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Campaign finance tracking better in 2019, says INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that its campaign finance tracking last year increased to a commendable level owing to the robust training of trackers.

The National Commissioner in charge of Election and Party Monitoring, Prof. Antonia Simbine, made the disclosure at a retreat to review a draft report on campaign finance tracking for the 2019 general elections in the country yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

She added that the funding for the 2019 campaign finance tracking was equally much better than that of 2015.

Simbine said: “We have moved the ship of campaign finance much further than what we met. We have added value to where we were in 2015.”

According to her, ahead of the 2019 poll, several activities were put in place, including engaging in aggressive capacity building for staff especially at the state level.”

She continued: “We had a lot of capacity and knowledge sharing workshops for political parties’ executives on the relevance of keeping adequate and comprehensive records.

“We also reviewed the tracking and reporting forms that are supposed to facilitate easy tracking of campaign expenditure both by candidates as well as political parties.”

In his remarks, the Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr. Mike Igini, warned that fundraising, sources, and usage of campaign funds, when not regulated, could undermine the electoral process by creating uneven political playing field which skews the electoral process in favour of wealthy candidates and political parties.

He, therefore, argued that the unregulated use of campaign funds in an electoral environment limits the opportunity for candidates to compete equally, adding that candidates who win elections under such circumstances are less accountable to the electorate and more responsive to the needs of their benefactors.

Igini maintained that the oversight function of the commission was to ensure transparency and accountability among others.

“When the commission performs this regulatory function adequately, it ensures that the will of the people is protected and not subverted by the use of money with impunity among the parties.

“It is our hope that the political class is also not strategising and inventing new ways of circumventing the regulations of the commission”, he added.


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