Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

On wednesday, the Senate passed a bill that will substantially raise the salaries and allowances of judges across various levels of the judiciary. This decision came after the Senate Committee on Judiciary, led by Chairman Mohammed Monguno, endorsed the bill during its third reading.

The legislation, which had been pushed forward at the request of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in May, seeks a 300% increase in the current compensation for judicial officers, marking a significant shift in the financial acknowledgment of their roles. If the House of Representatives agrees and the President signs the bill into law, it will see the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) earning an annual salary of N64 million.

Other judicial positions are also set for substantial raises; the President of the Court of Appeal is slated to receive N62.4 million, while Justices of the Supreme Court will have salaries adjusted to N61.4 million annually. Additionally, heads of major courts, including the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and the President of the National Industrial Court, will earn N7.9 million each per year.

Chairman Monguno highlighted the urgent need for these adjustments, pointing out that judges’ salaries had not been revised for an extended period. “Apart from the new salary and allowance scheme, the bill will also make provision for the retirement of judicial officers,” Monguno stated, underlining the comprehensive nature of the legislation.

Supporters of the bill argue that better compensation for judges is crucial for upholding justice and fairness within the judiciary. A senator from Borno state expressed optimism that the revised salary structure would promote greater integrity and impartiality within judicial processes.

The Senate’s approval of the bill marks a pivotal step towards enacting these changes, awaiting further agreement from the House of Representatives and the final signature of the President. If enacted, this legislation could have a profound impact on the operations and perception of the Nigerian judicial system.

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