Nigerian Army Ranks and Nigerian Army Salaries


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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If you will be joining the Nigerian Army either as a recruit or through short service any time soon, you must get yourself familiar with the Nigerian Army ranks as well as their structured monthly salaries.

Essentially, the military or Nigerian Armed forces are very important for every country of the world. They are often group into three (3) parts namely; the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, and the Nigerian Air Force.

The Nigerian Army is the land soldiers, the Navy is responsible for guiding the seaports while the Nigerian Air Force is saddled with the responsibility of manning the activities of Airlines.

Related: First Bank Salary Structure: How much does first bank staff earn?

Knowing the symbols and rankings of the military forces is essential whether you have the desire to become a khaki man in the future or you just want to understand the Nigerian Army salary structure, their roles, ranks, years of establishment, and more in general.

Brief History Of The Nigerian Army

Brief History Of The Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army is formerly called the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) and the arm forces were established in 1890. In a bid to ensure that they are well disciplined and well drill, their first training was under the command of the British soldiers.

This gave them the edge to actively participated and fight for the British cause in World War 2. Being a military force, the Nigerian Army is authorized to apply reasonable force and deadly weapons to guide and protect the state, its interest, and its citizens.

The Nigerian Army is the land officers of the Nigerian Military Forces is, without any doubt, the largest among the three branches of the Armed Forces. Their major formations cover the 1st Division, 2nd Division, 3rd Armored Division, the 81st Division, the 82nd Division, as well as the recently formed 7th Division.

Functionally, they are to defend and protect the citizens and the nation in case of any internal or external threat and they are always ready to fight in case any country of the world declares war on Nigeria.

Related: List of Oil Companies in Nigeria and their salaries

Functions of the Nigerian Army


That being said, some other uses and functions of the Nigerian Armed Forces are highlighted as follows:

  • Defending and protecting the country from any kinds of external aggression;
  • Promoting political agenda;
  • Maintaining the country territorial integrity as well as securing its borders from all sorts of violation coming through its land border, sea, or air;
  • Controlling the general population of the country for peaceful coexistence;
  • Guarding critical areas;
  • Suppress any act of insurrection in aid of the civil authorities to bring or restore peace and order when called upon by the President if such instance is entrenched in the Constitution;
  • Taking part in coordinating curfew in case of any emergency;
  • Perform any other function or functions as may be domesticated by any Act of the parliament.

The Nigerian Army Ranks

At this juncture, it is very crucial to note that rank and rankings are not only significant to the Nigeria Police Force only, the practice is, however, has been — from time immemorial — categorically entrenched in the Nigerian armed forces which cover the land army, the navy, and the air force.

That being said, the classes of officers obtainable in the Nigerian military forces are divided into two, namely;

  1. The Commissioned Officers; and
  2. The Non-commissioned Officers.

Related: A full list of the highest paying government jobs in Nigeria.

The Commissioned officers

Under the Nigerian Army, the Commissioned officers are all sorts of officers that held various posts or positions that are of higher ranks. In a layperson term, they are referred to as the officers of the senior ranks.

The available hierarchy or rank of the commissioned gallant soldiers in the Nigerian Armed Forces are eleven (11) and they’ll be listed as follows:

  1. Field Marshal;
  2. General;
  3. Lieutenant General;
  4. Major General;
  5. Brigadier General;
  6. Colonel;
  7. Lieutenant Colonel;
  8. Major;
  9. Captain;
  10. First Lieutenant; and
  11. Second Lieutenant.

1. Field Marshal

Nigerian Amy Field Marshal Insignia
Field Marshal

Talking of the Nigerian Army rank and rankings, the Field Marshal is the highest a military officer can ever attain. However, all findings and evidence to show that there were (in the past) field marshals in the country’s history proved abortive.

As high and decorative as this rank is, there is no single Nigerian in history to have attained it. Being the highest, officers in this position are given a five-star rank.

2. General

Nigerian Army General Insignia

General is next to Field Marshal and it is the highest feat the Nigerian commissioned officers have ever achieved. Military personnel holding the position of General in Nigeria will be decorated with a four-star rank, a position ranked as number nine by NATO.

3. Lieutenant General

Nigerian Army Lieutenant General Insignia
Lieutenant General

The Lieutenant General is regarded as a high commissioned military officer in Nigeria. He has a three-star rank decorated on his shoulder and the position is ranked as the number eight by NATO.

4. Major General

Nigerian Army Major General Insignia
Major General

The Major General is next to General and it’s considered as a medium commissioned officer in Nigeria. Officers with this rank are decorated with two stars and they are ranked seventh by NATO.

5. Brigadier General

Nigerian Army Brigadier General Insignia
Brigadier General

Any military officer with a one-star rank is called Brigadier General in Nigeria. Under NATO, such a position is regarded as the sixth rank.

6. Colonel

Nigerians Army Colonel Insignia

Colonel is a lower-level commissioned officer under the Nigerian Army rank and ranking system and it is the topmost field officer. NATO ranked it with a five.

7. Lieutenant Colonel

Nigerian Army Lieutenant Colonel Insgnia
Lieutenant Colonel

The Lieutenant Colonel can also be referred to as the deputy Colonel. Any army officer with this rank will definitely be a field officer, albeit of the middle degree and such officer got rank four under NATO.

8. Major

Nigerian Army Major Insiginia

Although Major is also a commissioned officer but with a lower level amid the field officer. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) gives it three.

9. Captain

Nigerian Army Captain Insiginia

The highest rank or officer in the Nigerian tactical troops is Captain. He controls and gives orders to it battalion or squad on the field and it is ranked as two by NATO.

10. First Lieutenant

Nigerian Army First Lieutenant Insiginia
First Lieutenant

The First Lieutenant deputize the Captain on the field in his absence and he serves as his immediate successor. NATO gives it one.

11. Second Lieutenant

Nigerian Army Second Lieutenant Insiginia
Second Lieutenant

The Second Lieutenant is subordinate or assistance to the First Lieutenant and he has the same ranking and star under NATO.

The Non-commissioned Officers

The Non-commissioned officers are the military personnel’s that are not holding any significant position in the army. They are often referred to as the rank and file or junior officers.

Unlike the Commissioned Officers, there are eight categories of ranks available in the Nigerian Army for the non-commissioned officers and they are as follows:

  • Master Warrant Officer: it’s the highest order of the non-commissioned officers. Any military personnel found in this category has the potential of being promoted to the Commissioned category.
  • Warrant Officer: Very next to the Master Warrant Officer. He acts on his behalf whenever he’s on official duty or indisposed.
  • Staff Sergeant: A very low-profile officer and a senior to the Sergeant.
  • Sergeant: He deputizes the Staff Sergeant in his absence.
  • Corporal: A lower officer in the Nigerian Army department.
  • Lance Corporal: Still inferior to the Corporal but they are both junior non-commissioned officers.
  • Private: A graduate from the recruit. He’s young and has a long way to go in the Nigerian military service.
  • Recruit: Very young and new with little experience in the Nigeria Armed Forces. They are often the new intake with just an SSCE certificate couple with six (6) rigorous training. Most often, they are usually dragged to the field under the command of a commissioned officer i.e. Captian.

The Nigerian Army Salaries and Salary Structure

Many people out there are of the humble and firm belief that the military men are being paid handsomely considering the rigorous training, risks, and all sorts they underwent trying to save and protect the lives of the civilian. But this is not true at all. Using an calculator, that is designed for hourly to salary calculator, you’ll be able to see the true value of the salary of the Nigerian army.

Without prejudice, let’s carefully highlight the Nigerian Army Salaries and see how true people’s assertion is. But for clarity, we will firstly itemize that of the Commissioned officers before the non-commissioned officers’ salaries follow:

The Nigerian Army Salaries and Salary Structure


1. Field Marshal | N/A

2.  General | N1,500.000

3. Lieutenant General | N1,000,000

4. Major General | N950,000

5. Brigadier General | N750,000

6. Colonel | N550,000

7. Lieutenant Colonel | N350,000

8. Major  | N300,000

9. Captain | N220,000

10. Lieutenant | N180,000

11. Second Lieutenant | N120,000


1. Warrant Officer (Class 1) | N90,000

2. Warrant Officer (Class 2) | N80,000

3. Sergeant | N68,000

4. Sergeant | N63,000

5. Corporal | N58,000

6. Lieutenant corporal | N55,000

7. Private | N53,000

8. Recruit | N49,000

End Note

The above discussed are the Nigerian Army Rank and Ranking System and the Nigerian Army Salaries and Salary Structure. We hereby humbly declare that we have no connection with the Nigerian Armed Forces whatsoever.

The above-highlighted ranks and salary scale are birthed out as a result of extensive research, and such, take notice that the salary earn by individual officers is subject to change at the discretion of the Government. But we’ll try our best to ensure that we keep the list updated from time to time.


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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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