NDA: History, Ranks & Salary Structure (2024)

The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) was established in 1964. This academy is in charge of training officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. While the ranks and salary structure of NDA officers varies, you should be aware that the Navy, Army and Airforce officers are all trained under this academy.



Vision & Mission of the NDA

At first, the responsibility of training military officer cadet rested on the Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC), the name of the college was later changed to the Nigerian Military Training College to reflect the country as independent and sovereign.

It is sole mission of the NDA to equip officers cadet with available knowledge, skills and values that meets the necessary requirements of being a military officer through character development, academic and military training.

Apart from seeing to the development of officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the vision of the NDA lies in producing well mannered officers who have diversified knowledge both in military and academic exercises. This can be seen in the foundational subjects being taught at the academy.

It is the Cadet Brigade that is responsible for the cadets’ welfare, administration and character building. As of today, there are five cadets’ battalions present under the CB and they include:

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

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.

Location of the NDA/Training Duration

The NDA is currently located at Kaduna. It is the only accredited Military University in the country that is recognised for taking in students who wish to further their studies as military officers.

Duration of training at the Nigerian Defence Academy is usually 5 years (4 years of academic studies and 1 year of compulsory military training).

After completing the Regular Combatant Course, successful candidates are awarded Bachelors Degree just as it is done in other universities in the country.

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

Also your first rank in the NDA and salary structure depends on the branch of Armed forces you enrolled in. Mind you that studying at the NDA is open to both males and females alike.


Before you are found eligible for entry to study at the NDA RC, you must meet the following  requirements below.

This would help candidates that intends applying to the NDA know the necessary eligibility requirements which candidates must meet to study at the academy.

1. Minimum of 5 credit passes which includes subjects English and Mathematics respectively. It could either be SSCE, WAEC, NECO or GCE.  Note that results here must be obtained in a maximum of 2 exam sittings. For those awaiting results that are older than 5 years won’t be accepted.

2. A minimum of two supporting credits to the relevant courses of study in the various faculties in the Nigerian Defence Academy :Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Faculty of Science. Only one supporting relevant credit is needed in the Faculty of Engineering.

3. The age requirement for enrolling at the academy. You must be at least 17 years old and not more than 21 years old when applying for entry into the school. Except for the Nigerian Air Force where candidates must be between 17 and 18 years old when applying.

4. Male should not be less than 1.68 metres tall while 1.50 metres goes for the females

5. He or she must be of proven moral character and medically certified to be physically fit.

6. Candidates must be single, not married with no legal attachment to cater for any child or other individuals.

7. Finally, candidate will present his or her certificate of origin which can be obtained from one’s Local Government office.

NDA ranks and salary structure

The various NDA ranks for various positions are listed below, starting from the entry level position of a private soldier to the highest rank of the commandant.

Also included is their various monthly and annual salaries excluding their allowances which depends on the position of the officer.

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

As said earlier, the NDA trains all officer corps for the various branches of the Nigerian armed forces, which include the Nigerian Navy, Army, and Air Force.

  • The Nigerian Army makes up the largest part of the Nigerian military. Currently ranked 5th most equipped ground force in Africa, they are responsible for land warfare.
  • The Nigerian Navy began from the Nigerian Marine. They are saddled with the following responsibilities: Protection of the territorial waterways of the country against external attacks.
  • The Nigerian Airforce was established in the year 1961 to support the land force in combat and also take charge of the air. They are currently one of the best air forces in Africa today.

Furthermore,  the NDA was recently ranked as one of the best military academies in West Africa to attend. It is no surprise that gaining admission into this college is competitive and difficult.

Please note that NDA B.SC salary is about N150, 000. That is the basic minus other allowances when you join as a graduate with B.sc

The number of cadets’ taken in yearly at the NDA is normally 175 for the regular course i.e 155 males and 20 females. The official recruitment portal also reserves vacancies for cadets from other neighboring West African countries.

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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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