[Latest!] Nigerian Army Ranks & Salary Structure

Oasdom.com Nigerian army ranks and salary struction of Nigerian Military ranking
Oasdom.com Nigerian army ranks and salary struction of Nigerian Military ranking

I would have thought it only imaginable; the beauty of the parade, there is no doubt the arrangement had been according to the Nigerian army ranks.

The camo uniform colour popped out in all of its hues, the dignified way the left feet struck out before the right feet, the stern look on their faces…badass…

Nigerian army military ranks

Their ears and reflex at alert as they immediately obeyed the command that was not completely said before it was responded to in action.

Was it someone higher than them in the Nigerian army ranks that called those orders or? I really did not know, I was not bothered about all that. I had been taken by the beauty of the parade.

The admiration so visible on my face as I caught sight of a female soldier in her uniform, I could tell she had attained a level in the Nigerian army ranks. Hmm…make sense?

History of Nigerian Army

The Nigerian army and the Nigerian army ranks might have and might not have existed today without Lieutenant John Howley Glover, who played a historical major role in the founding of this part of the Nigerian armed forces.

It was told that on the 1st of June, 1863, the 34 year old man formed a group that was made of 10 – 15 northerners.

These northerners were said to be “freed Hausa slaves” by some history books while other history stories called them “Hausa runaway slaves” and others, something else but there is no Hausa missing in the description.

As characterized with Lieutenant John Glover and his normal controversial ways, he developed a tight bond that was deep enough to be qualified as loyalty with his group.

John Hawley Glover Nigerian army ranks
John Hawley Glover

He was said to have personally trained, transforming the “Hausa slaves” in to an elite group that had not attained a level in the Nigerian army ranks as they were not yet called the Nigerian army.

It can be said that the brotherhood bond shared in the Nigerian military, irrespective of the Nigerian military ranks, can be traced back to the training that had been instilled from day one of its first set.

Also Read: List of all Nigerian Presidents from 1960 Till date

They were an elite group called “Glover’s Hausas” or “Glover’s forty thieves”, during this time the Nigerian army and the Nigerian army ranks had not been born. Oh! They were not just “Glover’s Hausas” for free, record has it that they were paid with lands.

They were used by Lieutenant Glover to enforce law and order in Lagos and even protect trade routes, belonging to Britain around Lagos.

You cannot see them on the road and decided to treat them anyhow or slap them just like that because the uniform they wore labelled them.

In short the uniform announced them as property of Britain, the colonial government. You will explain excruciatingly how you slapped them.

Nigerian armed forces - military ranks in Nigeria

This is still in the present Nigerian army, they are popularly called “omo Ijoba” by some. In the year 1865, they were renamed; they were called the “Hausa constabulary” possibly because the majority were of the northern roots. After some time, they were referred to as “Lagos constabulary”.

On the 30th of September, 1885, Lieutenant John Howley Glover died, the “Lagos constabulary” did not dwell in their grief neither were they hindered by his death.

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By 1901, following notable accomplishments they had made, they were absorbed in to the West Africa Frontier Force along with other paramilitary units.

This incorporation birthed the Northern Nigerian Regiment and the Southern Nigeria Regiment; there was no more exclusivity to a state or area.

Then came the amalgamation in 1914, the Northern and Southern Nigerian Regiments were divided in to “1st Battalion”,  “2nd Battalion” and “3rd Battalion”, “4th Battalion” of the Nigerian Regiment respectively.

It later went on to be called the “Queens Own Nigerian Regiment”, then in the same year 1956, it was later called the “Nigerian Military Force”.

It would seem the 1st of June was to hold some sort of significance; just as it was founded on the 1st of June 1863, the British Army Council handed over control of the Nigerian military force to the Nigerian government on the 1st of June, 1958.

Also Read: History of The Nigerian Civil War With Biafra

As the year 1960 celebrated independence of Nigeria, so did it rename the “Nigerian Military Force” to “Royal Nigerian Army, (RNA)”.  The Royal Nigerian army existed as the “Nigerian Army” from 1963 till date.

It has been reported that with this change of name came a change in the uniform and rank structure and this is the story of the Nigerian army and the Nigerian army ranks.

Nigerian Military Ranking In The World

Let us talk about the Nigerian military ranking in the world, not Nigerian military ranks nor the Nigerian army ranks; I mean where Nigeria stands among other countries in the world.

Global fire power ranks the Nigeria army as the 4th strongest military in Africa where Nigerian infopedia says it is the 5th on the list of African countries with the highest military strength.

Nigerian Military Ranking In The World

With a military strength estimated at 1400 armoured vehicles, 360 tanks, 6000 logistical vehicles, and of course 17 Nigerian army ranks; the Nigerian army is positioned at 43rd position among the strongest in the world where the United states of America, Russia, Israel are way ahead at the top.

Dear readers, this is another topic for debate; God forbid o but if there is war between countries in the world, how rest assured are you in Nigeria?

Can you sleep with two eyes closed? Which of the countries should Nigeria dare not look for their trouble?

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Nigerian Army Ranks And Logo

The Nigerian army is a non negligible part of the Nigerian armed forces. Just as they command either respect or fear from the public so do this respect and fear exist among them.

The Nigerian army is governed with discipline and respect especially for the uniform and the Nigerian army ranks.

Here’s the logo of the Nigerian Army below:

Nigerian army logo and insignia

There is a hierarchy in the system, these Nigerian army ranks denotes the level of respect that is given…oh! Did I tell you getting in to any of the Nigerian army ranks is by you earning that spot.

You do not have to be in the Nigerian army or any of the Nigerian army ranks before you know what level the uniformed person is.

The Nigerian army ranks is divided in to the “non – commissioned ranks” and “commissioned ranks”. Here is a list of the Nigerian army ranks and insignia.

Also Read: Nigeria Civil Defence Corps Salary and Ranking

Non – Commissioned Ranks

  • Recruit / Trainee / Private – They are the “Johnny just come”. This is the lowest rank of the Nigerian army ranks.
  • Lance Corporal – They are one step ahead the JJCs. They are decorated with the symbol of 1 shoulder mark and 1 V-rope.
  • Corporal – They are superior to the lance corporals and their uniforms are decorated with 2 shoulder marks and 2 V-ropes.
  • Sergeant – They are inferior to the staff sergeants and are referred to as junior non – commissioned officer. Their uniforms are decorated with 3 shoulder marks.
  • Staff Sergeant – They are superior to sergeants and inferior to warrant officers. Their insignia has got a golden eagle sitting on 3 shoulder marks.
  • Warrant Officer – They are said to be known as “sergeant of the first class order”. Their ranking in the Nigerian army ranks is lower to that of the master warrant officer. Their uniform is decorated with the symbol of a golden eagle surrounded by 2 olive branches.
  • Master Warrant Officer – They are also known as “master sergeants”. Their level in the Nigerian army ranks is in charge of the military equipment. Their insignia is the “Nigerian coat of arms” with the silver horses.
Non commissioned nigerian army ranks officers
Image source: legit.ng

Let us talk about the 6 – pointed stars, eagles, batons, and swords and their meanings.

You can see the pride with which the Nigerian army wear their uniforms and the way the stars shine, well you see when you have worked and have been polished there is no way your stars will not shine.

The truth is, not every of the Nigerian army ranks have these stars, the non commissioned Nigerian army ranks do not but the commissioned Nigerian army ranks do at different numbers.

Commissioned Ranks

  • Second Lieutenant – They are the second to be called as substitute for the captain. They work with the first lieutenant as assistants. They are identified with 1 Silver Star on their uniforms.
  • First Lieutenant – This rank of the Nigerian army ranks is deputy of the captain and is first in line as substitute for the captain. They are adorned with 2 silver stars.
  • Captain – The captains are ranked the highest in the Nigerian army ranks in terms of tactical troop organisation. Their 3 silver stars shine brightly on their uniforms.
  • Major – It has been ranked as the lowest field officer in the Nigerian army ranks. The majors have got 1 silver eagle on their uniforms.
  • Lieutenant Colonel – This is the next in rank to the rank of colonel in the Nigerian army ranks. The Lieutenant colonels have got 1 silver eagle and 1 silver star on their uniforms.
  • Colonel – They are ranked the highest field officers in the Nigerian army ranks. They are in charge of forming the army in to regiments. They are decorated with 1 silver eagle, and 2 silver stars.
  • Brigadier – The brigadier rank in the Nigerian army ranks have got their insignia consisting of 1 silver eagle and 3 silver stars.
  • Major – General – Known as the “next mid – level commissioned officer”. They are adorned with 1 golden eagle, 1 golden sword, and 1 golden baton.
  • Lieutenant – General – The lieutenant general rank is one of the Nigerian army ranks and is adorned with 1 golden eagle, 1 golden sword, 1 golden baton, and 1 golden star.
  • General – It has been the highest rank attained in the Nigerian army ranks as the rank superior to it has never been occupied in the history of Nigeria.

commissioned officer insignia

The first military head of state was also a General and he had 1 golden eagle, 1 golden sword, 1 golden baton, and 2 golden stars on his uniform, peculiar to this rank in the Nigerian army ranks.

  • Army Field Marshal – This is the highest rank in the Nigerian army ranks and has not been occupied neither has anyone been decorated with the insignia ( 1 golden eagle, 1 golden sword, 1 golden baton, and 2 golden olive branches) of this rank in the Nigerian army ranks since 1960.

Even the Nigerian army respect their uniform and Nigerian army ranks, the uniforms they wear go further to tell you about their levels in the Nigerian army ranks and insignia.

Nigerian army ranks Army Lieutenant Colonel - Army field marshal
Nigerian Army Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel (National reformers)

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Nigerian Army Ranks and Salaries

Just as the Nigerian army ranks is not only physical in title but also in insignia on the uniforms so is the pay check. Interestingly, the Nigeria police salary is kinda different from the Nigerian army salary.

The salary of the Nigerian army varies according to the Nigerian army ranks…there is a reason for ranking na, why the seniority if there are no benefits or upper grounds attached to it.

No be say I dey receive this salary or any of my family member dey in the system wey dey credit these respected men and women of uniform accounts but I go yan una their salaries as I hear am too.

  • Recruit / Trainee / Private – minimum of #48, 500.
  • Lance Corporal – minimum of #54, 500.
  • Corporal – #57, 999.
  • Sergeant – #62, 999.
  • Staff Sergeant – #67, 999.
  • Warrant Officer – #79, 999.
  • Master Warrant Officer – #89, 999.
  • Second Lieutenant – #119, 999.
  • First Lieutenant – #179, 999.
  • Captain – #219, 999.
  • Major – #299, 999.
  • Lieutenant Colonel – #349, 999.
  • Colonel – #549, 999.
  • Brigadier General – #749, 999.
  • Major General – #949, 999.
  • Lieutenant General – #999, 999.
  • General – #1, 499, 999.

Kindly note that the Nigerian army salary could be more than this, as I talk before I never see their pay slip before.

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Nigerian Army Recruitment and Things You Should Know

The Nigerian army carry out recruitment exercises to absorb qualified citizens of Nigeria into various Nigerian army ranks.

Nigerian army recruitment process

To get in to the Nigerian army there are requirements to be met; some of them include:

  • Must have a minimum of 5 credits in not more than two sittings in WAEC / GCE / NECO / NABTEB, mathematics and English not excluded.
  • Must be a citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria.
  • Must be above the age of 18 years and below the age of 26 years.
  • Must have a minimum height of 1.68 metres for females, 1.69 metres for males.
  • Must be physically and medically fit for the job as declared by a government medical officer.
  • Must have an original birth certificate, sworn affidavits are not welcomed.
  • Must have an original state of origin certificate.

Also you need to know that:

There are 5 types of commission in the Nigerian Army (NA) – Not Armed Forces.

1. Regular Combatant (RC). Training takes 5 years.

2. Short Service Combatant (SSC). Training takes 6 – 9 months.

3. Direct Regular Combatant (DRC). Now attained on conversion from DSSC.

4. Direct Short Service Combatant (DSSC). Training takes 6 – 9 months.

5. Executive Commission (EC). Training takes 2 – 3 months.

Details of such commissions are to be found in the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) for officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces but a summary goes thus: RC and SSC are combatants, trained to fight battles. Others are not meant to be combatants.

..other requirements can be found on www.army.mil.ng.

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The List of Current Nigerian Army Generals

On the 20th of November, 2017, premium times reported the Nigerian army promoted some of its senior officers from their previous ranks to higher ranks in the Nigerian army ranks.

current Nigerian army generals

Here is a list of some of the current Nigerian army generals:

  • Major General H. O. Otiki.
  • Major General O. O. Soleye.
  • Major General A. T. Hamman.
  • Major General F. Yahaya.
  • Major General B. A. Ahanotu.
  • Major General I. M. Yusuf.
  • Major General S. O. Olabanji.
  • Major General J. I. Unuigbe.
  • Major General A. A. Jidda.
  • Major General J. E. Jakko.
  • Major General V. O. Ezugwu.
  • Major General A. C. Agundu.
  • Major General H. E. Ayamasaowei.
  • Major General M. S. Yusuf.
  • Major General O. F. Azinta.
  • Major General J. Sarham.
  • Major General T. A. Gagariga.
  • Major General L. F. Abdullahi.
  • Major General J. G. K. Myam.
  • Major General U. S. Yakubu.
  • Brigadier General A. Israel.
  • Brigadier General C. O. Ekulide.
  • Brigadier General S. O. Olowolayemo.
  • Brigadier General J. T. Chukwu.
  • Brigadier General E. E. Eyong.
  • Brigadier General D. C. Nengite.
  • Brigadier General C. A. Dalhatu.
  • Brigadier General U. N. Babangida.
  • Brigadier General U. I. Mohammed.
  • Brigadier General N. U. Muhktar.
  • Brigadier General O. G. Onubogu.
  • Brigadier General S. Tm Shafaru.
  • Brigadier General G. G. Shipi.
  • Brigadier General A. S. Ishaq.
  • Brigadier General A. O. Kalejaiye.
  • Brigadier General J. C. Mbibi.
  • Brigadier General H. A. Gambo.
  • Brigadier General L. B. Mohammed.

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Ranks In The Nigerian Airforce

The Nigeria armed forces are made up of the Nigerian Army that provides land support; Nigerian Navy that provides water support or aqua support; and the Nigerian Air force that provides air support or aero support.

Ranking is similar and different to these three parts; the Nigerian army ranks differ from the ranks in the Nigerian navy and also the Nigerian air force ranks.

The Nigerian army ranks is made up of 7 non commissioned ranks and 11 commissioned ranks while the Nigerian air force ranks consist of 9 non commissioned ranks and 11 commissioned ranks.

It would also seem the Nigerian air force is paid more than the Nigerian army, want proof Learn more about the Nigerian air force ranks and get back to me…am doing press up already for the debate.

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Nigerian Army Ranks Pdf and Symbol

Yes, I know you’d want to keep this for offline use, so we’ve created the a pdf on this topic; the Nigerian army pdf and symbol.

Download Nigerian Army Ranks Pdf.

Nigerian army ranks (Summary)

There you have it on the Nigerian army ranks and their salary structure. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that being an officer in the Nigerian army is not a day job.

Security is one key threat to all citizens in every nation and we must say that the Nigerian government is doing every thing possible to strengthen the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria.

If you’ve found this post to be helpful, please give it a like and share and don’t forget to drop your comments.


  1. I love and appreciate the Nigerian Army. I love the Nigerian military as a whole. I’m a proud Nigerian and I look forward to serving my country in this capacity very soon.
    Thank you for sharing this insightful article

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