School which was devised by the United States African Command (AFRICOM). This training is conducted by instructors at the European Regional Intelligence Training Facility of the United States.