Nigeria Police Force: Structure, Ranks, and Salary of Officers

Last updated on March 9th, 2024 at 03:41 pm

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The formation of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) dates back to the colonial period. It started as a regional security force before the merger of Southern Nigeria Police and Northern Nigeria Police to form a National Police after Nigeria’s Independence.

Timeline of Nigeria Police Establishment

  • 1861: A 30-man Consular Guard was formed in Lagos in 1861.
  • 1891: The force was expanded to 600 men and renamed “Hausa Police”.
  • 1879: More men were recruited into the Hausa Police which was renamed the “Hausa Constabulary”
  • 1896: The Lagos Police Force was established on January 1, 1896. The Lagos Police focused its activities on the cities while the “Hausa Constabulary” focused on other parts.
  • 1894: After the proclamation of the Niger Coast Protectorate, there was a need to have a security architecture, which birthed the Niger Coast Constabulary with its headquarters in Calabar, Southern part of Nigeria.

Niger Coast Constabulary was modeled after the Hausa Constabulary but with a military style of operations.

Kayode Egbetokun IGPS in Nigeria from 1964
Kayode Egbetokun, the current IGP

The birth of Nigeria Police

When the Southern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria Protectorate under a single colony of Nigeria on January 1, 1914, the re-structuring of the police force came into effect, which led to part of the Royal Niger Constabulary becoming part of the Northern Nigeria Police and part of the Niger Coast Constabulary becoming the Southern Nigeria Police. During this period, police were localized with the native authorities.

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The Northern and Southern Regional Police Forces were later merged in 1930 to form the colony’s first National Police.

By the time of Independence on October 1, 1960, under the First Republic, every regional government had their police before all police forces nationalized and came under one umbrella.

Today, only one Police Force is constitutionally recognized in Nigeria called the Nigeria Police Force. Specifically, Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As amended) states that:

“There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be known as the Nigeria Police Force, and subject to the provisions of this section, no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof”.

1999 Constitution (As Amended)

Their functions

Section 4 of the Police Act clearly states the function of the NPF thus:

  • To prevent crime
  • To detect crime
  • To apprehend lawbreakers
  • To preserve law and order in Nigeria
  • To protect life and property
  • To enforce all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged

Structure

  • 17 zones spread across the country
  • 36 State commands plus the Federal Capital Territory
  • five formations
  • Nine departments including the office of the force secretary, which handles inter-ministerial matters and other sub-units.
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The Ministry of Police Affairs provides technical assistance and administrative support for the police.

Zones

The Nigeria Police have 17 zonal commands that cover the 36 states of the federation. Each of the 17 zones is headed by an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) while each of state commands is headed by a Commissioner of Police (CP). The state commands are under the zones for effective supervision and coordination. Structurally, the CP reports to the zonal head.

The key departments are mostly headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG).

Zone 1

  • Location: North-West Geo-political Zone
  • Zonal Headquarters: Kano State
  • Composition: Jigawa and Kano states
  • No of LGA: 71

Zone 2

  • Location: South-west Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: Lagos and Ogun State Commands
  • Zonal Headquarters: Lagos state
  • No of LGAs: 40

Zone 3

  • Location: North-East Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: Adamawa and Taraba States
  • Zonal Headquarters: Yola
  • No. of LGAs: 37

Zone 4

  • Location: North-central Geo-political zone
  • Zonal Headquarters: Makurdi
  • Composition: Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States
  • No of LGA under this zone 4: 53

Zone 5

  • Location: South-south Geo-political Zone
  • Zonal headquarters: Benin-City, Edo State
  • Composition: Edo and Delta States
  • LGAs under this zone: 43

Zone 6

  • Location: South-south Geopolitical Zone
  • Composition: Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River States
  • Zonal headquarters: Calabar, Cross River
  • LGAs: 49

Zone 7

  • Location: North-central Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: FCT and Niger State
  • Zonal headquarters: Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
  • LGAs: 31

Zone 8

  • Composition: Kogi and Kwara States
  • Location: North central
  • Zonal headquarters: Lokoja
  • LGAs: 37

Zone 9

  • Year of establishment: December 2000
  • Location: South-East Geopolitical Zone
  • Composition: Imo, Ebonyi and Abia State Commands
  • Zonal headquarters: Umuahia
  • LGAs: 57

Zone 10

  • Year of establishment: December 2002
  • Location: North-West Geo-political Zone
  • State Commands under zone 10: Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara Statea
  • Zonal headquarters: Sokoto

Zone 11

  • Location: South West geo-political zone
  • State commands under it: Osun and Oyo States
  • Zonal headquarters: Osogbo
  • No of LGAs: 63

Zone 12

  • Location: North-east geopolitical zone
  • Composition: Bauchi and Gombe State Commands
  • Zonal headquarters: Bauchi
  • LGAs: 31

Zone 13

  • Location: South-East Geo-political zone
  • Composition: Enugu and Anambra States
  • Zonal headquarters: Ukpo-Dunukofia, Anambra State
  • LGAs: 38

Zone 14

  • Location: North-West Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: Katsina and Kaduna State Commands
  • Zonal headquarters: Katsina
  • LGAs: 57

Zone 15

  • Location: North-East Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: Borno and Yobe State commands
  • Zonal headquarters: Maiduguri

Zone 16

  • Location: South-South Geo-political Zone
  • Composition: Bayelsa and Rivers States
  • Zonal headquarters: Yenegoa
  • LGAs: 31

    Zone 17
  • Geopolitical Location: South-West
  • Composition: Ondo and Ekiti State commands
  • Zonal headquarters: Akure
  • LGAs under it: 34

Departments of the Nigeria Police

There are nine departments in the Nigeria Police, each saddled with the responsibility of assisting the force in the day-to-day running of its units.
They are:

  1. Finance and Administration
  2. Operation
  3. Logistics and Supply
  4. Crime Investigation
  5. Training
  6. Research and Planning
  7. Information and communication
  8. Office of the Force Secretary
  9. Force Intelligence Bureau
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There are other units like:

  • Anti-Fraud Section
  • The Central Criminal Registry
  • Special Anti-Robbery Squad
  • X-Squad, General Investigation
  • Special Fraud Unit
  • Legal Section
  • Forensic Science Laboratory
  • Interpol Liaison
  • Homicide
  • Police Mobile Force
  • Anti-Human Trafficking Unit

Special Formations

  • Port Authority Police
  • Counter-Terrorism Squad
  • Marine Police
  • Police Academy, Kano.
  • Police Cooperative

Note: There are other training institutions owned by the NPF, they are spread across Nigeria.

Ranks:

Ranks in the Nigeria Police in descending order is as follows:

  • Inspector-General of Police (IG)
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
  • Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG)
  • Commissioner of Police (CP)
  • Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP)
  • Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)
  • Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP)
  • Superintendent of Police (SP)
  • Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
  • Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP)
  • Inspector of Police
  • Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Constable

Note:

IGP is the highest rank in the Nigeria Police Force, and the peak any police officer can reach. An IGP is appointed by the President and subject to the approval of the National Assembly.

When the president appoints an officer within the AIG rank, leaving other senior ranking officers, it is tradition that the DIGs automatically retires from the service.

Constable is the lowest rank in the NPF. The requirement for recruitment for this rank is generally O’Level.

The entry requirement into training for the rank of ASP is a first degree (BSc, BA). Anyone who is recruited through this rank is a potential IGP if age doesn’t run against him or her.

Is DPO a rank in the Nigeria Police Force?

DPO means Divisional Police Officer. DPO is not a rank, but an operational head of a police station in a specific location.

In most cases, a CSP heads a Divisional Police Office.

A DPO reports to the Area Command which is headed by another senior police officer popularly called Area Commander.

Monthly Salary of Officers according to their ranks

  • IGP: N711,248/month or N8,537,976/annum
  • DIG: N546,572.73/month or N6,558,872.76/annum
  • AIG: N488,751.87/month or N5,997,022.44/annum
  • CP Grade Level 15 (06): N302,907.47/month or N3,635,645.64/annum
  • CP Grade Level 15 (1): N266,777.79/month or N3,201,333.48/annum
  • DCP: N242,715.65/month or N2,912,587.80/annum
  • ACP: N212,938.16/month or N2,555,257.92/year
  • CSP: N199.723.96/month or N2,396,687.52/annum
  • SP Grade Level 11 (step 10): N187,616.69/month or N2,251,400.28/annum
  • SP Grade Level 11 (step 1): N161,478/month or N1,937,739.49/annum
  • DSP Grade: N148,733.29/month or N1,784,799.48/annum
  • ASP Grade Level 09 (step 1): N136,616 monthly or N1,639,392.72/year
  • ASP Grade Level 08 (step 1): N127,604.68/month or N1,531,256.16/annum
  • Cadet Inspector Grade Level 07 (step 10): N87,135/month or N1,045,628.40/annuma
  • Cadet Inspector Grade Level 07 (step 1): N73,231.51/month or N878,778.12/annum
  • Sergeant Grade Level 05 (step 10): N55,973.84/month or N671,686.08/annum
  • Sergeant Grade Level 05 (step 1): N48,540.88/month or N582,490.56/annum
  • Corporal: N44,715.53/month or N536,586.36/annum
  • Constable Grade Level 10: N42,615/month or N613,363.08/annum
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Allowance

The following allowances depend largely on the rank

  • Risk Allowance: Between N5,000 to N50,000 per month.
  • Rent Allowance: N30,000 to N50,000 per annum
  • Transport Allowance: N27,000 to N50,000 per annum
  • Uniform Allowance: N4,000 to N30,000 per annum

But with former President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to review the allowances of police officers in November 26, 2018, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) will now get N3.3 million annually as rent subsidy while the Deputy and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police will get N3.02 million and N2.7 million respectively as rent subsidy.

According to  president, the current salary package was to increase the morale of the officers in the country so they to step up their internal security role.

“From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-south, people don’t feel secure until they see the military.
I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”

Before Buhari’s announcement, the salary of Nigeria police was last increased in 2010 by the PDP-led government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, which was also extended to the military and para-military.

Complaints about the implementation of police salary

In our research, we found that several police officers in Nigeria alleged that salary increases were mostly enjoyed by senior police officers and those who are well-connected to the political class.

One of the police officers who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned specifically alleged that officers of the force posted in Lagos receive more than other officers in the country.

“For example my mate in Lagos is above me with N10,000,the same date of promotion,same increment. Some newly promoted ASP were paid N120,000 in Lagos, while Ekiti pay N111,84 to the same officers on the same rank and Grade level.

Some commands like Ogun State paid N116,000, Imo State paid N113,000.
Why should the salary differs? Only God can judge those who are mutilating our salary to satisfy their family.

Strength of the Nigeria Police

The police strength is currently over 370,000, but the current Police IG Kayode Egbetokun asserted that the Force need more 190,000 additional personnel.

Even with the addition of 190,000 personnel to the current force, that will still be far from the United Nations’ (UN) standard which recommends one police officer for every four hundred and fifty (450) citizens.

And at the end of 2023, Nigeria’s population was 218,541,212, according to the World Bank estimate. The country needs at least 485,646 police officers to protect Nigerians.

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