Senate passes bill to prescribe salaries, allowances of judicial officers

Senate passes bill to prescribe salaries, allowances of judicial officers

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill seeking to prescribe improved salaries, allowances and fringe benefits for judicial office holders in Nigeria.

This followed the adoption of a report of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters at plenary.

Presenting the report, the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) said that stakeholders at the public hearing on the bill were unanimous in their support for its passage.

Monguno said that the purposes of the bill were sacrosanct to the justice sector reform initiative of the present administration.

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

According to him, 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.

He said that the bill was quite innovative, as aside the increment in the basic salary, it also took cognisance of certain peculiarities of the administrative structure and operation of the judiciary.

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

“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, and 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,” Monguno said.

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

“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,” the chairman said.

He said that the increment under consideration, had been captured in the 2024 Appropriation Act.