The Highest Paid Force in Nigeria: Ranks And Salaries (2024)

Most people want to know the highest paid military in Nigeria. Although, the armed forces is a special unit in the country which comprises of the Nigerian army, air force and Navy, the question has always been whose pays highest among them?


We have dully written on the Nigerian army salary structure, Nigerian Air force salary scale, How much does a senior Nigerian naval officer earns monthly and even the Nigerian Police and their various ranks.

You should be aware that the highest paid force among the military in Nigeria is the air force followed by the navy while the least paid is the army.

So if you want to go for a military job in the airforce, you should apply when they place their recruitment on their website. While the salary of an officer in the air force might seem higher than the rest, you would enjoy a stable career in the navy than any of the armed forces in the country.


The Nigerian Airforce was founded in 1961 shortly after the country participated in peace keeping missions in Congo and Tanzania. The need to airlift troops in the course of these peacekeeping operations signaled the importance of the country having a national air-force.

Subsequently between 1962 and 1964, the Nigerian Parliament began the process of institutionalizing the Nigerian Airforce. Eventually, the organization was established to ensure the integrity of the airspace by gaining and maintaining control of the air while retaining a credible capacity to fulfill other airpower tasks expected of the national defense and security outfit.


  • You are trained to be physically fit.
  • You are being paid well plus other monetary benefits.
  • You would have the opportunity to travel places especially when you are being sent to study a course.
  • As you are promoted from one rank to the other, you salary also increases.
  • Your pension and gratuity after service is never delayed after you retire from service.
  • You are given respect that most civilians wish to have because you are a military personnel.


In every military job, there is order, discipline and hierarchy. The NAF’s rank structure for its various officers both senior and junior are highlighted below:


In descending order of seniority the NAF officer ranks are:

  • Marshal of the Air Force
  • Air Chief Marshal
  • Air Marshal
  • Air Vice Marshal
  • Air Commodore
  • Group Captain
  • Wing Commander
  • Squadron Leader
  • Flight Lieutenant
  • Flying Officer
  • Pilot Officer


In descending order of seniority the NAF airman/woman ranks are:

  • Air Warrant Officer
  • Master Warrant Officer
  • Warrant Officer
  • Flight Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Lance Corporal
  • Aircraftman/woman

The annual salaries of the senior officers are quite high. Vice Admiral is paid ₦13,363,229 ($81,483.11). The Salary of Read Admiral is about ₦12,038,945 ($73,408.20) per year. Commodore earns ₦7,385,856 ($45,090.70). And Commander’s annual salary equals to ₦3,380,086 ($20,671.49).

See the monthly salary structure of the commissioned and non-commissioned officers of the Nigerian Airforce Salary below:

Commissioned officers:
Pilot Officer            N187,159
Flying Officer           N218,400
Flight Lieutenant        N232,484
Squadron Leader       N248,004
Wing Cmdr.            N342,586
Group Captain          N352,631
Air Commodore         N677,895
Air Vice-Marshal        N1,376,343
Air Marshal             N1,486,451
Air Chief Marshal       N1,724,283

Non-commissioned officers:

Trainee               N10,237
Aircraftman woman    N53,892
Lance Corporal        N55,832
Corporal              N58,634
Sergeant              N69,261
Flight Sergeant        N87,119
Warrant Officer        N101,974
Master Warrant Officer N165,697
Cadet (Trainee)        N44,564
Air Warrant Officer     N171,793

Although this information of the highest paid force in the country is available for all, most people still prefer the navy job than than of the army or even the air force. What ever military job you choose, the pay is high especially for the senior officers.


There are three military forces in Nigeria and we shall discuss about them, listing their various ranks and salary structures to ascertain which of these military organization is the highest paid force in Nigeria today?


The Nigerian Army is seen as the largest military branch among the armed forces. They are mostly land forces, protecting the sovereignty, boundaries and territory of Nigeria against external forces that might try to invade the land.

The major formations of the Nigerian Army include: the 1st Division, 2nd Division, 3rd Armoured Division, 81st Division, 82nd Division, and 7th Division which was just recently formed. They are ranked 5th best in Africa in terms of strength and fire power.

Below is a table showing the Nigerian Army ranks and their monthly salary

Rank Commissioned Officers Monthly Salary Non-commissioned Officers Monthly Salary
The General N1,500,000
Lieutenant General N1,000,000
Major General N950,000
Brigadier General N750,000
Colonel N550,000
Lieutenant Colonel N350,000
Major N300,000
Captain N220,000
Lieutenant N180,000
Second Lieutenant N120,000
Master Warrant Officer N90,000
Warrant Officer N80,000
Staff Sergeant N68,000
Sergeant N63,000
Corporal N58,000
Lance Corporal N54,000 – N55,000
Private Soldier N48,000 – N49,000


The Nigerian Navy (NN) is the branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces operating on sea. Their primary duty is to protect the Nigerian sea borders against invaders.

The Naval command structure today operates from Naval Headquarters in Abuja with three operational commands in Lagos, Calabar, and Bayelsa respectively. NAVTRAC which is the training command headquarters is located in Lagos state at Marine beach.

With various ships, fleets and military grade weapons at its disposal, the Nigerian Navy has been ranked as one of the best and strongest navies in Africa having its training facilities and five operational bases in Lagos and Port Harcourt.

Below is a table showing the Nigerian Navy ranks and their yearly salary.

Rank Monthly Salary
Admiral of the Fleet N1,358,595
Vice Admiral N1,113,602
Rear Admiral N1,003,245
Commodore N615,488
Captain N309,654
Commander N281,673
Lieutenant Commander N230,652
Lieutenant N195,685
Sub-Lieutenant N150,625
Acting Sub-Lieutenant N130,852
Mid-Shipman N118,835

There are twelve ranks for senior officers but the following ranks below, we couldn’t find figures for their salary structure:

  • Lieutenant Commander
  • Lieutenant
  • Sub-Lieutenant
  • Acting Sub-Lieutenant
  • Mid-Shipman
  • Warrant Chief Petty Officer
  • Chief Petty Officer
  • Petty Officer
  • Leading Rating
  • Able Rating
  • Ordinary Rating
  • Trainee.


The Nigerian Air Force is the highest paid force in Nigeria among other armed forces in the country. Established in the year 1964, they have grown to be one of the most respected military organizations in Africa.

Every year, recruitment is done into the NAF via its short service program (DSSC and SSC) for University graduates and non graduates in a bid to increase man power and train officers to be combat ready in fighting skills and defense strategies.

We know that the Nigerian Air Force has fighter aircrafts, transport, helicopter, and high military grade guns and weapons in its arsenal.

See table showing information on salary structure of the Nigerian Air Force officers from lowest rank to the highest rank below.

Rank Monthly Salary
Pilot Officer ₦187,159
Flying Officer ₦218,400
Flight Lieutenant ₦232,484
Squadron Leader ₦248,004
Wing Commander ₦342,586
Group Captain ₦352,631
Air Commodore ₦677,895
Air Vice-Marshal ₦1,376,343
Air Marshal ₦1,486,451
Air Chief Marshal ₦1,724,283
Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force Undisclosed

Although the salaries mentioned looks big as to what they earn, this is apart from allowances accrued for special assignments, foreign missions, military operations and estacode.


It is pertinent to note that all Nigerian military forces are basically paid the same according to their equivalent ranks in the armed forces. Although, allowances may differ, it is safe to say that the Nigerian Air force are the most paid in the Nigeria military when it comes to salary and other bonuses.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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