By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO |
Stakeholders in Nigeria’s electoral system have raised concerns over huge costs of electioneering campaigns in the country, noting that excessive use of funds for elections unduly corrupts the political system.
Some politicians and members of the civil society organisations who spoke exclusively to LEADERSHIP, however, observed that it may be difficult to track money spent by candidates during elections due to lack of political will and flagrant abuse of financial regulations.
This is just as the National Assembly, in the ongoing amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act (As Amended 2015) seeks to increase the maximum expenses to be incurred by a candidate at the presidential election from N1 billion to N5 billion; governorship from N200 million to N1 billion; senatorial from N40 million to N100million; House of Representatives from N20 million to N70 million.
The ongoing amendment also seeks to increase funding for state assembly, from N10 million to N30 million, chairmanship of local government areas and area councils in the case of the FCT also from N10 million to N30million and a maximum of N5 million for councillorship election.
The bill titled, “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Electoral Act N0. 6, 2010 (As amended 2015) and enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act 2020, to regulate Conduct of Federal State and area Council Elections and for related matters, 2020,” sponsored by Hon. Aisha Dukku has been passed for a second reading.
While reacting to LEADERSHIP inquiry on the costs of election campaigns, the member representing Zaria federal constituency of Kaduna State in the House of Representatives, Hon Tajudeen Abbas, said competition among contenders was the major factor responsible for huge election costs.
Abbas who has been elected into the same position for three consecutive times said, he wasn’t surprised that some lawmakers would spend as much as N500 million to prosecute their elections.
Also, a former member of the House from Ibadan North federal constituency of Oyo State, Hon Abiodun Dada Awoleye, in his contribution, said it was needless to spend a huge amount to get elected into offices.
Meanwhile, despite the effort of lawmakers to control the cost of funding elections in the ongoing amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), the menace of money politics may not be addressed.
The executive director of YIAGA-Africa, Samson Itodo, while speaking exclusively to our correspondent noted that it would be difficult to trace the funding of an election due to certain limitations in the legal framework.
Read the Source post on Leadership Newspaper.