Nigeria’s Rising Judgment Debt Worries Senate

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Opeyemi Bamidele

By Deji Elumoye

The Senate has expressed concern over what it called “alarming and embarrassing state” of Nigeria’s judgment debt profile, saying provisions must be made in the proposed 2021 budget in order to address it before it goes out of hand

Chairman of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele raised the alarm yesterday at the 2021 budget defence session of the Federal Ministry of Justice before the Committee.

“Before we commence this exercise proper, it is pertinent to also state that the judgment debt profile of the country has reached an alarming and embarrassing state.

“As a result, it is our hope that in this 2021 budget estimates for the ministry, provisions have been made, as a step towards addressing the judgment debt profile of the country before it goes beyond our control”.

He noted that the budget performance/defense exercise was one of the most viable legislative activities, geared towards ensuring equitable distributions of the country’s resources with regards to allocation/implementation of projects and infrastructures to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

“Therefore, the importance of this exercise is not only sacrosanct for the political and socio-economic development of the country but also germane towards providing democratic dividends to the citizenry,” the ranking Senator stressed.

Earlier in his presentation before the Committee, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), requested for time to furnish the panel with the details of the nation’s judgment debt, which wasn’t captured in the budget details of the Ministry.

The actual budgetary proposal for the Ministry of Justice and its parastatals is N13.337 billion.