How to Join the Nigerian Army: Step by Step Guide

If you’re interested in joining the Nigerian Army, we have compiled a list of the necessary steps you need to take to know how to join the NIgerian Army.

How to Join the Nigerian Army

How to Join the Nigerian Army

But first, let’s take a look at the Nigerian Army in terms of history, current salary structure as well as what the officer ranking looks like.

The history of the Nigerian Army can be traced to the Royal West African Frontier Force which was formed in 1900.

Currently, the Nigerian Army is reputed to be the largest part of the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF). It is the component of the Nigerian Military that is responsible for land warfare.

In Africa, the Nigerian Army is said to be one the best fighting forces on the continent. The army has been tasked with eradicating the scourge of Boko Haram. The organization was also involved in regional peacekeeping operations. When civil wars broke in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the Nigerian Army sent peacekeeping troops to these regions to quell the. Troops from Nigeria have also been sent to Sudan and Mali for peacekeeping missions.

The Nigerian Army has been known to produce key personalities in the country. For example, Olusegun Obasanjo, a two-time president of the country was an Army General and a pivotal figure during the Nigerian civil war. He was also involved in organizing the 3 Division by improving the logistics and administration of this command Muhammadu Buhari is another interesting example, he was a Military President and 80’s. He would later become the President of the country in 2015.

The NA is governed by the Nigerian Army Council (NAC) and the training centers are supervised by TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command).

Below is the current formation of the Nigerian Army

  • 1st Division, headquartered in Kaduna
  • 2nd Division (HQ Ibadan
  • 3rd Armoured Division HQ is Jos
  • 81st Division (Amphibious) HQ in Lagos
  • 82nd Division (Airborne and Amphibious) HQ in Enugu
  • 7th Infantry Division (JTF-RO) HQ in Maiduguri
  • 6 Division HQ Port Harcourt
  • 8 Division HQ Sokoto
  • TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) HQ Minna.

One of the ways in which the Nigerian Government as acted as a Big Brother to several African countries has been by deploying troops to these countries.  In October 2004, Nigerian deployed troops into Darfur, Sudan to spearhead an African Union force and to protect civilians there. Also, in January 2013, Nigeria deployed troops to Mali as part of the African-led International Support Mission to Mali.

The African terrain is quite familiar with the Nigerian Army with some Nigerian officers serving as the chief of Defence in countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia. Brigadier General Maxwell Khobe served as the Sierra Leone Chief of Staff between 1998 and 1999.

The current head of the Nigerian Army is Lt-Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai who has occupied the seat since July 2015 till date. Prior to this, he was the Commander Multinational Joint Task Force from May 2015 to July 2015.

The Nigerian Army is known to maintain a minimum of 82 different weapon systems and 194 types of ammunition with 62 different categories and from 14 manufacturers all around the world.

Now that you have some information on the Nigerian Army, let’s take a look at their salary structure.

Usually, Nigerian soldiers are paid according to their ranks. Although, it is generally opined that the Nigerian military doesn’t pay so much when compared to their foreign counterparts but nonetheless the salaries are still quite reasonable. For instance, the private soldier’s salary is about N49000 per month.

Below is the full list of the Nigerian Army Ranks and their salaries from the salary of the private soldier to that of the highest ranked officer which is the General.

Private Soldier             N49, 000
Lance Corporal            N55, 000
Corporal                       N58, 000
Sergeant                      N63, 000
Staff Sergeant              N68, 000
Warrant Officer              N80, 000
Master Warrant Officer  N90, 000

Second Lieutenant        N120,000
Lieutenant                      N180,000
Captain                           N220,000
Major                              N300,000
Lieutenant Colonel         N350,000
Colonel                           N550,000
Brigadier General           N750,000
Major General                 N950,000
Lieutenant General         N1,000,000
General                           N1,500,000

If you’re a University graduate, you’re entitled to the salary of the second position lieutenant which is the graduate entry level position.

Currently, the NA has over 6,000 officers and 96,000 soldiers. Although, there has been requests to grow this number to 18,966 officers and at least 190,000 soldiers.

Now, let’s take a look at the requirements and conditions you must meet to enroll in the Nigerian Army.

  • Country of origin

You must be Nigerian by birth. This condition means that you must be born in Nigeria to Nigerian parents. If you’re from another country or you’re a Nigerian by naturalization (and not by birth), then you are not qualified to join the Nigerian Army.

  • Age

You must be between 18-22 years of age at the time of application. If you are below 18 years old, you will have to wait a bit longer. On the other hand, if you are already older than 22, then you are no longer eligible to join the Nigerian Army.

  • Physical Fitness

You must be fit medically, physically, and psychologically. That is, you must not have any persistent health issues or suffer chronic conditions like asthma. Neither must you have any physical or mental disabilities.

  • Height

You must not be less than 1.65 meters tall (men) and 1.56 meters tall (women). Yes, your height alone can truncate your dreams of joining the Nigerian Army.

  • Criminal record

You must be free of any criminal conviction. Simply put, you must not have been convicted of any crime – major or minor – at any point in the past. If you have been charged with an offence before, then you cannot join the Nigerian Army.

If you meet these criteria, you can apply to join the Nigerian Army. You’d be invited to attend the zonal screening exercises at the designated zonal center for your state.

It is important to note that the zonal screening centre may not be in your own state, but in one of the neighbouring states. And there’s only one zonal screening centre available for applicants from all states within a designated zone.

Prior to your screening exercise, you must duly complete all forms and submit them at the examination venue on the date fixed for the screening examination.

There are also educational/academic qualifications prior to joining the Nigerian Army. For example, as a non-tradesman or woman, you need are at least 3 credits including English Language in not more than two sittings (in WASSCE/NECO/GCE).

Also, you need to present the following documents in the course of your application.

  • Photocopies of your birth certificate or age declaration affidavit
  • Photocopies of your academic and professional certificates (including SSCE/NECO/GCE)
  • A letter of identification signed by the identifying officer in “Section F” of the completed form (this will be printed from the Nigerian Army’s online application portal).

During the screening exercise, you’d be required to produce your original documents and credentials for sighting as well as all scratch cards purchased.

We have summarized the steps you need to following below when applying and registering to join the Nigerian Army

  1. Purchase a scratch card from the nearest branch of Unity Bank or Union Bank
  2. Validate your scratch card serial number and PIN
  3. Visit the Nigerian Army’s online recruitment ( portal)
  4. Register by choosing your desired username and entering a password.
  5. Login to the portal with your username and password
  6. Fill the required information and submit your application.
  7. Print a copy of the application confirmation page.

If you’re looking to join the NA, there is also the option of the Direct Short Service Commission (DSSC). The DSSC application is available to Nigerians who already serve in the Nigerian military as well as to civilians.

The requirements for the DSSC include:

  • You have to be 23-27 years old.
  • You should be born in Nigeria.
  • You need to meet the medical and physical Nigerian Army standards.
  • Your height has to be 1.65-1.68 meter.
  • You should have at least an HND diploma.

Here is how the application works:

Step #1: Go to the website

Visit the official recruitment portal of the Nigerian Army –

Step #2: Create your account

Choose DSSC application option and fill out the registration form.

Step #3: Upload your documents

You will have to upload the photos of your passport, birth certificate, educational diploma/certificate, state of origin, etc.

Step #4: Print your photo-slip

Once the registration is complete you will see a photo-slip. It is generated automatically by the website. And you should print it out.

Step #5: Wait for your call up

After submitting your application, stay patient and check the portal in the middle or end of December to see if you are among the successful candidates to be shortlisted. There will be an interview if you are selected, and you will be expected to show your printed photo-slip at this stage.

You can join the Army in Nigeria through the free online application starting in mid-October and till the end of November of each year.


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