Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council, NJC, Ahmed Saleh has disclosed that the current galloping inflation in Nigeria would affect the administration of justice in the country.
He also advocated more funds for the judiciary in order to meet competing needs and to address the challenges of infrastructure and welfare of judicial officers/staff of the arm of government.
Mr Saleh, who was speaking while appearing before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to defend the 2022 budget proposal which is pegged at N120 billion, said galloping inflation has forced the judiciary to roll some of its projects in 2021 to 2022 budget.
He however informed the committee that the judiciary has been able to achieve about 70 per cent of its budget implementation.
“The statutory transfer for the year 2022 will be N120 billion, we are aware that this is possible because of your sustained campaign for the funding of the judiciary. Am glad to report to this committee that out of N110 billion appropriated to us, we are able to implement of 70 per cent of our budget,” he said.
“Permit me at this point to make some observations regarding the prevailing economic situation in the country. As at the year 2020 December, the exchange rate of Naira was N380 to $1 and the rate was N480 to $1 at the parallel market,” he stated.
Senator Bamidele assured the leadership of the judiciary of cooperation of the committee its readiness to interact with the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure that adequate funding of the judicial arm of the government.
“I wish to state at this juncture that the 2022 statutory transfer to the judiciary is in the sum of One Hundred and Twenty Billion Naira (N120,000,000,000) only, representing an increase, which is in the sum of Ten Billion Naira (N10,000,000.000) only, over the sum, which was appropriated in the 2021 Appropriation Act,” he stated.
He said in spite of the increase, there was the need to advocate for more funds for the judiciary, in order to meet competing needs and to address the challenges of infrastructure and welfare of judicial officers/staff of the judiciary.