NDLEA salary structure: ranks, pay and qualitifications explained

NDLEA salary structure: ranks, pay and qualitifications explained

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is a body that is in charge of drug policy and control in Nigeria. It is mandated to terminate the manufacturing, importation, exportation, selling, and entire processing of illicit drugs that NAFDAC does not approve. If you wish to join the agency, here is the NDLEA salary structure, ranks, pay, and qualifications.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. MB Marwa (Retd) CON at the NDLEA National Headquarters in Abuja (L) and NDLEA logo (R)
Chairman of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. MB Marwa receives the Commander on a courtesy visit to the NDLEA National Headquarters (L) and the NDLEA logo (R). Photo: @ndlea_nigeria on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC


The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency was established by Decree#48 of 29 December 1989. They often target airports and other points where people may cross the border. The NDLEA salary structure is based on rank and education and should align with the Consolidated Para-Military Salary Structure (CONPASS).

NDLEA salary structure and rank

NDLEA salary is also based on the level of education one holds. Those who join the agency as graduates earn higher amounts than those who join with an SSCE certificate. The NDLEA is also classified based on rank or grades.

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The monthly salary for a graduate, an HND holder, or a BSC holder at the NDLEA is about ₦110,743 to ₦130,293. Below is a complete list of NDLEA ranks and salaries for its officers.

RanksMonthly salary (₦)Annual salary (₦)
Grade 146,321 to 47,561410,667 to 451,057
Grade 247,061 to 48,651564,804 to 583,848
Grade 348,851 to 49,551586,248 to 664,236
Grade 451,641 to 55,351619,740 to 664,234
Grade 554,741 to 59,751656,952 to 717,072
Grade 690,451 to 98,3311,085,472 to 1,180,032
Grade 7110,741 to 130, 2911,328,916 to 1,563,516
Grade 8143,021 to 151,0811,716,276 to 1,813,044
Grade 9151,731 to 179,0511820,868 to 2,148,600
Grade 10205,671 to 223,4512,468,076 to 2,681,400
Grade 11220,381 to 256,7412,644,608 to 3,080,988
Grade 12236,571 to 268,9012,838,936 to 3,226,096
Grade 13307,821 to 378,0013,693,912, to 4,536,096
Grade 14379,231 to 392,0014,550,856, to 4,704,096
Grade 15425,901 to 501,6515,110,872 to 6,019,884

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Note: These salaries are not fixed as they may increase due to the economy of Nigeria at any time.

NDLEA ranks and qualifications

NDLEA ranks are based on academic qualifications; a higher qualification translates to a higher rank. Here are the different ranks based on qualifications.

SSCE certificatePrivate of Narcotics
National Diploma or NCELance Corporal of Narcotics
HND or BSCAssistant Superintendent of Narcotic II

There are various NDLEA ranks in Nigeria. These ranks are broadly categorised into two groups: commissioned and non-commissioned cadres.

Commissioned NDLEA ranks

There are eight categories of commissioned Nigerian NDLEA ranks, as explored below. They are listed in ascending order.

  • Commander General of Narcotics.
  • Deputy Commander General of Narcotics.
  • Commander of Narcotics.
  • Deputy Commander of Narcotics.
  • Chief Superintendent of Narcotics.
  • Superintendent of Narcotics.
  • Assistant Superintendent of Narcotics.
  • Assistant Superintendent of Narcotic II.

Non-commissioned NDLEA ranks

Check out the six non-commissioned NDLEA ranks below. They are listed in ascending order.

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  • Inspector of Narcotics
  • Assistant Inspector of Narcotics
  • Senior Corporal of Narcotics
  • Corporal of Narcotics
  • Lance Corporal of Narcotics
  • Private of Narcotics

NDLEA allowances and benefits

The NDLEA workers are entitled to various allowances and benefits. These are:

  • House allowance
  • Medical allowance
  • Travelling allowance
  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Pension plan
  • Stock options
  • Paid sick leave
  • Dental benefits
  • Mean vouchers
  • Annual 13-month bonuses
  • Time off on public holidays
  • Mobile phone performance-based bonus
  • Maternity leave for female
  • Training allowance

What are the duties of the NDLEA officers?

Each NDLEA officer has their specific duties. Overall, some of their main duties are as outlined below:

  1. Help to stop the production of illicit substances.
  2. Eradicate illegal substance trafficking and usage.
  3. Suppression of demand for such goods.
  4. Recovering all the country losses which occurred as a result of illicit substance production and trafficking processes.
  5. Help in preventive drug abuse.
  6. Rehabilitation of drug users

What is the NDLEA training allowance?

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The NDLEA training allowance ranges from ₦15,000 to ₦25,000 for those who join the service with SSCE, NCE or National Diploma. For graduate holders, the allowance is between ₦25,000 and ₦45,000.

A person joining the NDLEA as a graduate must possess either HND or BSC. The duration of the NDLEA training depends on the level of education. Individuals joining the service with SSCE, NCE, or a National Diploma should undergo a six-month training, while those with an HND or BSC can train up to nine months to a year.

Several basic NDLEA requirements need to be met, which are:

  • You must be a Nigerian citizen.
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
  • Have a minimum of a second-class honours degree from a recognised institution.
  • Have at least five years of relevant work experience.
  • Possess excellent communication and leadership skills.
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English.

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NDLEA basic requirements for SSCE holders

  • You must be a Nigerian citizen.
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • You must have a minimum of secondary school education level.
  • You must be physically and mentally fit.
  • You must be able to pass a drug test.
  • You must have a valid ID card.

Who is the NDLEA chairman?

The current chairman for NDLEA is Brig. Gen Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd.)

Is NDLEA a paramilitary organization?

NDLEA is among the paramilitary organisations in Nigeria in charge of fighting drug abuse and trafficking.

What is the NDLEA salary for SSCE holders?

The average monthly salary for SSCE certificate holders ranges between ₦46,320 to ₦47,565.

What is the NDLEA salary structure for O'Level?

Those joining with a National Diploma or NCE range between ₦47,067 to ₦48,654 monthly.

What is the NDLEA salary structure for a graduate?

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For a graduate who holds the HND and BSC, their monthly salary ranges between ₦110,743 to ₦130,293.

What is the NDLEA recruitment salary?

NDLEA recruits are new entrants into the agency who must undergo training. They, therefore, have no official monthly salary. They are entitled to the NDLEA training allowance of between ₦25,000 to ₦45,000.

The NDLEA salary structure is determined based on the level of education one holds when joining the agency. NDLEA is a Nigerian paramilitary organisation created to eliminate different processes which encourage the growth, processing, manufacturing, and trafficking of illicit substances.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not sponsored by any third party. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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Isaac Wangethi (Lifestyle writer) Isaac Wangethi has been a content writer at Legit since September 2021. He has gained valuable experience working on various projects, such as celebrity biographies, lifestyle, news and many more. Isaac won the Writer of the Year Award on Legit in 2023. He earned a Bsc. of Science in Information Technology in 2017 from the University of Nairobi and a Higher Diploma in Computer Software Engineering from Gretsa University in 2021. In 2023, Isaac finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. In March 2024, he completed the Google News Initiative course. Email: Wangethin@gmail.com

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