Nigerian Army Salary Structure Scale: See What Soldiers Earn

Nigerian army is an aspect of the Nigerian Armed Forces, which comprises the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air force and a host of others.


The Nigerian army is the largest of the Nigerian Armed forces. They are responsible for land warfare operations. The Navy is responsible for water warfare, while the Air force is responsible for air warfare.  The Nigerian Army Council is responsible for managing the affairs of the Nigerian Army.  Aside from being very large, the Nigerian Army is also among the most equipped in Africa.  They have been involved in various of combats, both local and international.

Aside from being very large, the Nigerian Army is also among the most equipped in Africa.  They have been involved in various of combats, both local and international. Principal of these combats is against Boko Haram insurgency, a war which is clearly far from being over.

History of the Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army started as Royal West African Frontier Force and it was established in 1900.  They were trained by the British then and they participated in the Second World War on the side of Great Britain as part of the 1st (West Africa) Infantry Brigade, the 81st and 82nd (West Africa) Division and. In addition, they were involved in combat at the East African Campaign in the Far East.

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Around the time Nigeria got her independence from Great Britain, number of men and officers in the Nigerian army was 18,000. At a later date, especially in 1970, the number has risen to 126,000 and they were divided to 3 divisions then.  The increase in number was due to more people coming to enlist in the army during the Nigerian civil war.

This expansion made it possible for the Nigerian Army to defeat the enemy, but it also led to a fall in standard among them.  The number of commissioned officers among the 126,000 was low and this shortage reduced quality. Lieutenant Colonels were commanding brigades and sergeants were commanding platoons. It was not strange to see warrant officers commanding companies. During the civil war, the three divisions were fighting independently and the three of them were competing for men and materials.

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It was not strange to see warrant officers commanding companies. During the civil war, the three divisions were fighting independently and the three of them were competing for men and materials.

During this period, many inexperienced and poorly trained men were to be found in the Nigerian Army. They were also ineptly led and this soiled their hands and tarnished their reputations a great deal. There was clear lack in discipline and professionalism. Cases of civilian massacre were common as a result.  Infantry tactics too were poorly executed.

General Olusegun Obasanjo, however made effort to reorganize his division when he was the General Officer Commanding of the 3 Division. As a result of the reorganization, he was able to improve on the administration and logistics of his Division. It was because of his reorganization effort that made it possible for his Division to improve on offensive and this largely resulted in the quick ending of the war.

The Nigerian Army had minimal resources during the civil war.  There was lack of many important equipments and this led to reduced mobilization.

System of procurement and provisioning too was so unreliable and it was recorded that this situation lasted all through the period of the civil war.  Several western countries also imposed arms embargoes and this further worsened the situation.

After the Nigerian Civil War, number of men was gradually reduced and as at 2015, the number had reduced to 62,000. During the civil war, there were three Divisions in the Nigerian Army. When the civil war ended however, the three divisions were reorganized into four Divisions.

The four divisions are stationed across Nigeria.  Purpose was to deemphasize the former regional structure of Nigeria that prevailed before the civil war.

As a result of the further reorganization, each of the divisions has access to the sea and this made logistics and cooperation a lot easier for them.  Later, the Nigerian army was divided into sectors.

1st Division is stationed at Kaduna as its headquarters.  2nd Division is stationed at Ibadan as its headquarters. 3rd Armored Division is stationed at Rukuba Cantonment Jos. 81st Division is stationed at Enugu as its headquarters

The Nigerian military have participated in a number of international combat operations before and they are still involved in some others. ECOMOG was established in 1990 by the ECOWAS and the organization as dominated by the Nigerian Army.  They played very important role in the Liberian War.

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The Nigerian army proved itself to be experts in mobilizing, deploying and sustaining brigade-size forces to provide the needed support for the peacekeeping operation in Liberia.  They have also participated under the umbrella of ECOMOG in conflicts in various countries, like Sierra Leone, Somalia, Rwanda, Angola and former Yugoslavia.

Nigeria’s participation in Liberia in 1990, 1997 and 2003 was mainly responsible for the quelling of the civil war in that country and the ousting of Charles Taylor, who was later exiled into Nigeria.

The Nigerian Army was also involved in 2004 at Dafur, Sudan as part of the Africa Union Forces.   The Nigerian army also deployed troop to Mali in 2013 as part of African-led International Support Mission to Mali.

The Federal government is responsible for payment and upkeep of men of the Nigerian Army. The government equally provides accommodation for them.  Many think they are paid heavily, but this is not necessarily so.  They risk their live to protect Nigeria, but the amount being paid cannot be said to equate to the services they deliver. In this write-up, we are going to consider how much officers and men of the Nigerian army receive as salary.

Men and officers of the Nigerian Army are paid according to their ranks as well as the number of years they have spent in service.

Salary structure for non-commissioned officers in the Nigerian army

  • Private soldier in the Nigerian army earns between N48,000 an N49,000.
  • A Lance Corporal receives between N54,000 and N55,000.
  • A Corporal receives N58,000
  • A Sergeant receives N63,000 as salary
  • A Warrant Officer receives N89,000
  • A Master Warrant Officer receives N90,000

Salary structure for commissioned officers in the Nigerian army

  • A Second Lieutenant receives N120,000
  • A Lieutenant receives N180,000
  • A Captain receives N220,000
  • A Major receives N300,000
  • A Lieutenant Colonel receives N350,000
  • A Colonel receives N550,000
  • A Brigadier General receives N750,000
  • A Major General receives N950,000
  • A Lt. General receives N1 million
  • A Full General receives N1.5 million.

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