Nigerian activists ask Buhari government to increase salaries of judges and decrease salaries of politicians to fight corruption

Nigerian activists announced on Sunday that they have called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to increase the salaries of judges and decrease the salaries of politicians to fight corruption.

“Judges should get all to which they are reasonably entitled, and it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat judges as ‘second-class people’ while high-ranking political office-holders enjoy lavish salaries and allowances,” Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) said in a letter on April 10, 2021, according to their statement.

The letter, signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, was addressed to Engineer Elias Mbam, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).

SERAP urged Mbam to “urgently review upward the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for Nigerian judges, and to review downward the remuneration and allowances of high-ranking political office-holders in order to address the persistent poor treatment of judges, and to improve access of victims of corruption to justice.”

“The remuneration and allowances of judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of political office-holders such as President, Vice-President, governors and their deputies, as well as members of the National Assembly,” the activists said, urging Mbam to send his review and recommendations to the National Assembly for appropriate remedial and legislative action.

The letter followed the nationwide industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press home their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government, and the federal government’s silence on the judiciary workers’ strike that has grounded courts across the country.

SERAP said Nigerian judges are among the least paid in the world. “The poor treatment of judges is neither fair to them nor to the Nigerian people. Judges deserve remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service commensurate with their judicial powers and responsibilities. While the remuneration and allowances of judges are grossly insufficient to enable them to maintain themselves and their families in reasonable comfort, high-ranking political office-holders continue to enjoy lavish allowances, including life pensions, and access to security votes, which they have powers to spend as they wish.”

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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