Ranks in the Nigerian Army and their salaries (Updated 2021)

Ranks in the Nigerian Army and their salaries (Updated 2021)

The military forces are essential for every country. They have different functions and often divided into three parts - army, navy and air force. Knowing the rankings and symbols of the forces is necessary whether you want to become a part of the military or just to understand the role of the army in general.

Ranks in the Nigerian Army
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

What is military in Nigeria?

Before discussing the army ranks, it is important to know what the military is and its primary task. The military is the armed forces.

The military is authorised to apply deadly force and weapons in order to protect the interests of the state and its citizens. It has to defend the citizens and the country in case of threat or declared war from another country. The military also may have other other functions in the country, for example:

  • Controlling the population within the country;
  • Taking part in case of an emergency;
  • Guarding critical areas;
  • Promoting political agenda.

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Sometimes the military may function as a subculture within a larger society. It means that the military has its infrastructure in a certain area. They may have:

  • Schools;
  • Banks;
  • Different utilities;
  • Logistics;
  • Food production;
  • Health and medical services.

Types of military forces in Nigeria

As we mentioned before the Nigerian forces are divided into three categories that have different functions and obligations:


Nigerian Navy
Image: facebook.com, @nigeriannavyhq
Source: Facebook

The Navy is the water-focused military force. It is designed for naval and sea-related warfare. Most of the Naval Headquarters of Nigeria are based in Abuja, Bayelsa, Calabar and Lagos. Besides that, there are naval bases and training facilities throughout Nigeria. The primary responsibilities of the Navy are:

  • Medical support;
  • Regional security;
  • Marine cleanups;
  • Training missions at sea;
  • Rescue operations at sea, etc.

The Air Force

Nigerian Air Force
Image: facebook.com, @hqnigerianairforce
Source: Facebook

The Nigerian Air Force is one of the largest in Africa. This is not surprising as there are about 10,000 active personnel at any given time. There are also a lot of helicopters, military transport aircraft, trainers, and fighters.

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  • Their responsibilities include:
  • Rescue operations;
  • Cargo transportation;
  • Bombing runs;
  • Airborne mapping;
  • Air-support (mostly for on-land operations);
  • Medical assistance;
  • Target monitoring;

The Nigerian Army

Nigerian Army
Image: twitter.com, @HQNigerianArmy
Source: Twitter

The last but not least. In fact, it is the largest component of the Nigerian Military Forces. In 2016 there were more than 100,000 soldiers of different ranks. In addition to being large, it is also one of the best equipped armed forces in Africa. Some of the obligations of the Nigerian Army are:

  • Law enforcement;
  • Base security;
  • Humanitarian missions;
  • Enemy targets engaging;
  • Supplies and troops transportations.

The ranks of the Nigerian Army

Now we know more about the army and its obligations, it is time to talk about the ranks in the Nigerian Army.

The force is divided into two categories:

  • The Non-Commissioned officers;
  • The Commissioned officers.

The non-commissioned officers are those who have not earned a commission (a formal document that appoints one to a commissioned officer).

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Ranks in the Nigerian Army
Image: gettyimages.com
Source: Getty Images

There are eight ranks of the non-commissioned officers in the Nigerian Army. From highest to lowest:

  1. Master Warrant Officer
  2. Warrant Officer
  3. Staff Sergeant
  4. Sergeant
  5. Corporal
  6. Lance Corporal
  7. Private
  8. Recruit

The commissioned officers earned a commission. There are 11 ranks of commissioned officers. From highest to lowest:

  1. Field Marshal: The highest rank in the military. However, there is no written evidence that there were field marshals in the history of Nigeria. It has a five-star rank.
  2. General: The highest rank that was in fact achieved by a Nigerian. A four-star rank in Nigeria and ranked as nine by NATO.
  3. Lieutenant General: The high commissioned officer. A three-star rank in Nigeria and indicated as eight by NATO.
  4. Major General: The medium commissioned officer. In Nigeria, it is ranked with two stars while NATO indicates it by seven.
  5. Brigadier General: A one star rank in Nigeria. NATO indicates the rank by number six.
  6. Colonel: The lower lever commissioned officer by the highest field officer. NATO gives it a five.
  7. Lieutenant Colonel: The deputy to Colonel. He is the field officer of the middle level with rank four from NATO.
  8. Major. The lower category of the field officer. NATO indicates it by three.
  9. Captain. The highest rank in the tactical troops. It is indicated by NATO as two.
  10. First Lieutenant. He is the deputy of the Captain. The immediate superior rank. NATO states it by one.
  11. Second Lieutenant: He is subordinate to the First Lieutenant but has the same NATO ranking.

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Salary structure of the Nigerian Army

Nigerian military
Image: gettyimages.com
Source: Getty Images

The salary depends on the rank of the officer. The salaries of non-commissioned officers are:

  • Master Warrant Officer - N90,000;
  • Warrant Officer - N80,000;
  • Staff Sergeant - N68,000;
  • Sergeant - N63,000;
  • Corporal - N58,000;
  • Lance Corporal earns about N54,000-55,000;
  • Private Soldier earns about N48,000-49,000.

The salaries of commissioned officers are:

  • General - N1.5 million;
  • Lieutenant General - N1 million;
  • Major General - N950,000;
  • Brigadier General- N750,000;
  • Colonel - N550,000;
  • Lieutenant Colonel - N350,000;
  • Major - N300,000;
  • Captain - N220,000;
  • Lieutenant - N180,000;
  • Second Lieutenant - N120,000.

Now you know more about the Nigerian Military Forces. Each type has its obligations and the ranks are different, but all of them are equally important. If you want to have a career in the Army, then knowing the ranks is essential for the interview at the Nigerian Military School or Nigerian Defence Academy.

Source: Legit.ng

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