Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over the weekend rescheduled planned and much awaited general election, citing difficulties in transporting electoral materials in some areas.
The new dates fixed for the elections are February 23 for presidential and national assembly elections, and March 9 for governorship and state assemblies elections.
Ghanatalksbusinesss.com gazes at 3 major economic implications of the election postponement on the nation, the individual and the economy.
1. Increased economic uncertainty
In tandem with the history of Africa’s pre, during and post-election uncertainties, likelihood of such an occurrence raising its head in Nigeria cannot be ruled out. The postponement of the 2019 elections by the INEC will further scare away investors from the Nigerian market as fear and uncertainty about the country’s economic and political direction linger on.
reports have indicated that most customers of financial institutions in Africa prefer to withdraw more than half of their life savings during elections years because of the volatile nature of the post-election activities in Africa.
2. Overbearing costs
According to reports, individual spending has increased in the last two days in Nigeria. Many have gone to filling stations and supermarkets to stock up for the election weekend, while some have travelled out of their places of residence to their constituencies where they are registered to vote.
Journalists, international correspondents, and election observers have spent thousands of dollars travelling to and around Nigeria to cover the elections and observe polling activities.
For instance, a return flight for a UK journalist to cover Nigeria election will cost about N400,000 (more than £800) while hotel accommodation for up to a week in a Lagos hotel could cost up to N35,000 (£75) per night. Add to that an average per diem of $500 for 3-4 days and you will get a sense of just how much could have been expended on covering the elections originally scheduled for February 16. But now that the election is postponed, a journalist who arrived to cover the February 16 election will now have to either go back to their home country or stay till the February 23 anyway the journalist prefer will still involve more money.
On another hand, some social events including marriage ceremonies at various recreational centres across Nigeria which were scheduled for the week after the elections will now have to be rescheduled again. This obviously increases events costs, which might adversely affect finances of event organizers .
3. Waste of National Resources
In October 2018, The Senate, approved a total sum of N189,207,544,893 for the conduct of the 2019 general election expenditure as proposed by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in a
According to the Senate, the approval became imperative to enable Nigeria prepare adequately for the elections.
However, It is clear that a large chunk of that budget has already been used up in funding logistics for proposed elections on February 16. This has gone waste, never to be recouped. Additional monies are required to fund logistics required for the next election date.