Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has approved the upward review of the salaries and welfare packages of judicial officers in the state.
He announced the new salary package at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Calabar.
The new salary package takes effect from August 1, 2022, and the salaries of the state’s High Court judges will be increased by 100 per cent.
It was also announced that judges of the Customary Court of Appeal would have their salaries increased by 100 per cent, while those of Magistrates Court would be increased by 50 per cent.
Similarly, the governor has granted all judicial officers in the state immediate land allocation.
Governor Ayade said, “As a matter of state government’s policy, any judicial officer sworn in will have his or her official car ready for delivery. ”
He also approved new recruitment into the state’s judicial service, saying, “We have witnessed massive vacancy in the Ministry of Justice occasioned by retirement. To this effect, we have approved for the Chief Judge with the support of the Head of Service and the Civil Service Commission, the employment of 500 workers in the Ministry of Justice for the first phase alone.”
According to him, his administration has approved the setting aside of 25 per cent of the gross emoluments to support judicial officers’ allowances in terms of vacation, travels, among others.
He said he had addressed the immediate challenges of the state judiciary and pledged the support of his administration to that arm of government.
He said he acted in accordance with the report of the the State Judicial Welfare Review Committee he set up in April.
The Committee had retired Justice Eyo Effiong Ita as Chairman and the state’s Head of Service, Timothy Ogbang Akwaji as Secretary.
It was charged with reviewing of the salaries of Cross River state judicial officers.
“For our judicial officers, we know the challenges of this country. For Cross River State in particular, we are quite sensitive to all the concerns raised so far. That is why we set up a committee to review the conditions of service of judicial officers to make for better service delivery.
“So having studied the report of the committee and in order to enhance service delivery, Cross River State government has hereby handsomely reviewed their salaries and welfare,” he said.
The governor lauded the state Chief Judge, Justice Akon Ikpeme “for her diplomatic, studious and consistent push in achieving these goals.”