June 5, 2024

Senate okays 300% pay increase for CJN, judicial officers

Justice Kayode Ariwoola

Justice Kayode Ariwoola

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA- THE Senate has passed a bill seeking to prescribe improved salaries, allowances, and fringe benefits for Judicial office holders in Nigeria.

The bill was read the third time yesterday and passed.

The passage of the bill by the Senators was a sequel to the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters presented by the Chairman, Senator Mohammed Monguno, APC, Borno North.

In his presentation, Monguno who noted that stakeholders at the public hearing of the bill were unanimous in their support for its passage, said that the purpose of the bill are sacrosanct to the justice sector reform initiative of the present administration.

According to him, 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

“The bill was “quite innovative”, 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.

“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”.

Monguno who noted that the increase in remuneration for judicial office holders became imperative in order l to attract and retain highly qualified and experienced professionals who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and integrity to serve on the bench, adding, ‘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.