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Tinubu Writes Reps, Seeks Improved Pay for Judges

President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday, transmitted a letter to the National Assembly praying it to pass a new bill seeking to provide new salaries and allowances for judicial officers across the country.

The letter read was at plenary by the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen on Tuesday.

The proposed law seeks to prescribe salaries and allowances as well as other fringe benefits for judicial officers.

Recall that there has been agitation for an improvement in the salaries, allowances and other welfare packages of judicial officers in the country in recent times.

The Executive bill forwarded by the President was 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 President’s letter titled “Transmission of the judicial office holders salaries and allowances etc bill 2024” was dated March 19, 2024.

It read: “In accordance with the provisions of Section 58(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), I forward, herewith, the Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, Etc) Bill, 2024 for the kind consideration of the House of Representatives.

“The Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, Etc) Bill, 2024 seeks to prescribe salaries, allowances and fringe benefits for judicial officers, to end the prolonged stagnation in their remuneration and to reflect contemporary socio-economic realities.

“The bill, which establishes a new legal framework for the remuneration of judicial officers, will also ensure significant improvement in the welfare, capacity and independence of the judiciary.

“Whilst I hope that the Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) Bill, 2024 will be carefully yet expeditiously considered and passed by the House of Representatives, please accept, Rt Hon Speaker, the assurances of my highest esteem.”

The House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary had on Monday invited the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as the Secretary, National Judicial Council for deliberation over the poor remuneration of judicial officials across the country.

Also invited to the meeting slated for Monday, March 25, 2024, are the National President, Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the Chairman, Nation’s Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as the President, Nigeria Bar Association.

During a valedictory court session in his honour, retired Justice Musa Dattijo of the Supreme Court had revealed that Justices of the apex were poorly paid.

“It may interest one to know that the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court earns more than the Justices. While she earns N1.2m per month, justices take home N751, 000 in a month.

“The CJN, on his part takes home N400, 000 plus. The salary of a Justice, curiously, drops rather than increases when he gets the added responsibility of being a CJN.

“That the unjust and embarrassing salary difference between the justices and the Chief Registrar still abides remains intriguing to say the least,” Justice Dattijo had said.

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