BREAKING: AGF, NJC, RMAFC, Others Back Increase Of Judges’ Salary, Allowance By 300%

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has expressed his support for President Bola Tinubu’s proposed 300 percent increase in the salaries and allowances of judicial office holders in the country.

Naija News reports that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) endorsed the increment on Monday, May 20, so as the National Judicial Council (NJC), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission (RMAFC), among others.

During a one-day public hearing on a Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to Prescribe the Salaries and Allowances and Fringe Benefit of Judicial Office Holders in Nigeria and Related Matters, 2024,” the AGF, NBA, NJC, RMAFC, and other critical stakeholders shared their views.

Organized by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters chaired by Senator Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC – Borno North), the public hearing saw Fagbemi emphasizing the importance of improving the remuneration of judicial officers in the country, highlighting the historical challenges in this regard.

He said, “I wish to remark that the Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) Bill 2024 is quite innovative. Aside from the increment in the basic salary, it also took cognizance of certain peculiarities of the administrative structure and operation of the judiciary.

“This Bill will birth an appropriate and commensurate remuneration that will ensure judicial independence and integrity.

“The present-day but sad reality is that the judiciary has stagnated on the same salary scale for over 16 years, this is totally unacceptable and quite antithetical to any meaningful judicial reform.

“I strongly commend this Bill for your kind consideration and do urge the Senate to support and ensure the passage of this Bill in the national interest of promoting the rule of law.”

The SAN added: “In consultation with the judiciary and other key stakeholders, we are also interested in ensuring a holistic review of our judicial system to respond to the justice needs of Nigeria.

“This is why I am taking immediate/urgent steps to establish a Working Group on the review of the Constitution and other relevant laws. The Working Group will, among others, focus on the key provisions aimed at achieving the judiciary that responds to the evolving justice needs of Nigerians.

“At the appropriate time, and I promise very soon, we will come up with proposals for Constitutional and Statutory reforms of the Judiciary in particular, and the Administration of the Justice System in general.”

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