Senate Approves 300% Salary Increase for Nigerian Judicial Officers

Senate Approves 300% Salary Increase for Nigerian Judicial Officers

The Senate has passed a bill seeking to prescribe improved salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits of Judicial office holders in Nigeria by 300 per cent.

The development followed the adoption of report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters presented by the Chairman of the committee Senator Mohammed Monguno (lBorno North).

The Executive bill forwarded by the President is titled “A Bill for an Act to Prescribe the Salaries, Allowances and Fringe Benefits of Judicial Office Holders in Nigeria and for Related Matters”.

The bill provides a total monthly package of 5,385,047.26 for the Chief Justice of Nigeria

Justices of the Supreme Court are to earn a total package of N4, 213,192.54, while the President of the Court of Appeal is to earn a total monthly package of N4, 478,415.78.

Also, justices of the Court of Appeal are to earn a total monthly package of N3, 726,665.40, while the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, President of the National Industrial Court, Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Grand Khadi, FCT Sharia Court of Appeal, President of Customary Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of State High Court and Grand Khadi of State Sharia Court of Appeal and President of state Customary Court of Appeal are to earn a total monthly package of N3, 527,022.61.

Monguno said stakeholders at the public hearing of the bill were unanimous in their support for its passage.

He said the purpose of the bill is sacrosanct to the justice sector reform initiative of the present administration.

He said the bill was in consonance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the standing rules of the Senate.

He said, “The proposed legislation is apt and timely as the increase in remuneration of judicial office holders is long overdue in light of the present economic realities and high inflation in the country”.

Monguno said the  bill  was  “quite innovative,” aside from the increment in the basic salary, it also took cognisance of certain peculiarities of the administrative structure and operation of the judiciary.”

He said, “Generally the bill, if passed will birth an appropriate and commensurate remuneration that will ensure judicial independence and integrity.

“That no doubt adequate remuneration will allow judicial officers to focus on their professional development without worrying about financial constraint; hence it will improve their professionalism and decision-making skills.

“That fair compensation for judicial officers is crucial for maintaining public trust in judiciary’s impartiality and integrity.

“When Judges are adequately compensated, it demonstrates a commitment by society towards the important role they play in upholding justice”.

He said the increase in remuneration for judicial office holders was essential to attract and retain highly qualified and experienced professionals who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and integrity to serve on the bench.

“That certainly, the bill if passed will give financial security to retired judicial officers after years of dedication in the profession and allowing them to remain comfortable during their retirement”.

He said the increment under consideration has been captured in the 2024 Appropriation Act.

Sunday Aborisade

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