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Senate approves N64m salary for Chief justice of nigeria

Senate approves N64m salary for Chief justice of nigeria

On Wednesday, the Senate approved a bill to increase the salaries, allowances, and other benefits for judicial officers in Nigeria. This follows the adoption of the report by the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, presented by its Chairman, Senator Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno North).

The bill, which had earlier passed the House of Representatives, will, if signed by the President, result in an annual salary of N64 million for the Chief Justice of Nigeria. The President of the Court of Appeal will receive N62.4 million annually, while Supreme Court Justices will earn N61.4 million each.

Additionally, heads of various courts, including the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, and the President of the National Industrial Court, will receive an annual basic salary of N7.9 million.

Senator Monguno noted that stakeholders at the public hearing overwhelmingly supported the bill. He emphasized that the proposed legislation is timely and necessary, given the current economic conditions and high inflation rates in the country.

He described the bill as innovative, highlighting that it not only increases the basic salary but also addresses the unique administrative and operational aspects of the judiciary. He asserted that the bill, once enacted, would ensure appropriate and fair compensation, thus bolstering judicial independence and integrity.

Monguno argued that adequate remuneration would enable judicial officers to focus on their professional duties without financial concerns, thereby enhancing their professionalism and decision-making capabilities. Fair compensation, he noted, is essential for maintaining public trust in the judiciary’s impartiality and integrity.

The proposed salary increments have been included in the 2024 Appropriation Act. Prominent figures such as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN); the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; and the Nigerian Bar Association have all expressed their support for the salary increases. They noted that judges’ salaries were last reviewed 17 years ago.

Support for the salary hike was voiced during a public hearing on May 20, organized by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters. The hearing discussed the “Bill for an Act to Prescribe the Salaries, Allowances, and Fringe Benefits of Judicial Officeholders in Nigeria and Related Matters Bill, 2024.”

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