Nigerian Airforce Ranks and Salary Structure (2020)

Nigerian Airforce Ranks and Salary Structure

The Nigerian soldiers sacrifice a lot to defend and keep the country safe from security invaders, and this prompts us to ask certain questions sometimes.

Well, you may not just be asking those questions just because you are inquisitive about them, but because you also have flair for the military.

However, if you have been asking what the Nigerian Air Force ranks and salary structures currently are, in this post you will get to learn them all. Therefore, I urge you to read keenly not to miss any bit.

Nigerian Airforce Ranks and Salary Structure


An important step towards understanding the topic under review is getting to know more about the Nigerian Air Force.

Therefore, the Nigerian Air Force I would say in a nutshell is the “Eyes in the Sky” of the Nigerian Armed Forces. It is that branch of the Nigerian military that is in charge of airstrikes and taking care of every military action that will involve the air or space.

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) works closely with the Defence Space Administration (DSA).

The Nigerian Air Force was founded on 18th April 1964 and it has come to stand as one of the largest Air Force in Africa, having about 15, 000 personnel. They also have a good number of Aircraft (which we shall find out about, later).


Being derived from the British Royal Air Force, the Nigerian Air Force rank structure is similar to that of the British. Moreover, the Nigerian military officers are categorized into Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers.

The Commissioned officers are ones who entered the Nigerian military through the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Direct Short Service Course (DSSC) or Short Service Course (SSC).  The non-commissioned officers are soldiers who got enrolled by mere combatant recruitment.

The Nigerian Air Force officers are ranked according to the following, in descending order of hierarchy:


  1. Marshal of the Air Force
  2. Air Chief Marshal
  3. Air Marshal
  4. Air Vice-Marshal
  5. Air Commodore
  6. Group Captain
  7. Wing Commander
  8. Squadron Leader
  9. Flight Lieutenant
  10. Flying Officer
  11. Pilot Officer


  1. Air Warrant Officer
  2. Master Warrant Officer
  3. Warrant Officer
  4. Flight Sergeant
  5. Sergeant
  6. Corporal
  7. Lance Corporal
  8. Aircraftman/Woman


Having understood the ranks of the Nigerian Air Force and their logo, I think time is set to get to know how much they are paid. So if you have been wondering the salary of the Nigerian Air Force personnel, here is an answer.

Marshal of the Air Force – No one has ever attained this rank, so there is no known salary for it now.


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


  • Air Warrant Officer – N171,793
  • Master Warrant Officer – N165, 697
  • Warrant Officer – N101,974
  • Flight Sergeant – N87,119
  • Sergeant – N69,261
  • Corporal – N58,634
  • Lance Corporal – N55,832
  • Aircraftman/Woman – N53,892
  • Trainee – N10,237

NOTE: The salary stated above as that of the Nigerian Air Force may not be the exact amount they are paid. However, is it a rough estimate based on what is known about the Nigerian salary system (Consolidate Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFASS). There is no public pronouncement of how much this military personnel is paid.


The Nigerian Air Force has bases in many parts of the country, and remarkably in every geopolitical zone of the federation. Here below are the Nigerian Air Forces Bases:

  • NAF, Abuja (Found within the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport)
  • NAF, Kaduna (The Old Kaduna Airport)
  • NAF Port Harcourt, River State
  • NAF Maiduguri, Borno State
  • NAF Benin, Edo State
  • NAF Makurdi, Benue State
  • NAF Enugu (Based in the Akanu Ibiam International Airport)
  • NAF Kano (Based in the Mallam Aminu Kano International Aiport)
  • NAF Minna, Niger State (Based in the Minna Airport)
  • NAF Kanji, Niger State
  • NAF Jos, Plateau State
  • NAF Katsina, Katsina State
  • NAF Yola, Adamawa State
  • NAF Unguwan, Kaduna State
  • NAF Mando, Kaduna State
  • NAF Shasha, Lagos State
  • NAF Ipetu-Ijesha, Osun State


As I stated earlier, the Nigerian Air Force is one of the largest in Africa, having about 15,000 personnel. The NAF also has the following aircraft in her inventory:

  • 12 Chinese Chengdu F-17s
  • 13 Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jets
  • 12 Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano
  • 3 JF-17 Thunder Multirole
  • Helicopter Gunships
  • Armed Attack Drones
  • Military transport Aircrafts

With all these equipment in their toolkit, the Nigerian Air Force has won so many battles and engaged in many Peacekeeping missions across Africa. Some of their remarkable roles can be traced in the following engagements:

  • Nigerian Civil War
  • First Liberian Civil War
  • Sierra Leone Civil War
  • Niger-Delta uprising
  • Boko Haram Insurgency
  • Invasion of Gambia
  • Northern Mali War


Who is the Chief of Air Staff?

The current Chief of Air Staff is Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, whereas the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces is usually the President of Nigeria which in this case is Muhammadu Buhari.

When was the Nigerian Air Force established?

The establishment of the Nigeria Air Force can be traced back to 1964. Although it was first proposed in 1958 the Nigerian lawmakers then preferred to rely on the British Air Force strength.

What is the highest rank in the Nigerian Air Force?

The highest rank in the Nigerian Air Force rank structure is the Marshal of the Air Force. Unfortunately, no officer has attained that status since the establishment of NAF.

Is the Air Force better than the Nigerian Army?

The truth of the matter is than none is better than the other. The army, as well as the air force, are very important in their various respects.

What should guide you through, if it is a matter of making a proper choice is a passion you have for either of them; if you love the army go for it and if it the air force that sparks your interest, do not relent.


Having come u till this point, I must state that you have absorbed all you should know about the Nigerian Air Force ranks and salary structure. Meanwhile, if you still have an unanswered question, please do well to drop it in the comment box.

Was this helpful? Why not give it a lift if it was. But if it wasn’t, do give a suggestion for improvement.

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