Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Cadet and Student Salary Structure

The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) salary structure for cadets and students is such that each cadet receives a salary of N50,000. Out of this money, N14,000 is saved to be given upon graduation while N36,000 is paid to them monthly.

Gaining admission into the Nigerian Defence Academy will always be a dream come through for anyone wishing to learn skills that will serve them well working in intelligence, military technology, or even on the front lines of battle. Although salaries and allowances have never been the top motivating factor for applicants getting ready for defense service, it is great to recognize that the government takes good care of these cadets and offers reasonable financial compensation to the NDA cadets. Below you’d get to learn about the NDA cadet salary structure and other facts.

The Nigerian Defence Academy Cadets Salary is Paid Monthly

The Nigeria Defence Academy pays its cadets monthly stipends while undergoing education and military training in the institution. A cadet is a young trainee in the armed services. While at NDA, each cadet, irrespective of your military faction or rank, has the same salary structure. As an officer undergoing training at the Nigeria Defence Academy, each cadet is entitled to a ₦50,000 monthly stipend throughout their stay in the academy.

However, in past years, the monthly stipends collected by the Nigeria Defence Academy trainees used to be lower than what it is currently. Before it got to ₦50,000, the amount collected by these NDA cadets was ₦42,000. Out of the ₦42,000, ₦28,000 would be given to the cadets, while the remainder (₦14,000) would be saved for the cadets compulsorily. The saved amount would be released to the student upon graduation from the military university.

The same system of compulsory saving is done even to this day. ₦36,000 is given to the cadets monthly, while the remaining ₦14,000 is saved for the cadets to be collected upon graduation from the Nigeria Defence Academy. After completing their training at the military university, graduates of the Nigeria Defence Academy will be commissioned into any of the Nigeria Air Force, the Nigeria Navy, or the Nigeria Army.

 How Much Is NDA Graduate Salary?

After graduating from the Nigeria Defence Academy, the institution’s graduates go into their different factions of the Nigeria Armed Forces. As they cease to be cadets of the Nigeria Defence Academy, so do the monthly stipends they got while at the academy halt. 

While at the Nigeria Defence Academy, cadets all earned similar monthly stipends. Still, after graduation, they earn different salaries as they are distributed into various ranks and factions of the military. The basic salary of officers who just graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy ranges from ₦120,000 to ₦150,000 for all factions of the Nigeria Armed Forces, including the Nigeria Air Force, Nigeria Navy, and Nigeria Army. However, as they get promoted from one rank to the other, their salaries also increase.

Nigerian Defence Academy Cadets Training Lasts for Five Years

Today, competition for a spot in the Nigeria Defence Academy is very high, and only the very best candidates are admitted into the prestigious military university. It comes as no surprise that it is referred to as the best in West Africa and one of the best military schools in Africa. The duration of training at the Nigeria Defence Academy is four years for candidates who get recruited to the air force and navy while five years for those recruited to the army.

After completing four years at the Nigeria Defence Academy, Air Force cadets would continue their training at the 301 Flying Training School for the rest of their training, while Navy cadets proceed to the Nigeria Navy College in Onne, Port-Harcourt. Major General IM Yusuf is the present Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy. He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, and before his appointment, he was the academy’s registry.

A Brief History of the Nigerian Defence Academy

Established in February 1964, the Nigeria Defence Academy is a military-based university aimed at training and preparing young Nigerians to be commissioned into the Nigerian Armed Forces. The establishment of the defence academy was in response to the defence needs of independent Nigeria to train officers for the country’s Armed Forces.

Before the Nigeria Defence Academy was formed, what existed was Royal Military Forces Training College (RMFTC). RMFTC was functional while Nigeria was still under the British colony, and as soon as she gained her independence in 1960, RMFTC was renamed Nigeria Military Training College (NMTC). The first set of students the military institution had were 62 cadets, and the majority of the cadets were comprised of the Indian Army.

The Name of the Institution was Changed to the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) in 1964

In February 1964, the military institution’s name was changed once again, and this time to what it is currently known as – the Nigeria Defence Academy. The Nigeria Defence Academy still had most of its officers from the Indian Military even though it had a change of name. Brigadier M. R. Verma of the Indian Army was the first Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy. And even to this day, the Nigeria Defence Academy still follows a similar pattern of the Indian NDA.

In 1978, the Nigeria Defence Academy grew to become an all Nigerian training staff. Major General David Ejoor was the first Nigerian Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy. His tenure as the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy lasted for two years, from 1969 to 1971. The Nigeria Defence Academy is located in Kaduna State, in the Northern Region of the country. It has two campuses; the Afaka campus and the Ribadu campus.

The military university is only one of two of its kind in the country. The second military school in the country is the Nigeria Army University located in Biu, Borno State. The Nigeria Defence Academy instills into its officer cadets the required skill set, leadership skills, values, discipline, and professionalism for every officer cadet to complete a military officer’s requirement. These requirements come in the form of educational, personal, and military development.

The Nigeria Defence Academy began offering undergraduate programs to military personals undergoing training in 1985. The military institution now offers MSc and Ph.D. programs for both military and non-military personals.  In 2010, former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, gave the order that females should be admitted into the country’s military institution. 2011 then recorded the first set of female cadets in the Nigeria Defence Academy. The score of female cadets who got into the Nigeria Defence Academy was referred to as the “Jonathan Queens.”


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