Nigeria Police Force Rank (NPF), Structure & Departments


The structure of the Nigeria Police Force is provided for in section 214 (2)(a) and 215(2) of the 1999 Constitution. These sections provide inter-area, section 214(2)(a):-

“Subject to the provisions of this constitution (a) the Nigeria Police shall be organized and administered in accordance with such provisions as many be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly

Section 215 (2)

“The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the Command of the Inspector-General of Police and any contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a state shall; subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of Commissioner of Police of that state”

From the provisions above, three different structures in the Police Force can be identified. These are:-

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

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

Command (Authority) Structure

The Command structure, also referred to as authority structure, of the Police Force is predicted on the regimental nature of the Force and conducted along the Force badges of ranks. Thus, in accordance with section 215(2) of the 1999 Constitution, section 6 of the Police Act, 1990 laws provide that “the Force shall be commanded by the Inspector-General of Police”. This simply means that 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. Disobedience or failure to carry out such instruction, directive or order, attract punitive sanctions.

According to Section 7 (1) of the Police Act, the next in the line to the Inspector General of Police, is the Deputy Inspector General of Police. Though this rank is not specially mentioned in the Constitution, it has legal backing, because the Police Act is a law made by the National Assembly in accordance with the constitution. According to section 7(1) of the Police Act, the Deputy Inspector General of Police is the second in Command of the Force and shall so act for him in the Inspector-General’s absence. Section 5 of the Act makes room for as many DIGs as the Nigeria Police Council considers appropriate. Every other rank below the IG, takes order of Command from him, in the performance of their lawful duties.

The Office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police is provided for by section 5 and 8 of the Police Act. He shall act for the Inspector-General of Police in the event of the absence of the Inspector-General of Police and Deputy Inspector-General of Police. Section 5 of the Police Act, in accordance with the provisions of section 215 (2), of the Nigeria Constitution, provides for the Office and rank of a Commissioner of Police who shall be in Control of contingents of the Police Force stationed in a State. He is subject however, to the command of the Inspector-General of Police or who-so-ever acts for him, in his absence.

Every other rank in the Force is legally provided for by section 5 of the Police Act. The Command structure of the Nigeria Police can be presented in order of hierarchy as in the chain hereunder.

Command (Authority) Structure of the NPF

There are 15 ranks/command structure in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). They are:

  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

Regulation 273 of the Police Regulation, Cap 359 laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1990 is instructing on this issue.

B. Administrative Structure

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.

1. ‘A’ Department:- Administration

  • Direction, supervision, and coordination 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 the 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 Administration of welfare schemes , e.g, Medical;
  • Laison, co-ordination and interaction with other Directorates of the Nigeria Police Force;
  • Preparation of Annual Budget for the Directorate
  • Police Computer;
  • Police Co-operatives;

2. ‘B’ Department:- Operation

  • Planning and organizing internal security measures and monitoring the execution of such security measures in time of emergency;
  • Direction and coordination 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.

3. ‘C’ Department:- Logistics And Supply

  • 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 accouterments, 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.

4. ‘D’ Department:- Investigation And Intelligence

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Interpol
  • Antiguitics
  • Crime Prevention Policies
  • Narcotics
  • Forensic Matters
  • Crime Records
  • Prosecution and
  • Criminal Intelligence

5. ‘E’ Department:- Training And Command

  • 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 the 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;

6. ‘F’ Department

  • Research;
  • Planning
  • Inspectorate Division;
  • Management Information;
  • Organization and Method

7. ‘G’ Department (ICT)

As it is known globally, technology plays a significant role in modern law enforcement to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the agencies. Thus, it is imperative for modern law enforcement agency to have the capability to manage electronic databases and communication systems as global crime has become more sophisticated.

Sections Of ‘G’ Department (ICT)
  • 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
Objectives Of ‘G’ Department (ICT):
  • To develop an ICT Policy for the Nigeria Police Force in line with National ICT Policies such  policies on procurement, use and maintenance of ICT equipment
  • To develop and empower the Nigeria Police personnel with ICT skills for  operation efficiency and improved service delivery
  • To provide tools that will help accomplish efficient modern policing.
  • To introduce ICT innovative solutions centered on strategic policing that will facilitate public participation in the policing
  • To develop technological driven Citizen and Law Enforcement Analysis and Reporting (CLEAR) program, that is designed within the context of police-community-partnership for efficient and effective law enforcement
  • To provide and maintain a system for data collection, input analysis and necessary output
  • To provide and maintain security for all levels of access and privilege to information systems and technology in all Police formation
  • To ensure that Nigeria Police acquire the best ICT equipment that complies with global law enforcement standards
  • To evolve law enforcement technological solutions that will set pace for other security agencies globally
  • To periodically conduct ICT related need assessment and advise the Force accordingly

8. Office Of The Force Secretary

  • 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

C. Organizational Structure

The Nigeria Police Force is further structured in line with the geopolitical structure of the Country, with provisions for supervisory formations. The structure formation enables Police operational of the internal Territory of Nigeria.

The organizational structure of the Police Force is represented as shown below:

  • Force Headquarters
  • Zonal Headquarters
  • State Commands Headquarters
  • Divisional Police Headquarters
  • Police Station
  • Police Post
  • Village Police Post.

By this nature, the Police Operational crime-fighting function is felt by the populace. The relevance of the structuring of the Police to the defense and internal security of the nation can be appreciated by the totality of Police role in internal; security.

The whole weight of the powers and duties of the Police are spread on the balance of these structures. A periodic assessment and review of these structures to determine their relevance in the scheme of the nation’s defence mechanism has remained a traditional exercise in the Force, in order to catch-up with current global policing strategies as prescribed in international defence policies. It also provides an avenue for getting along with other national security out-fits.

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