‘2019 election cost $6 per voter against Ghana’s $16’
Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has corrected the impression that Nigeria’s elections are the most expensive and thus fuelling corruption in the country.
Speaking yesterday at the sixth Biennial General Assembly of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), which ended in Abuja yesterday, he insisted that elections are expensive anywhere and everywhere in the world.His words: “If you take Nigeria given the voter population and the terrain, our elections are not even the most expensive in West Africa. Check the statistics, what happens globally is to look at the cost of elections on per capital bases of registered voters.”
“Therefore, in the 2019 general election the cost per voter in Dollar terms was a little over $6 in Nigeria, it was $16 in Ghana and $15 in Benin Republic.”He argued that elections in Nigeria may look costly, but given the size of the country, it was not the most expensive even within the sub-region.
On collaboration among electoral commissions in the region, he said it was cheaper for countries in the sub-region to support peaceful elections for peace and security than allow situations to degenerate. Yakubu stated that when there are chaotic elections, such that soldiers have to be deployed to voting centres, there are more cost implicating consequences, hence “it better to do ECONEC than to do ECOMOG.”
He explained that the ECONEC, which is made up of 15 countries electoral commissions have been supportive of one another when member nations conduct elections, adding: “Through the instrumentality of ECONEC most of the countries have supported one another.”“For instance, when Niger Republic conducted its Presidential election, it needed the voters cards printed on the ballot boxes, Burkinafaso helped them, while in Liberia, when they needed to print voters register, Ghana assisted them.”
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