inecRuling All Progressives Congress, APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, spent a whopping N11 billion on their electioneering campaigns and the March 28 presidential elections, conducted across Nigeria, the Centre for Social Justice, CSJ, has revealed.
The amount which was expended in the execution of the parties’ strategies and campaigns for the presidential polls involved expenses on rallies, bill boards, media advertisement insertions in both electronic and print outfits, honoraria, among others.
CSJ, in a report presented to journalists, Tuesday, said APC accordingly spent N2.916 billion while the opposition PDP spent the sum of N8.750billion to finance their elections as against the N1billion stipulated by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere Esq. Who said the development flouted electoral guidelines on the ceiling for the maximum sum each party should spend in the execution of the presidential elections, explained that the “campaign finances and the use of state administrative resources is still above the ceiling” and a flout of the rules guiding the conduct of the game.
As a result of the political parties’ failure to keep within the ceiling, Onyekpere was of the opinion that the ceiling of N1billion for candidates in a presidential election should be upwardly reviewed to N5billion, based on observed expenses, if the candidates should be able to mount viable campaigns for the presidency.
Giving the breakdown of expenses, CSJ said campaign and rallies cost PDP the sum of N1,280,374,870.00, APC-671,062,200.00. Expenses and bill boards cost PDP N473,160,000.00 while APC spent N190,380,000.00.
For electronic media campaign, PDP spent N532,100,000.00, APC, N410,050,000.00, while electronic media advertisement cost PDP N3,988,822,125.00 with APC spending N1,064,706,850.00.
Similarly, on the print media campaign, PDP spent N2,475,228,301.00, APC N579,647,687.00, with the grand total for PDP standing at N8,749,685,296.00, while that of APC stood at 2,915,846,737.00.
CSJ further stated that, the review to N5billion on the presidential campaign should not be contained in the body of the Electoral Act, rather, the Act should be amended while the power to determine the ceiling across all the elections should be given to INEC. The group is of the opinion that, this power should be exercised from time to time based on changes in the economy, after due consultations with relevant stakeholders and the public.
The group also stipulated penalties for spending in excess of the ceiling, explaining that “spending in excess of the ceiling should be increased to not less than 50 per cent of the value of the excess expenditure and terms of imprisonment should be increased to not less than two years, and debarment from participation in politics for a period of 2 years”.
In curbing the excesses of candidates and political parties, the wants a new agency established specifically to oversight campaign finance and State Administrative Resources, or for INEC to be better positioned to carry out these tasks.
Furthermore, CSJ wants a virile agency of the state that can demand and receive from candidates and political parties the market value of state resources such as cars and aircrafts, deployed to campaign duties. However, the group also enjoined all other stakeholders like INEC, political parties, civil society groups and the media to be proactive in this course.

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