Inflation hampering justice delivery, NJC warns
Current galloping inflation in the country will affect administration of justice, Executive Secretary of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Ahmed Saleh, has stated.
Saleh disclosed this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, yesterday. He faced the Senator Opeyemi Bamidele-led committee to give an overview of the sector’s 2021 budget and defend its 2022 proposal pegged at N120 billion.
He said galloping inflation forced the judiciary to roll some of its projects for 2021 into the 2022 budget. He noted also that the judiciary achieved about 70 per cent of its budget implementation.
He said: “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.
“As at December 2020, the exchange rate of the naira was N380 to $1 and the rate was N480 to $1 at parallel market. Inflation was projected to be 11.95 per cent but is now 17.0 per cent. All our projects, in good and services, were affected.”
Bamidele assured the leadership of the judiciary of the committee’s cooperation, saying the lawmakers will interact with the leadership of National Assembly to ensure adequate funding for the sector.
He said: “There is need to advocate more funds for the judiciary to meet competing needs and address challenges of infrastructure and welfare of judicial officers.
“In this regard, the committee will continue to interact with the leadership of the National Assembly and all relevant stakeholders to solicit more funds for the judiciary.”