Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said it would modify its modalities for tracking campaign finances saying individual candidates should also be encouraged to report their campaign finances to the commission.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building for political party leaders organised by Political Parties Leadership and Policy Development Centre of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Director, Election and Monitoring unit of INEC, Mr Aminu Idris, said monitoring campaign finances of individual candidates was the major challenge facing the commission.
“We have done a lot of training for our staff on how to track campaign financing of candidates and political parties.
“We have also collaborated with donor partner to train political parties on how to report because the requirement of the law is for political parties to report their campaign expenses six months after their election and also report their income and the source of the income three months after the election.
“The commission is also tracking the visible campaign expenses of candidates, including billboards, adverts in the media and campaign rallies.
“At the end of the day, the objective of the reporting is not to see who is breaking the law, but to see the actual cost of running for the office of the governor in different parts of the country.
“Once we see that, it might be the basis for advocating for the change in the campaign funding limit,” Idris said.
Speaking earlier, Chief Operating Officer of PPLPDC, Mr Habu Galadima, said the aim of the training was to sensitive parties about the policy and legal framework and regulations governing campaign financing.
Also commenting, National Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mr Peter Ameh, said the desperation of politicians to resort to money politics ahead of the 2019 was threatening free and fair elections in the country.
“Money politics has been a major issue and INEC has been on that. We must commend the commission for coming up with reforms.
“We need a free and fair election and money politics is playing a critical role against achieving that. It is very important that we reduce the extent of money politics in our political culture. We must be able to have a law that states how much a candidate should spend on election,” he added.