This study investigated staff motivation and students’ academic performance in social studies in Nigerian private schools. It adopted descriptive research design, with 100 teachers and 10 School Principals as participants. Private secondary schools of at least five years of establishment were purposively selected for the study. Three hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. Findings show that salary increment, staff development and conditions of service have significant relationships with student’s academic performances in Social Studies. It was therefore, recommended among other things that the management of various private schools should show more commitment to the welfare of both the teaching and the non-teaching staff especially on terminal benefits, The Material/physical resources such as structures, machines, vehicles raw-materials, libraries, laboratories, furniture and other tools should be improved upon in order to achieve the goals of education, and that the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) should get closer to the private schools and be alive to the plight of teachers in those schools. Many of them are being exploited and suffering in silence.