Several polls suggest that Bola Tinubu from the All Progressive Congress, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party, and Rabiu Kwankwaso from the New Nigeria Peoples Party(NNPP) are among the leading candidates out of a total of 18 who will appear on the ballot box in the upcoming election.
Electing any of the aforementioned as the new leader of Africa’s most populous country will not come cheap for citizens, whose taxes will be used to fund the election.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu recently announced that a total of N355 billion would be needed to prosecute the general election. However, the national assembly approved N305 billion in the 2023 budget.
This figure is a 61.37% increase over the N189.2 spent to conduct the 2019 general election. INEC said the money will cover procuring accreditation devices, referenda and recalls expenses such as : Operation dept cost covering , printing of ballot papers, result sheets , printing of forms and Envelopes ,arterials and supplies , logistics expenses , honorarium for officials , supervision, RAC preparation, security /intervention support etc. Breakdown of cost of election
Across the world, conducting elections is expensive, and the cost in each country is determined by certain factors and electoral events — some of which include the structure and size of the democracy, country population, and frequency of elections. Thus, globally, the average Cost per Registered Voter Index (COVI) is used to determine the adequacy of election funding.
For established and stable democracies, the average cost per voter is pegged at $1 to $3. In transitional democracies, it ranges from $4 to $8, while the cost is fixed at $9 and above in post-conflict and some transitional democracies. In effect, elections tend to be more costly in nascent democratic countries.
BBC reports that INEC plans to spend $7 per voter for the election.
This is the highest spent ever. During the 2019 election $6.24 was the cost per voter.
The real cost of 2023 election
The INEC revealed 87.2m (87,209,007) of registered voters have successfully collected their permanent voters card for the election. Therefore, in real terms, if all those with PVCs come out to vote, the cost per voter for the 2023 election, using $7 per voter and the official exchange rate of N461, and electing Nigeria’s next president will be N253.9 billion.
Data shows electing Nigeria’s next president will cost citizens over N253bn
Meanwhile, in another report, Access Bank, Ecobank and other commercial banks have announced changes in their operating hours ahead of the election. The banks decision is ahead of the general elections, which are less than 48 hours away.
The banks have advised customers to complete their transactions before the deadline to avoid being stranded.