Salary Structure

Federal University Salary Structure In Nigeria

The salary structure for staff in federal universities in Nigeria is a crucial aspect of the nation’s higher education system. It influences not only the quality of education but also the ability to attract and retain qualified professionals. This article delves into the various components of the salary structure, including the pay scales, allowances, and recent reforms, providing a comprehensive overview for prospective and current university staff.

Overview of the Salary Structure of Federal Universities

The salary structure in federal universities in Nigeria is primarily determined by the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC). It includes different categories and levels for academic and non-academic staff. The salary packages are designed to be competitive to ensure that universities attract and retain talented professionals.

Academic Staff Salary Structure

Academic staff salaries are categorized based on their academic ranks, which include:

  1. Graduate Assistant
  2. Assistant Lecturer
  3. Lecturer II
  4. Lecturer I
  5. Senior Lecturer
  6. Associate Professor
  7. Professor

Basic Salary

The basic salary for each rank varies, with professors earning the highest and graduate assistants the lowest. The salary scale is structured to reflect the qualifications, experience, and responsibilities associated with each rank.


In addition to the basic salary, academic staff are entitled to several allowances, including:

  • Housing Allowance: Typically a percentage of the basic salary.
  • Transport Allowance: To cover commuting expenses.
  • Research Allowance: Provided to encourage academic research and development.
  • Medical Allowance: Covers health care expenses for staff and their immediate families.
  • Teaching Practice/Field Trip Allowance: For lecturers involved in teaching practice supervision and field trips.

Non-Academic Staff Salary Structure

Non-academic staff are also categorized based on their grades and roles within the university. The grades range from junior staff to senior administrative positions.

Basic Salary

Similar to academic staff, the basic salary for non-academic staff is determined by their grade level. Higher grades receive higher salaries, reflecting their experience and responsibilities.


Non-academic staff are entitled to various allowances, such as:

  • Housing Allowance
  • Transport Allowance
  • Hazard Allowance: For staff working in potentially dangerous environments.
  • Shift Allowance: For staff required to work in shifts.

The salary structure in federal universities has seen several reforms aimed at improving the welfare of staff and ensuring the competitiveness of the remuneration packages.

Minimum Wage Adjustments

In response to changes in the national minimum wage, the federal government periodically reviews the salary structure. The most recent adjustment was made in line with the new minimum wage introduced in 2019, which increased the base pay for all categories of staff.

Implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS)

The introduction of IPPIS aimed to streamline payroll processes, reduce ghost workers, and ensure timely and accurate payment of salaries. Despite initial resistance, the system is now widely implemented across federal universities.

Challenges and Controversies

While the salary structure is designed to be fair and competitive, several challenges and controversies persist.

Funding Constraints

Inadequate funding of federal universities often affects the timely payment of salaries and allowances. Budgetary allocations to education are frequently insufficient, leading to delays and arrears.

Industrial Actions

Academic and non-academic staff unions, such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), often embark on strikes to demand better pay and working conditions. These strikes disrupt academic activities and highlight ongoing issues within the system.


The salary structure in federal universities in Nigeria is a complex system designed to ensure fair compensation for academic and non-academic staff. While recent reforms have aimed to improve the system, challenges remain, requiring ongoing attention and resolution.


What is the starting salary for a Graduate Assistant in a federal university in Nigeria?

The starting salary for a Graduate Assistant typically ranges from ₦1,400,000 to ₦1,600,000 per annum, excluding allowances.

How often are salaries reviewed in federal universities?

Salaries in federal universities are reviewed periodically, often in response to changes in the national minimum wage or following negotiations with staff unions.

What allowances are academic staff entitled to?

Academic staff are entitled to various allowances, including housing, transport, research, medical, and teaching practice/field trip allowances.

Are non-academic staff entitled to hazard allowances?

Yes, non-academic staff working in potentially dangerous environments are entitled to hazard allowances.

What is the role of IPPIS in the salary structure of federal universities?

IPPIS is implemented to streamline payroll processes, reduce ghost workers, and ensure timely and accurate payment of salaries in federal universities.

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