Nigerian Army Ranks and Salary Structure

What Are Nigeria Army Ranks In Order?

If you are contemplating joining the Nigerian Army, you may want to know about the ranks and available positions in the Force. Even if you are joining the Army to serve the country, you will be interested to know how much you will earn every month as an army officer in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Army is a wing of the Nigerian Armed Forces, which comprises other arms such as the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Army is the largest of the Nigerian Armed Forces in terms of military strength. Typically, the Nigerian Army is responsible for warfare operations on land, the Nigerian Navy is responsible for marine warfare, and the Nigerian Air Force is concerned with matters on air.

The Nigerian Armed Forces are one of the largest armed forces in Africa. The Nigerian Army Council is responsible for managing and directing the affairs of the Nigerian Army. Despite having one of the strongest military forces in Africa, it is one of the most equipped.

They have been involved in peacekeeping missions and combat activities, including local and international. One of their combat operations is the insurgency in Northern Nigeria, where they have tried to suppress the activities of the Boko Haram terrorists and bandits.

The Nigerian military is a renowned agency that protects Nigerians. Being a member of the military forces is a worthy goal for anyone who wishes to serve their country. If you want to learn more about the Nigerian military, specifically the Nigerian Army, read this article about the ranks and emblems of the Nigerian Army.


That said, if you have come here to find the ranks in the Nigerian Army and the salary of army officers in Nigeria, you’ve arrived at the correct place. This post shares details about the Nigerian army ranks, salary structure, and how much Nigerian soldiers are paid monthly.

The Nigerian Military’s Structure

Before we go into the subject of Nigerian army ranks, let’s take a moment to talk about the Nigerian military in general. It assumed its current form in 1960, the same year that Nigeria gained independence.

The military’s role is to defend the country and protect Nigerians from internal and external dangers. In addition to that, they also maintain and uphold the country’s structural integrity.

Nigerian Armed Forces and its Branches

The Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Armed Forces comprises the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy, and the Nigerian Air Force.

  • The Nigerian Army is responsible for keeping the peace on the ground, enforcing the law, and overseeing humanitarian missions.
  • The Nigerian Navy operates open waters to ensure the country’s security remains tight on the marines.
  • The Nigerian Airforce provides aviation support, cargo delivery, and other air tasks.

History of the Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army was established in 1960 and is responsible for ground warfare, Nigerian Armed Forces’ primary defensive branch. The Nigerian Army Council is in charge of it (NAC). The Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) was founded in Nigeria in 1900 with the formation of the first elements.

They were trained by the colonialists (British), and they participated in World War II by fighting for Great Britain as part of the 1st (West Africa) Infantry Brigade, the 81st & 82nd (West Africa) Division.

During the time Nigeria gained independence from Great Britain, the number of officers in the Nigerian Army was around 18,000. In 1970, after the civil war, the number rose to 126,000 and was divided into three divisions. The number of officers increased because the Nigerian Army recruited more people during the civil war.

History of the Nigerian Army

The numerical strength of the Nigerian Army made it possible for them to defeat the Biafran Army. However, it caused a drop in the standard of force. The number of commissioned officers among the 126,000 was deemed too low, and this shortage decreased quality. Lieutenant Colonels commanded brigades, whereas sergeants commanded platoons.

During the Nigerian-Biafran civil war, the three divisions of the Nigerian Army were fighting independently, all competing for manpower, materials, and resources.


Some of the functions and duties of the Nigerian Army include:

  • Defend the country from external attack or aggression.
  • Protect Nigerian citizens and territories.
  • Perform basic defensive operations.
  • Restore order in a geographical location (if needed).
  • Recruit, train, and equip new officers to carry out military operations on land.
  • Ensure the enforcement and adherence of immigration laws.
  • Overcome insurrection.
  • Help restore peace during an emergency.
  • Defend our customs, historic sites, natural resources, properties, and areas of high importance.
  • Maintaining territorial integrity and safeguarding its borders from land, sea, and air threats;
  • When called upon by the President, suppress insurgency and assist civil authorities in restoring order, but only under the circumstances imposed by an Act of the National Assembly.
  • Perform any further duties that an act of the National Assembly may impose.

Now that you have known the duties and functions of the Nigerian Army, it is time to know its ranks and salary structure.

Nigerian Army Ranks

Nigeria Army Ranks and Salary Structure

The Nigerian Army is divided into two categories:

  • The commissioned officers.
  • The non-commissioned officers.

Ranks For Commissioned Officers In The Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army has 11 ranks for commissioned officers. They are as follows:

  1. Field Marshal (5-Star General) — the highest rank in the Nigerian Army.
  2. General (4-Star General).
  3. Lieutenant General (3-Star General).
  4. Major General (2-Star General).
  5. Brigadier General (1-Star General).
  6. Colonel.
  7. Lieutenant Colonel.
  8. Major.
  9. Captain.
  10. Lieutenant.
  11. Second Lieutenant — lowest rank.

Ranks For Non-Commissioned Officers In The Nigerian Army

Non-commissioned officers in the Nigerian Army are divided into eight ranks. They are listed as follows:

  1. Warrant Officer Class I.
  2. Warrant Officer Class II.
  3. Staff Sergeant.
  4. Sergeant.
  5. Corporal.
  6. Lance-corporal.
  7. Private.
  8. Recruit.

What is the Meaning of the Symbols in the Nigerian Army Flag Logo?

So, what exactly does it all imply?

nigerian army logo
  • The eagle represents the army’s beauty and power. The army, like an eagle, keeps vigil throughout peacetime and attacks foes with terrifying precision during wartime.
  • The star, designed in 1914, symbolizes Nigeria’s unity. A black star has blended with the yellow star, creating what appears to be a shadow. The two stars represent the Southern and Northern Protectorates, which merged to form Nigeria.
  • The slogan of the Nigerian Army is ‘Victory comes from God alone,’ written in Arabic.
  • The color red denotes enemy forces; it is standard practice in NATO to utilize this color in military units. The black represents the cavalry and other troops. The two colors are arranged in the same way as the Nigerian flag green and white.

It’s also worth noting that, aside from the Nigerian Police Force, where ranks and rankings are crucial, the practice has a long history in the Nigerian military services, including the army, navy, and air force. There are two types of officers in the Nigerian armed forces: commissioned and non-commissioned. The senior officers have commissioned officers, whereas the rank and file, or extremely junior officers, are non-commissioned.

Commissioned Officers: Nigerian Army Salary Structure 2023/2024

Let’s start with the Nigerian army’s commission officers before moving on to the non-commissioned officers’ compensation structure. Please note that the officers underwent training at the Nigerian Defense Academy before being commissioned.

Second LieutenantN120,000
Lt. ColonelN350,000
Brigadier GeneralN750,000
Major GeneralN950,000
Lt. GeneralN1 million
GeneralN1.5 million

Noncommissioned Officer (NCO):

We have published the Nigerian Army Noncommissioned Officer Salary Structure and Ranks below. Please carefully review the Nigerian Army Salary Structure and Ranks below. To avoid being confused, everything has been provided in a tabular format.

Staff SergeantN68,000
Warrant OfficerN80,000
Master Warrant OfficerN90,000

You should be aware of some important facts concerning the Nigerian Army

  • In terms of total numbers, they are Africa’s greatest ground force.
  • They have participated in more international peacekeeping missions than any other African country.
  • They have taken part in peacekeeping missions across the whole continent, including Asia and the Middle East.
  • The Nigerian army’s sacrifices are responsible for the peace and stability that countries like Liberia now enjoy.


If you are interested in joining the Nigerian Army, visit the Nigerian Army portal to register for the recruitment exercise. This is all you need to know about Nigeria’s Army ranks and salaries. If you have any questions or contributions, leave them in the comments box.


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