Nigeria Police Ranks, Commands, Formations and Structures

The Nigeria Police Force has 15 ranks that ranges from Constable to Inspector-General of Police. The Police Force is under the Command of the Inspector-General of Police and any contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state are subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of Commissioner of Police of that state.

Three different structures in the Police Force are:

  • Command (Authority) Structure.
  • Administration structure and
  • Organisation structure

These structures are arranged to meet the constitutional expectations of the Police, to perform effectively the duties assigned to it.

The Command structure or authority structure of the Police Force is predicted on the regimental nature of the Force and conducted along the Force badges of ranks.

The orders, directives and instructions to perform or carry out the duties with which the Police is carried, flows from the Inspector-General of Police, through the chain of Command, to any Officer positioned to implement such order.

The next in the line to the Inspector General of Police, is the Deputy Inspector General of Police, so states Section 7 (1) of the Police Act. According to section 7(1) of the Police Act, the Deputy Inspector General of Police is the second in Command of the Force.

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police acts for the Inspector-General of Police in the event of the absence of the Inspector-General of Police and Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

The Office and rank of a Commissioner of Police who shall be in Control of contingents of the Police Force stationed in a State is provided by Section 5 of the Police Act, in accordance with the provisions of section 215 (2), of the Nigeria Constitution. The Commissioner of Police is subject to the command of the Inspector-General of Police.

Every other rank in the Force is legally provided for by section 5 of the Police Act.

List of ranks in Nigeria Police Force

  1. The Inspector-General of Police
  2. The Deputy Inspector-General of Police
  3. The Asst. Inspector-General of Police
  4. The Commissioner of Police (In-charge of contingents in a state)
  5. The Deputy Commissioner of Police
  6. The Asst. Commissioner of Police
  7. The Chief Superintendent of Police
  8. The Superintendent of Police
  9. The Deputy Superintendent of Police
  10. The Asst. Superintendent of Police
  11. The Inspector of Police
  12. Sergeant Major
  13. Sergeant
  14. Corporal
  15. Constable

The Nigeria Police is administratively structured and divided into six (7) departments: ‘A’ – ‘G’ with each department charged with peculiar duties. Though their duties are inter-woven, they are distinguishable.


The Administration (or A) Department carries out the following functions:

  • Direction, supervision and co-ordination of the various department within the Directorate;
  • Standardization of policies and procedure of administration and finance of the Force;
  • Periodical review of all standing force Orders, Regulations and other relevant instruments;
  • Maintenance of Force discipline by directing and reviewing relevant policies and instructions;
  • Convening of conference of the Directors, Zonal Police Commanders (Z.P.Cs) and the Command Commissioner of Police with the Inspector-General of Police;
  • Planning, administration and monitoring of the budget and finances of the Force;
  • Organization, planning and supervision of Research programmes, Management Information;
  • Collating data for and publication of Annual Police Report;
  • Convening the Force Tenders’ Board; and
  • Planning and Adminstration of welfare schemes
  • Liaison, co-ordination and interaction with other Directorates of the Nigeria Police Force;
  • Preparation of Annual Budget for the Directorate
  • Police Computer;
  • Police Co-operatives

The B Department (Operation) does the following functions:

  • Planning and organizing internal security measures and monitoring the execution of such security measures in time of emergency;
  • Direction and co-ordination of Force policies on crime prevention;
  • Utilization of Force Animals
  • Formulation of Force policies on traffic control;
  • Planning coordinating and monitoring of the Force communication network;
  • Reviewing and formulating policies on tactical operation schemes for crime control and prevention;
  • Periodical inspections of various units for effective implementation of the operational policies of the Police;
  • Planning and coordinating joint operation;
  • Formulating policies, planning and management of incidents such as disturbance, riots, national disasters, elections, suppression of insurrections and trade union disputes or conflicts;
  • Formulation and implementation of policies on antiterrorism;
  • Liaison, coordination and interaction with other Directorates of the Nigeria Police Force;
  • Preparation of annual budget for the Directorate.

The C Department (Logistics and Supply) carries out:

  • Purchase of stores, clothing an Accoutrement;
  • Planning of building programmes;
  • Construction and maintenance of Police Buildings and quarters;
  • Arrangement of Board of Survey and Disposal of unserviceable/Boarded vehicles, equipment etc;
  • Determination of costs of all equipment, e.g. vehicles, planes, Helicopters; Wireless equipment, Bomb Disposal equipment, Force Animals, Arms & Ammunition and other riot equipment, Boats, Medical, Stationers, Spare parts, Printing equipment;
  • Responsibility for the procurement of all technical equipment. Aircraft, Wireless, Medical, Armaments, Transport etc, clothing and accoutrements, Stationers and office equipment;
  • Responsibility for the allocation and distribution of the equipment procured for the various Police Commands and Directorates;
  • Organization and direction Board of survey;
  • Responsibility for the planning and execution of building projects and accommodation;
  • Erection and supervision of the maintenance Barracks, quarters, office buildings and equipment;
  • Preparation of annual budget for the Directorate;
  • Liaison, coordination and interaction with other Directions of the Nigeria Police Force.

The Investigation and Intelligence (or D) Department performs these functions:

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Interpol
  • Crime Prevention Policies
  • Narcotics
  • Forensic Matters
  • Crime Records
  • Prosecution and
  • Criminal Intelligence
  • Formulation and implementation of supervision of Force Training policy
  • Supervision and coordination of the activities of the Police and Police Staff Colleges
  • Liaison with Police and Civilian Institution of higher learning at home and abroad for effective interchange of ideas;
  • Establishment of effective staff development programme;
  • Formulation training, research to keep pace with modern thought in the field of training, staff development and equipment;
  • Formulating a uniform standard of training in all in all Police Colleges/Training Schools;
  • Preparation of annual budget for the Directorate;
  • Liaison coordination and interaction with other Directorates in the Nigeria Police Force;
  • Research;
  • Planning
  • Inspectorate Division;
  • Management Information;
  • Organization and Method

The ICT Department plays significant role in the Nigeria Police law enforcement work. It enhances efficiency and effectiveness of the Police Force.


  • Communications Section from ‘B’ Department;
  • Infotech Section from ‘F’ Department;
  • Police Computer College, Abeokuta, ‘F’ Department;
  • Communications Training Schools in Kaduna & Ikeja;
  • Police Biometric Central Motor Registry (BCMR) from ‘B’ Department
  • Automatic Fingerprint Identification System from ‘D’ Department
  • Tracking & Intercepting Device Unit from ‘D’ Department


  • Promotion and appointment of Superior Police Officers;
  • Deployment of Superior Police Officers;
  • Records of Superior Police Officers;
  • Discipline of Superior Police Officers;
  • Police Council meeting;
  • Inter-Ministerial matter; and
  • Promotion Boards

The Nigeria Police Force is structured in line with the geo-political structure of the country, with provisions for supervisory formations. The structure of the formations enables police operations.

The organisational structure of the Nigeria Police Force is as follows:

  1. Force Headquarters
  2. Zonal Headquarters
  3. State Commands Headquarters
  4. Divisional Police Headquarters
  5. Police Station
  6. Police Post
  7. Village Police Post

By this arrangement the Police operational crime fighting function is felt by the people. The weight of the powers and duties of the Police are spread on the structures.