Osinbajo Touts Cashless System as Key to Tracking Election Financing Ahead of 2023 Polls in Meeting with EU Delegation
Osinbajo Highlights Benefits of Cashless System for Curbing Illicit Election Financing in Meeting with EU Delegation
On Monday, January 30th, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stressed the importance of a cashless policy in curbing the rise of illicit election financing. He made this statement during a meeting with a delegation of the European Union Election Observation Mission at the Presidential Villa. Led by Chief Observer Barry Andrews, a member of the European Parliament, the delegation was given insight into Osinbajo’s belief that a cashless system would enable the tracking of funds and thus help to prevent election financing from going undetected.
He said, “I think that what we should be looking at is to provide more infrastructure. The cashless thing has been really advantageous and helps with tracking. That sort of infrastructure is useful for more financial inclusion and the more financial inclusion you have, the easier it is to track.”
He added that “so much money can be spent without it being tracked,” under the current election financing practices in the country.
“With cash transactions, it is still difficult to seriously control election financing, ” the VP observed.
On the issue of electoral offenses, the VP noted that there is the Electoral Offences Commission Bill at the National Assembly and “we hope that it will begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offenses which would be helpful.”
He emphasized that “by and large, one shouldn’t expect INEC to be the investigator of electoral offenses. I think that law enforcement agencies should be responsible for arresting and prosecuting offenders, State by State.
“Electoral offenses are always seen through a political prism; people will always feel that they are being prosecuted because they belong to a certain party.
“What is more important is that we have to find a system where the police could have a special unit for offenses during the course of elections. The Federal High Courts could also have a special jurisdiction to deal with offenses and not extend beyond the Federal High Courts.