SSS and DSS Nigeria Ranks and Salary Structure

Also known as the Department of State Services (DSS), the State Security Services (SSS) of Nigerian is the agency charged with the responsibility of dealing with all high profile domestic security issues. Because of the sensitive nature of their job, almost everything about this special body of security professionals is tagged as classified information. Thus, this makes it almost impossible to get to their salary structure; we can only make do with titbits that filter into the public arena from time to time.

Talking about the rank profile of the State Security Services or Department of State Services, it is known that the agency has a total of 16 ranks which starts from recruits as the least position and ends with the Director-General who takes charge of the day to day affairs of the special agency.

Rank Profile of the Nigerian SSS and DSS

Even though everything concerning the Nigerian State Security Service is said to be classified, important information has a way of filtering out to the public. From what we gathered, the rank profile of this body of professionals is similar to other government security outfits like the Nigerian Army, The Navy, the Airforce, and of course the Nigerian police.

Where we did not succeed in getting the details of the salary structure of the SSS, we were able to get their rank profile. To get to the highest rank in the Nigerian State Security Service, one has to pass through four stages namely. non-officers, junior officers, senior officers, and high-ranking officers. The ranks come thus;


  • Recruit
  • Private
  • Lance Corporal
  • Corporal
  • Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant

Junior Officers

  • Second Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant
  • Captain

Senior Officers

  • Major
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Colonel

High Ranking officers

  • Brigadier General
  • Major General
  • Lieutenant General
  • General

From the list above, it is seen that an officer has to scale the hurdle of 16 ranks before he or she can become the boss of the SSS. In the first stage, non-officers, there are six steps, followed by junior officers with three steps, and the same applies to senior officer-level. The high-ranking officer level presents the remaining four steps making it 16 in all.

The Highest Rank In The SSS and DSS

The above list also shows that the highest position in the rank profile of the State Security Services of Nigerian is the General who is tagged the Director-General (DGN) of SSS. The ranks these generals occupied prior to their appointment is available in the open sources.

For instance, the foremost DGN of the State Security Services was Colonel Abdullahi Mohammed and needless to say, the rank Colonel is only obtainable in the Nigerian Army.
Even though the agency’s salary structure is classified, sources have revealed that the DGN’s monthly remuneration is way above one million naira. Besides, we have seen sources that pegged it at N1.3 million while others say it is N1.5 million. Whichever may be the case, it is glaring that the salary structure of the SSS far exceeds that of their counterparts in other government agencies.

SSS/DSS Salary Structure

As earlier mentioned nearly everything about the State Security Services is treated as classified information. The same thing goes for the security outfit’s salary structure but tidbits about the Director General’s salary said he receives between one to 1.5 million as his monthly salary. However, the salaries of other positions from the Recruit to the Lieutenant-General remain shrouded.

Going by the reports we got, personnel of the State Security Services receive at least 50 percent more than what is obtainable with their contemporaries in the Nigerian Police. For instance, if the monthly take-home of a sergeant in the Nigerian Police is N50k, then, an officer of a similar level in the SSS will be getting N75k per month.

Reasons Behind the Salary Structure of The Security Outfit

Informed citizens of Nigerian who know about the special salary structure of the SSS have often asked why the agency’s operatives are paid higher than other officers of similar ilk. The answer according to reports lies within their job description. Just like their salary is high, the job specifications of these officers are equally uncommon.

Their training is a bit more tedious, even at the entry-level, candidates are exposed to a plethora of tests to show how mentally and physically fit they are. In the course of the job, these operatives go through tedious training as a lot of lives are entrusted into their hands. Thus, those who are not capable and ready to work under constant pressure cannot be recruited into the agency. It only takes men of grit to become SSS or DSS operative.

What is SSS?

The SSS (State Security Services) is self-styled as the DSS (Department of State Services). The agency was born out of the dissolution of the NSO (National Security Organization) during the military regime of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Provisions in Decree 19 saw to the division of the NSO into three distinct divisions namely;

  1. The SSS (State Security Services) – Being among the successors of the NSO, it goes without saying that the SSS deals with intelligence. They are responsible for the country’s domestic intelligence. The agency’s major responsibility falls within the confines of Nigeria and includes counter-intelligence, counter-terrorism, internal security, as well as surveillance. The organization is also charged with the responsibility of investigating any other felony committed against the Nigerian state. Also, SSS is charged with the task of providing senior government officials with protection, particularly, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigerian and his family, the VP and his family, State governors, and their families.
  2. The NIA (National Intelligence Agency) – This agency takes care of foreign intelligence as well as counterintelligence operations.
  3. DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) – This is the agency that takes responsibility for military intelligence.

Are SSS and DSS the Same Thing?

The State Security Service of Nigeria can also be referred to as the Department of State Services. The acronym SSS and DSS are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. This primary domestic intelligence of the nation is answerable to the President of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria alone and it is the sole duty of Mr. President to appoint trusted senior officers and put them at the helm of affairs in the agency.

Once appointed, these officers command the organization and report back to the presidency; Reason for this is that everything that has to do with the SSS is classified, thus, it is not safe to have a middleman between the organization and the presidency. Information simply flows from Aso Rock to the SSS. They are grouped under the Federal Ministry of Defense controlled by the National Security Adviser; this follows the Presidential Proclamation of 1999. The agency has its headquarters in the nation’s capital Abuja.

How Can One Join SSS/DSS?

People who aspire to join the country’s domestic intelligence agency have to follow the State Security Services recruitment. The SSS is distinct from other government agencies like the Nigerian Police, Navy, Air Force, and Army that all have a specific period for their recruitment exercise. The SSS is empowered with the exclusive right to call for their own recruitment when the need arises.

Criteria For Joining SSS

  • Every individual that wants to apply for a position with the State Security Services must possess a minimum qualification of WAEC or NECO.
  • The SSS prefers to take higher grade students, however.
  • Candidates will be subjected to series of tests to prove their mental and physical fitness.
  • Successful candidates will train for six months or more.
  • On joining the SSS, candidates should be prepared for their personal info to be classified also.
  • All other information about the agency is classified, including how the structure functions and its approach to things like promotion, salaries, welfare packages, incentives, retirement, and resignation
Chacha O
Chacha O
Chacha is a writer with a wealth of experience who has contributed across several channels. Her specialty includes celebrity lifestyle including how top movie stars, musicians, and comedians live their lives.


Featured Today

Featured Today

Related Stories