Tracking Election Financing in Nigeria Using the Cashless System: Osinbajo

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According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, when implemented properly, a cashless policy in Nigeria can reduce the amount of illegitimate election financing by making it easier to track funds.

In his own words: “I believe that building more infrastructure is what we should be focusing on. The cashless system has been quite helpful and facilitates tracking. The more financial inclusion you have, the easier it is to track, and that kind of infrastructure is helpful for that.

The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Mr. Barry Andrews, who is also a member of the European Parliament, led a delegation of observers who spoke earlier today at the Presidential Villa.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, the nation’s existing election funding procedures allow for “so much money to be spent without it being tracked.”

The vice president acknowledged that cash transactions make it extremely difficult to oversee election finance, but added that additional infrastructure needs to be addressed before the nation can successfully implement a cashless system. The VP said, “With cash transactions, it is still challenging to seriously control election financing.”

The Vice President mentioned that the Electoral Offenses Commission Bill is currently before the National Assembly and expressed the expectation that it will usher in a new system of handling electoral offenses.

In general, one shouldn’t expect INEC to be the investigator of electoral offenses, he underlined. I believe that State-by-State prosecution and arrest of offenders should be the responsibility of law enforcement agencies. Prof. Osinbajo stated, “There should be consequences and that way, we would be able to clean up and address some of the problems.”

Mr. Andrews noted in his remarks that the Observer Mission will be watching the upcoming elections next month and hoped for a fair and peaceful election process.

He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission had invited the EU Mission to observe the elections for the seventh time, and that the delegation had been in the nation since January 11 and would remain through the end of March 2023.

Ms. Samuela Isopi, Ambassador, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, and Mr. Thomas Boserup, Deputy Chief Observer, EU Election Observation Mission, are other members of the delegation.