Abuja - INEC is proposing a N1 million fee for registration of a new political parties in the country.
This was made known by INEC in Abuja on Tuesday during its first quarterly meeting with the chieftains of some political parties.
In his reaction to the proposal, the acting National Secretary of PDP, Onwe Sam-Onwe, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the N1 million fee being proposed by INEC for registration of new parties was outrageous.
``How can the fee be increased from N100 000 to N1 million, the commission should consider N500 000,'' he said.
Onwe said that though the commission explained that the increase was aimed at curtailing the frivolous registration of political parties, it was not too good for democracy.
He said the measure might deny many Nigerians the opportunities for freedom of association and put many people’s ambition on hold.
In his reaction, the National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Rafiu Salau, said political parties were not profit making organisation, therefore, there was no reason to increase registration fee.
Mustapha Saliu, the Deputy National Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC), said it was a welcome idea for the party.
He said the commission took the party chieftains into confidence to explain that it had to embark on a lot of logistics before any political party could be registered.
``With the trend in the country today you will know that N100 000 is not a realistic amount of money for INEC to carry out registration exercise,’’ he said.
``The money is what they will use as administrative charges to check the documents for documentation and to review whatever they need to review on such application.
Saliu said that INEC told the parties about the plan just for information purpose and not to decide or give a figure for INEC.
In a related development, the ANPP National Secretary, Tijani Tumsah, said the money was too much and should be reduced.
Yunusa Tanko, the National Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), said the review of the fee was a constitutional matter and the power was conferred on the commission.
``We should not forget that with this, some of the party members may not be able to contribute N1 million for the registration of their political parties.
He said INEC was trying to ensure that only credible people were leading political parties and to be able to checkmate the credibility of every individual.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu, told NAN that the increase was aimed at discouraging frivolities.
He said some of the party chieftains were even seeking for a higher charge.
Idowu said that it was INEC’s prerogative under the law to make the guidelines and the consultation was just to carry the party chieftains along.
NAN reports that other issues discussed at the meeting include the issue of agents on election days and the early distribution of election materials, and building capacity for party agents among others.