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INEC to regulate use of money in politics

05 July 2012, 09:06

London - The National Electoral Commission (INEC) would soon introduce measures to regulate the use of money in politics, its Chairman, Attahiru Jega, said.

Jega said on Wednesday that the measures were part of the reform process introduced by the commission.

He spoke on the topic "Improving Elections in Nigeria: Lessons from 2011 and Looking to 2015'' at Chatham House in London.

``The role of money is a very serious issue in the Nigerian politics.

``The reform will seek to regulate the use of money in politics both for political parties and candidates,’’

He explained that the electoral laws give INEC the role of ensuring that the spending caps for expenditure are complied with and to impose penalties where applicable.

The chairman also listed other areas of reforms to include voter education, restructuring and reorganisation of the commission.

Jega noted that voter education was hitherto conducted in Nigeria only as an event prior to general elections.

``We have come to the conclusion that that is a wrong way of doing things in a country as large as ours, where there is the huge challenge of illiteracy.

 ``What we are trying to do is to make voter education as part of the process throughout the electoral circle.

``We need enlightened voters to vote wisely. It is also part of the reform measures we are carrying on,’’ he added.  

Jega pledged that the commission would conduct free and fair elections in 2015 in spite of the challenges in the country.

``The biggest challenge for us is how to prevent regression and consolidate on our gains; we are currently working hard to achieve this with our strategic plan,’’ he said.



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