Civil Service, Public Service, Salary Structure & What Civil Servants Earn

Civil servants vs Public servants

According to the then Head of Service of the Federation in 2018, Ms Winifred Oyo-Ita

Civil Service, Public Service, Salary Structure & What Civil Servants Earn: “Oyo-Ita, who is a member of the minimum wage committee constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017, said there is ongoing deliberation on the pay disparity between the public and civil servants.

“There is a difference between civil service and public service, civil service is a subset of public service, so you find that in the enlarged public service we have parastatals that are earning fantastic sum of money and we have military and para-military earning money that cannot be compared to that of the civil servants.

“This core group of civil servants are just about 80,000 and they earn peanuts. A driver in the civil service earn as low as N18,000 to N20,000 a month.

“You have a director who has been in the Service for over 30 years, due for retirement is having a monthly take home of about N300,000, whereas that is the starting point of some graduates in some parastatals.

“In some parastatals, fresh graduates are starting on N250,000 – N300,000 and you want the director to go and supervise such agencies.


“All the issues of pay disparity will be addressed in the Presidential National Minimum Wage committee.”

Sadly, these issues were not addressed.


Categories of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)

a. Ministries/Core civil service: The Ministries play a supervisory role to the parastatals. The Ministries are headed by Ministers. The head of service is the most senior civil servant.
b. Parastatals (agencies and departments): usually under a Federal Ministry or under the office of the SGF i.e Presidency.
They have more precise functions according to the Acts that created them. These are headed by DGs, EVC (as with NCC), Director (as with DPR), CFI (as with NAICOM), GMD (as with NNPC), ES (as with PEF, TETFUND) CEO (as with NEPC, NIDCOM), etc


a. Harmonised salary structure funded by National Treasury: These includes all Ministries and most parastatals (agencies/departments/institutes etc) whose annual budget including salaries and allowances are funded from the National Treasury. You will always find their budget estimates in the annual national budget.

MDAs in this category uses salary structures like;

CONUASS – for academic staff of universities
CONPSS – for core civil service/ministries. Also the poorest
CONPASS – for paramilitary agencies
CONAFSS – for armed forces
CONMESS – for medical doctors
CONHESS – for health workers
CONTOPSAL -for top officials like NASS Clerk, SAs to the President, NSA etc
CONRAISS – for research agencies/institutes
CONPOSS – for police
CONPCASS – for polytechnics and CoE
CONICSS – for intelligence community i.e DSS
etc E many gan ooooo. grin

b. Special Salary Structure funded by National Treasury: These group enjoy a special salary structure (most times 4-10 times higher) than the CONPSS (the poorest salary structure). However, they are funded from the National Treasury and are included in the national budget. e.g NEITI, NARSDA, BPE, DMO, BPP, EFCC, NIGCOMSAT, ICRC, SEC, DPR etc.

c. Self-funded agencies: Agencies under this category are revenue generating agencies. They fund themselves and therefore determine their own salary structures. NNPC, CBN, NPA, NIMASA, FAAN, NAMA, BOI, FMBN, NCC, PHCN, FIRS etc fall under this category.


On the street, among lawmakers during unofficial discussions and among job seekers, we have;

a. GRADE A/JUICY AGENCIES: Agencies that oay 200k and above monthly. Also revenue generating agencies fall into this category. For the lawmakers, these agencies have the capacity to give out mouth watering contracts. NCC, DPR, NDIC, NIMASA, PPPRA, PEF, etc

b. GRADE B AGENCIES: Agencies that pay between 80k -150k but below 200k. NACA, NHIS, NLN, most paramilitary agencies, FAAN, NABDA, NAIC etc. Most agencies fall under this category.

b. GRADE C: Agencies that pay below 80k. All ministries are also included here with the exception of Petroleum Resources, Justice and one other I cannot immediately remember. NIPOST, NIMC, and few other parastatals fall under this category.

Having said that, a level 08 officer (BSc holder) in the core civil service (Ministries and grade C agencies using the CONPSS) earn below 60k monthly as net pay.

Level 09 (MSc holders at entry level) earns below 70k/monthly and PhD holders at entry level (level 10) earns below 80k monthly.

An BSc entry level staff at DPR or PPPRA (SS6 is what they call level cool will earn more monthly than a senior lecturer with over 5 years post PhD teaching experience in a federal university.

If ASUU finally joins IPPIS, a Professor will earn less than an entry level BSc holder at NLNG, PPPRA or DPR.”


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