A study in Nigeria to determine to what extent campaign finance determines electoral victory found:
- Candidates invest large amounts of their private savings to contend in the elections. This means that only individuals willing to invest large amounts of money become candidates.
- Money distorts the candidate selection process within parties and largely influences who wins the elections.
- Electoral laws governing how parties should secure and spend their funds are ineffective as there is a lack of knowledge about them. As a result such laws have limited enforceability.
The policy conclusion drawn is: The Nigerian government should strengthen the ability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor campaign finance. It should also demand greater accountability from candidates on their campaign spending. Enforcing such rules will be an important step forward towards improving the democratic process and stability of the country.
iiG Briefing Paper 07, CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK, 2 pp.