is a system in which the government is controlled by the people, and in which
people are considered equals in the exercise of that control. However, unequal
access to political finance contributes to an uneven political playing field.
Campaign financing has been a major
concern in Nigeria. Significant and unregulated campaign financing often create
an uneven playing field in election contest. Large sums of money give certain
parties and/or candidates undue advantage over others. Very often the
candidates with the most money always win the election or party nomination
process. Wide discrepancies in levels of funding between parties and candidates
constrains opportunities for political competition and tend to disenfranchise
Most often, the uneven playing field
results from the fact that the ruling party or the incumbent candidate control
political apparatus and uses it to its own advantage and to the disadvantages
of challengers. The financial requirements
For entry to electoral competition
appear to be getting higher and higher, resulting in political exclusion of
those who cannot afford the cost. Another concern has been that elected
officials are becoming more accountable to those who finance their campaigns
than to their constituents. Large corporate or single donor funding for parties
and candidates dominates political decisions and political corruption is a
national problem, posing a threat to the Nigerian economic growth, democracy,
and the stability of the country. Nearly all major financial and corruption
scandals in recent times have been linked to campaign and political financing.
rapid growth of campaign expenditure in many countries has exacerbated this
problem. The huge amounts of money involved in some election campaigns makes it
impossible for those without access to large private funds to compete on the
same level as those who are well funded.
is no doubt that political parties need access to funds in order to play their
part in the political process. At the same time, the role of money in politics
is arguably the biggest threat to democracy worldwide today. This threat is
clear across all continents—from huge corporate campaign donations in the
United States and drug money seeping into politics in Latin America, to
corruption scandals throughout Africa and Europe. Evidence shows that large
portions of the electorate around the world are left with the perception that
their politicians are more concerned about money than about representing
In Nigeria today, sponsorship of a
political party or candidate is effectively a business investment, which the
investor must recoup the moment his candidate gets into public office. The very
peculiar nature of Nigeria’s socioeconomic environment characterized by hunger
and literacy make the electors and indeed government agencies susceptible to
manipulation by corrupt politicians who take advantage of inadequate electoral
laws which creates a leeway to unlimited access to political finance sufficient
to destroy the electoral process.
How political parties finance their
campaigns is critical in any democratic election. Researchers at the University
of Ibadan, Nigeria and the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE),
University of Oxford, U.K. investigated how political parties in Nigeria
finance their campaigns. The most important question was to what extent
campaign finance determines electoral victory. The key results are:
Candidates invest large amounts of
their private savings to contend in the elections. This means that only
individuals willing to invest large amounts of money become candidates. Money
distorts the candidate selection process within parties and largely influences
who wins the elections. Electoral laws governing how parties should secure and
spend their funds are ineffective as there is a lack of knowledge about them.
As a result such laws have limited enforceability Okunade et al (2009).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Nigeria’s political history since
independence from Britain in 1960 has been a cycle of authoritarian military
regimes with episodic interregna of civilian governments. Reinter politics in
Nigeria has been characterized over the years by the dominance of ‘electoral
machines’ controlled by political entrepreneurs comprising largely of wealthy
former military officers and their civilian business Cronies.
The major political parties in Nigerian
politics today are little more than grand agglomerations of the respective
electoral ‘machines’ of the leading political financiers. Many Nigerian
politicians are ‘sponsored’ by local and regional power brokers cum political
entrepreneurs who finance their campaigns for public office. The ‘sponsorship’
is effectively a business transaction in which the patron recovers the
‘investment’ in the form of public works and procurement contracts, prebendal
appointments of cronies to public offices and other forms of prebendal activity
by the ‘client’ politician on assuming public office. In some cases where the
patron and client failed to define with sufficient precision, the dimensions of
the return on investment or the client balks at delivering per the agreed
terms, the fall out has led to mass violence and political destabilization.
Political party finance has been
identified as a source of corruption in several countries. Political finance
laws and regulation, through which political parties and candidates for
political office declare their funding sources, are among the main instruments.
Recent history has witnessed the pooling together of resources all over the
world into a network of global awareness against unregulated use of money in
politics. This Research is part of the debate and will attempt to concisely
examine different types of political party financing in Nigeria, highlight the
role of INEC and inadequacies that are inherent and proffer suggestions on the
OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to
examine the role of Inec and challenges of monitoring political party campaign
financing in Nigeria .The study also has the following specific objectives:
1. To examine the sources of funds for
2. Highlight the role of INEC in
monitoring political campaign financing.
3. Examine political laws and finance
regulations available to political parties in Nigeria.
4. Highlight the challenges faced by INEC
and other regulatory bodies in monitoring political campaign financing
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions will be
addressed in the course of this study:
1. Has INEC undertaken an examination and
audit of the accounts of the political parties?
all political parties have records of all contributions to their campaign
steps have been taken to sanction corporate bodies that contributed to the
campaign funds of political parties in total disregard of the provisions of
section 38 (2) of the company and Allied matters Act (1990), which prohibits
donations or gifts of any of its property or funds to a political party or
4. How has
political financing impacted on political parties choice of candidates for
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following hypotheses has been
developed and would be tested in the
Course of this study:
of political party campaign financing in Nigeria does not have any significant
Hi: Monitoring political party
campaign financing in Nigeria has very significant challenges.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
study is necessitated by the urge and the need for the research, reader and
organizations in general to understand the role of Inec and challenges of
monitoring political party campaign financing in Nigeria.
following are the significance of study to the researcher:
serve as a reference materials for students who will wish to conduct similar
studies on this topic.
serve as guide to corporate individuals, organization in furtherance to their
research on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE OF
The study is restricted to the role of
Inec and challenges of monitoring political party campaign financing strictly
refers to all funds raised in order to promote candidates,
or policies in elections,
party activities, and party organizations. The funds could also detract from
the opponents of the above.
3. POLITICAL PARTY ;
is an organization of people which seeks to achieve goals common to its members
through the acquisition and exercise of political power.
4. ELECTION ;
election is a formal decision-making
process by which a population chooses an individual to
hold public office.
5. POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ;
is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process
within a specific group. In democracies,
political campaigns often refer to electoral
campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referendums