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CJN to earn N5.4m monthly as Senate passes bill seeking new salary structure for judicial officers

THE Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday , June 5, passed a bill proposing a new salary structure for judicial officers, including the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). 

If signed into law, the bill will substantially increase the annual earnings of the CJN to N64 million.

Similarly, the President of the Court of Appeal will earn N62.4 million and the justices of the Supreme Court will earn N61.4 million annually.

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, declared the bill passed following majority support from senators, who expressed their decision through voice votes.

The Red Chamber passed the bill after deliberation on a report from its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, which its chairman, Tahir Monguno, presented.

This development came about 10 weeks after the House of Representatives passed the bill seeking to increase judicial officers’ salaries, allowances and benefits. 

On March 20, the Green Chamber passed the bill after the third reading.

A breakdown of the bill, as reported, showed that the CJN would receive a monthly salary of N5.4 million (N5,385,047.26) amounting to N64.8 million per annum.

It also showed that the CJN would receive a monthly basic salary of N1.1 million, and N4.3 million in regular allowances.

Beyond the CJN, the bill outlines salary adjustments for various tiers of the judiciary, with the justices of the Supreme Court earning a total package of N4.2 million, and the President of the Court of Appeal will earn a monthly package of N4.4 million.

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, President of the National Industrial Court, Chief Judge of FCT High Court, Grand Kadi FCT Shariah Court of Appeal, President of FCT Customary Court, Chief Judge of State High Court, Grand Kadi State Shariah Court of Appeal, and President, State Customary Court of Appeal are expected to earn N42.3 million as annual regular allowances.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu had in March, transmitted a letter to the Senate to approve a new bill seeking to provide new salaries and allowances for judicial officers in Nigeria.

The Senate President read the President’s request during the plenary on Wednesday,  March 20.

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

In November 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to take measures for the immediate implementation of an enhanced salary and welfare package for judicial officers.

Buhari’s directive followed the National Industrial Court order in Abuja on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to increase the salaries and allowances of judges in the country.

In the judgement delivered by Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osagie, the court noted that judges’ and justices’ salaries had stagnated for over 14 years.

Meanwhile, Tinubu, in his letter, said when approved, the bill titled “Judicial Office Holders, Salaries and Allowances, etc, Bill 2024,” would generate a new legal framework for the remuneration of judicial officers to improve their welfare.

The National Assembly granted the approval for the upward review of salaries for the judicial workers while civil and public servants are demanding for a new minimum wage – a rise from the current N30,000 to at least N100,000.

The workers’ leadership – the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) – declared a nationwide strike on Monday, June 3, after the ultimatum issued to the federal government expired.




     

     

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    In addition to the minimum wage review, the workers asked the government to reverse the electricity tariff hike it announced in April.

    The workers’ strike on Monday and Tuesday crippled the nation’s economy as schools, airports, train and power stations among other public institutions were shut down.

    After reaching an agreement with the government the labour suspended the strike by one week, giving room to the government to further negotiate for an acceptable minimum wage.

    The government had offered N60,000 which the workers rejected.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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