The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has urged the National Assembly to ensure that more funds are allocated to the justice sector for the effective administration of justice in the country.
The AGF made the call during the 2022 budget defence before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on Monday.
THE WHISTLER reports that in the 2022 FGN Executive Proposal, N120, 000,000,000 was captured as total allocation for Judiciary.
The sum of N61, 029,472,666 was also appropriated for the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Meanwhile, Malami, in defense of the budget, explained that all the parastatals under the purview of the Federal Ministry of Justice were in dire need of funding so as to carry out its duties effectively.
“The prime drivers of any given maturing democracy such as ours, are the Rule of Law, Due Process of the Law, Human Rights, International Obligations and Allied Matters. Evidence reveals that Administration of Justice which guarantees sustainable peace, equity and fair play is undeniably capital intensive. In the circumstance, we need to reconceptualise the existing funding pattern of the Justice sector, “ he said.
The AGF further based his call for more funding on the grounds that the justice sector was “not primarily a revenue generating sub-sector,” hence the need to give greater consideration to the sector in terms of funding.
“As a subsector, our revenue derives essentially from our constitutional activities and returns such as Value Added Tax, Withholding Tax, Stamp Duties, Returns on DTA, Certified True Copies, Earnings from use of government Halls, Tenders Fees, Earnings from Sales of government unserviceable vehicles, sale of Law Books and Journals and Rent of government Properties,” he added.
Malami also said that the ministry has made and is making great efforts to recover looted funds to boost the revenue profile of the government.
He added that achieving such feats will require adequate financing.
“The Ministry handles public prosecution and Civil Litigation for the federation and sometimes outsources these services particularly as it relates being prosecuted internally where State Counsels have legal limitations to court appearances. We all know that legal services (especially litigations) are not cheap. Furthermore, the Justice Sector reforms we are currently undertaking are costly to execute. We therefore need your kind support with adequate funding to successfully prosecute them, “ the AGF said.