NDA Ranks and Salary Structure


Established in 1964, the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) is responsible for training officers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

In this post, we’ll look at the ranks and salary structure of NDA officers. But first, let’s find out what the NDA is all about.

Prior to its establishment, the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC) was in charge of training officers. This college would later become the Nigerian Military Training College.

The NDA provides each officer cadet with the necessary knowledge, skills and values needed to meet the requirements of a military officer through military, academic and character development.

The vision of the NDA is to produce officers with diversified training in both military and academic subjects. The foundational subjects have been designed to allow for the progressive development of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Also, the NDA has a mission of providing each officer cadets with the right knowledge, skills and values to develop the necessary military, academic and character development.

NDA Ranks and Salary Structure

The Cadet Brigade is responsible for the cadets’ administration, character building and welfare. The Brigade is commanded by an Army officer usually a Brigadier General. This commander is called the Cadets Brigade Commander (CBC). Typically, there are five cadets’ battalions under the CB namely:

  • Abyssinia Battalion
  • Ashanti Battalion
  • Burma Battalion
  • Dalet Battalion
  • Mogadishu Battalion

The NDA is located in Kaduna and is said to be the only Military University in the country. The typical duration of training in the academy is 5 years which comprises 4 years of academic studies and 1 year of military training.

This course is called the Regular Combatant Course and successful candidates are usually awarded a Bachelors Degree. Initially, the RC used to be exclusive to males until 2011 when females were allowed to enroll.

Below are the eligibility requirements for entry in to the NDA RC

If you intend applying to the NDA, there are some eligibility requirements which candidates must meet in order to be successful.

  • Must have a minimum of 5 credit passes including English and Mathematics at the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination conducted by the West Africa Examination Council or National Examination Commission or General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level. This result must have been obtained in not more than 2 sittings. Awaiting result or results that is older than 5 years from the date of application is not acceptable.
  • Must have at least two supporting relevant credits to the compulsory credits in Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Faculty of Science. However, only one supporting relevant credit is required in the Faculty of Engineering.
  • Must be at least 17 years old and not more than 21 years old at the time of entry into the Academy. If the candidate intends to enrol in the Nigerian Air Force, s/he must be between 17 and 18 years old at entry.
  • Must not be less than 1.68 metres tall for male and 1.50 metres for female.
  • Must be medically and physically fit and must be of proven good moral character.
  • Must be single with no legal obligation to support any child or other individuals.
  • Must present a certificate of origin obtained from a Local Government. If possible, candidate should provide a certificate indicating state indigeneship from the Office of the State Governor.

The NDA trains officer corps for the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force. Below is a brief overview of these setups:

  • The Nigerian Army is the largest part of the Nigerian Armed Forces (NAF) and it is the component of the Nigerian Military that is responsible for land warfare.
  • The Nigerian Navy originated from the Nigerian Marine. The responsibilities of the Nigerian Marine include administration of the ports and harbours; buoyage and lighting; dredging of channels; operating ferry services, touring launches, and other small craft that plied the various creeks and other inland waterways.
  • The Nigerian Airforce was established in 1961 in response to the need to airlift troops during peacekeeping operations in Congo and Tanzania. The force also provides logistics supply during combat


Currently, the NDA is reputed to be one of the best military academies in West Africa and the African continent. This probably explains why competition for place into this college is quite high because only the best are recruited.

Usually, the NDA has an annual cadets’ intake of 175 for the regular course. This is made up of 155 males and 20 females. There are usually vacancies reserved for cadets from other West African countries.

Subsequently, the successful recruits are distributed among the Army, Navy and Airforce.

The inaugural class of the NDA comprised 62 cadets and the trainers were primarily officers in the Indian Army.

The NDA grew to become an all Nigerian training staff only in 1978 and three years later, in 1981; the institution had begun bilateral training of foreign militaries.

By 1985 the NDA had started offering undergraduate programmes to Military Officers in Training and now also currently offers post graduate studies both for Msc and Ph.D for both military and civilian students.

NDA ranks and salary structure

We’ve highlighted the NDA ranks below from the entry level position of private soldier to the highest position of commandant. Their monthly and annual salary have also been included in the overview. However, it is important to note that this salary excludes bonus and allowances.

Private Soldier                           

  • Monthly salary: N49,000
  • Annual salary: N588,000

Lance Corporal

  • Monthly salary: N55, 000
  • Annual salary: N660,000


  • Monthly salary: N58,000
  • Annual salary: N696,000


  • Monthly salary: N63,000
  • Annual salary: N756,000

Staff Sergeant

  • Monthly salary: N68,000
  • Annual salary: N816,000

Warrant Officer              

  • Monthly salary: N80, 000
  • Annual salary: N960,000

Master Warrant Officer       

  • Monthly salary: N90, 000
  • Annual salary: N1,080,000

Second Lieutenant           

  • Monthly salary: N120,000
  • Annual salary: N1,440,000


  • Monthly salary: N180,000
  • Annual salary: N2,160,000


  • Monthly salary: N220,000
  • Annual salary: N2,640,000


  • Monthly salary: N300,000
  • Annual salary: N3,600,000

Lieutenant Colonel           

  • Monthly salary: N350,000
  • Annual salary: N4,200,000


  • Monthly salary: N550,000
  • Annual salary: N6,600,000

Brigadier General             

  • Monthly salary: N750,000
  • Annual salary: N9,000,000

Major General                

  • Monthly salary: N950,000
  • Annual salary: N11,400,000

Lieutenant General            

  • Monthly salary: N1,000,000
  • Annual salary: N12,000,000


  • Monthly salary: N1,500,000
  • Annual salary: N18,000,000



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