The House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Parties’ Matters says restriction of election campaign expenses included in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2010 will address issues of corruption and godfatherism.
The chairman of the committee, Hajia Aishatu Dukku, said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
She dismissed the insinuation that placing restriction on the amount politicians could expend on their political ambitions by law might be unrealistic in the Nigerian setting.
Dukku said: “Why will it be unrealistic? This administration has been fighting corruption and so it is the best way to start the fight, by starting from the government itself.
“And this government is going to be the first to conduct this campaign now, so I am sure it will make sure that the expenditure does not pass the stipulated amount by law.
“So the provision is a way of fighting corruption, and of course, fighting godfatherism too.
“So nobody will think that he can pay money and buy the entire political party or be able to determine who should run and who should not run.”
The lawmaker added that that the bill, if passed into law would take care of irregularities that could arise from party primaries.
She said: “Anybody who is not satisfied with outcomes of party primaries would run to the court. It is very clear and straight forward.”
NAN reports that the National Assembly last week passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill after addressing the concerns raised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the new proposal, the lawmakers approved the amendment of section 91 which restricts election expenses for various elective positions.
They put the election expenses of any presidential candidate at maximum of N5 billion and pegged the governorship candidates at N1 billion.
While the proposal limits senatorial candidates’ expenses at N250 million, that of the House of Representatives’ candidates is pegged at N100 million.
NAN also reports that expenses for House of Assembly candidates are pegged at N30 million; chairmanship candidates of area councils, N30 million, while counsellorship candidates must not spend above N5 million.