Monday 07 December 2015

Lower Court Performance Management System Presented to the Board of the National Judicial Institute of Nigeria

The Justice for All programme presented the newly introduced performance management system (PMS) to the Board of Governors of the National Judicial Institute (NJI) on 19 November 2015. The NJI serves as the principal focal point of judicial activities relating to the promotion of efficiency, uniformity and improvement in the quality of judicial services in the higher and lower courts in Nigeria. It is managed by a Board of Governors, which is composed of the Chief Justice of Nigeria as Chairman, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice of the Supreme Court, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judges of all the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, two Grand Kadis of Sharia Courts of Appeal and two Presidents of Customary Courts of Appeal, amongst other members.

The presentation focused on the relevance of the PMS in strengthening oversight in courts. It also stressed the importance of the PMS as a process and tool to improve the performance of judicial officers, court employees as well as increase court user satisfaction with service delivery.  The presentation showed how the PMS is helping to address the weaknesses and challenges being experienced as a result of the of the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) system.

Reacting to the presentation, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the chairman of the Board and who spoke on its behalf, commended the efforts J4A was making to improve efficiency and service delivery in lower courts. He also encouraged Chief Judges to look closely at the system and its benefits with a possibility of replicating it in their states.

The PMS, which was developed with the support of the J4A Programme and adopted by the Kaduna State Judicial Service Commission in April 2014, is being implemented in 12 courts - 4 Magistrates, Courts, 4 Sharia Courts and 4 Customary Courts.