Nigerian Navy ranks, symbols and salary structure 2019

What would be today’s Nigerian Navy was originally conceived as a quasi-military organization. The military outfit has seen many changes including becoming an arm of the Nigerian armed forces.


Credit: Wikipedia

Like any military organization across the globe, there is an absolute need to establish a clear chain of command. The chain of command is usually in the form of an organisational level, each level achieved through years of service and dedication to work.

Perhaps the most important driving force of military effectiveness is the clear channel of communication. This channel is established through the hierarchical chain of authority in the form of Ranks. Being a former British colony and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Nigeria shares a similar rank structure to that of the United Kingdom.

Ranks in the Nigerian Navy

Just like the UK, Nigerian Naval officers are divided into Commissioned and non Commissioned officers. Being either a Commissioned or non Commissioned officer greatly determines the rank, authority, duties, and salary structure of Nigerian Navy personnel.

Commissioned officers

The Commissioned officers are the management and in the position of authority. They usually give out orders and assign missions to the non Commissioned officers. Commissioned officers are usually higher ranked, paid more and have more legal authority than Non Commissioned officers. They are in most cases more educated than Non Commissioned officers and may have a university degree or its equivalent. The Commissioned officers are officially classified into 11 ranks;

• Admiral of the Fleet
• Admiral
• Vice-Admiral
• Rear Admiral
• Commodore
• Captain
• Commander
• Lieutenant Commander
• Lieutenant
• Sub-Lieutenant
• Midshipman

Admiral of the Fleet

This is the highest Rank in the Nigerian Navy. Climbing through the rigorous standards of the Navy to earn this rank would mean you are the crème de la crème; the best of your stock. But few if any in the Nigerian Navy has ever gotten to this rank, it’s often only awarded as an honorary position. It is equivalent to the rank of a Field Marshal in the Nigerian Army or a Marshal in the Air Force. There’s currently no information on the salary structure for this rank in public domain.


This in practical terms is the highest attainable rank in the Nigerian Navy. It is nonetheless structured as the second highest in official settings. There are no recent records of a Nigerian naval officer promoted to this rank. It is equivalent to the rank of General in the Nigerian Army and that of Air Chief Marshal in the Nigeria Air Force. An admiral currently earns ₦1,358,595 monthly with a yearly salary of ₦16,303,140.


This is officially the third highest rank in the Nigerian navy. No chief of naval staff in Nigeria has ever gotten past this rank. It is the equivalent of a Lieutenant General in the Nigerian Army and an Air vice-marshal in the Air Force. A Vice-Admiral Currently takes home a monthly salary of ₦1,113,602 fixed at ₦13,363,229 yearly.

Rear Admiral

This is the fourth highest rank in the Nigerian Navy. It’s just below the rank of a Vice-Admiral and immediately above a commodore. A handful of Chief of Naval staff has been appointed from this rank. This rank is equivalent to a Lieutenant General in the Nigerian Army and air vice-marshal in the air force. A Rear Admiral is the lowest ranked of the four “Admiralty Ranks”. Officers of this rank earn about ₦12,038,945 annually with a monthly salary of ₦1,003,245.


The Commodore rank is the highest non Admiralty rank in the Nigerian Navy and fifth in official settings. It is just above the rank of a Captain. Though fifth in the naval chain of command, Commodore is usually a respected officer and considered as highly ranked. A Commodore takes home around ₦7,385,856 annually with a monthly basic salary of ₦615,488. The rank is equivalent to that of a Brigadier general in the Nigerian Army and Air Commodore in the Air Force.


The captain rank is one of the most highly coveted ranks among lower-ranked naval officers. They are historically at the helm of affairs on warships and the chief decision makers in most instances. A captain in the Nigerian Navy takes home around ₦3,715,859 annually at a ₦309,655 monthly basic salary. The rank is equivalent to that of a colonel in the Nigerian army and a group Captain in the Air force.


The commander rank is just below the captain rank. It is the 7th highest in the organizational structure and 5th lowest among the commissioned officers. The basic annual salary for a Nigerian Navy captain is ₦3,380,086 with a monthly basic salary of ₦281,674. The Navy captain rank is equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army and a Wing Commander in the Air Force.

Lieutenant Commander

A Lieutenant Commander is the military way of saying assistant commander. A lieutenant literally means an assistant or deputy. This rank is directly below the rank of a commander. It’s the 8th highest in organizational structure and 4th lowest among the commissioned ranks. This rank is equivalent to a Major in the Nigerian Army and a Squadron Leader in the Nigerian Air Force.


A lieutenant is the direct subordinate of a Lieutenant Commander in the Nigerian Navy. They are quite low in the decision-making chain and are among the heavy lifters. This rank is equivalent to the rank of Captain in the Nigerian Army and a Flight Lieutenant in the Nigerian Air Force. There’s no officially published salary structure for this rank.

Sub-Lieutenant: This rank is above Sub-Lieutenant and below Lieutenant Commander. It’s equivalent to the rank of Lieutenant in the Nigerian Army and flying officer in the Air Force. There’s no officially published salary structure for this rank.

Mid-Shipman: The Mid-Shipman is the lowest rank among commissioned officers in the Nigerian Navy. It’s equivalent to the Second Lieutenant rank in the Nigerian army and the rank of Pilot Officer in the Air force. There’s no officially published salary structure for this rank.

Non Commissioned officers

Non Commissioned officers are the arrowhead and backbone of the Navy. The form the core of the actual fighting force and are responsible for carrying out missions. The non Commissioned officers rise through the ranks by merit and experience in the battlefield. However, they usually possess lower ranks, paid less and have less legal authority.

The salary structure for non Commissioned officers in the Nigerian Navy is very fluid. There’s also no official information on public domain about the monthly basic salary for officers of this group.

Rankings for non Commissioned officers and associated symbols include:

• Navy warrant officer
• Master warrant officer
• Warrant officer
• Petty officer
• Leading Seaman
• Ordinary seaman

Though the lowest possible amount accrued per month for each rank is fixed, there are still officially sanctioned variations. Under Nigerian Navy remuneration policies – there may be discrepancies in salary structure due to the assigned duties of a ranked officer. A Lieutenant Commander serving as a naval doctor may earn higher than the same ranked officer performing other duties.

The listed salary structure is modeled by using the monthly basic salary, excluding any bonuses or deployment allowances that may be accrued by the ranks.

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