National Assembly proposes N10bn as presidential candidate’s election spending

Published January 14, 2021

Sunday Aborisade , Abuja
The Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Independent National Electoral Commission and Electoral Matters , has proposed an extension to the tenure of Local Government Chairmen, in the Federal Capital Territory , from three to four years.
The committees equally proposed an upward review of the amount to be spent by candidates seeking elective public office to N 10 bn .
Our correspondent also learnt in Abuja , on Wednesday , that the panel also recommended that other elected officials of the six area councils which make up the FCT should equally benefit from the proposed amendment .
These proposals are contained in recommended amendments to the Electoral Act , which the committee is prepared to submit before Senators and House of Reps members for consideration and approval later this month.
When contacted , the Chairman , Senate Committee on the INEC , Senator Kabiru Gaya , confirmed this development, in an interview with our correspondent.
Gaya said, “ Since the National Assembly legislate on the Federal Capital Territory , we amended the tenure of the local government chairmen within the FCT .
“ We believe that if we leave a chairman to serve for three years, they cannot record any concrete achievement .
“ They would be undergoing the learning process in their first year and start implementing their own projects in the second year , while they will be preparing for elections in the third year . This means that they have just one year to really work effectively .
“ However, if we increase their tenure to four years , they will have two out of the four years to work . That is why we have proposed that the tenure for local government chairmen should be increased to four years .
“ We are therefore appealing to all the governors to comply with the new provisions because we don’ t have the powers over them . We can only appeal to them . ”
The committee chairman also explained that the panel equally proposed an upward review of the amount to be spent by candidates seeking elective public office.
He said , “ We looked at the current situation and we have come to a conclusion that someone contesting election as president of Nigeria should spend more than N 5 bn .
“ We have recommended N 10 bn for the Presidential candidate while the amount that could be spent by those contesting elections as governors and legislators have also been reviewed upward .
“ On personal donations to presidential candidates , we have recommended that an individual could donate up to N 10 m for a candidate either for the presidential or governorship election because the current N 1 m benchmark is no longer realistic. ”

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