Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said an effective cashless policy in Nigeria can help stem the surge of illicit election financing by making it possible to track funds.
Osinbajo spoke on Monday at the Presidential Villa when he received a delegation of the European Union Election Observation Mission led by Barry Andrews, the Chief Observer.
The VP 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.”
According to Osinbajo “so much money can be spent without it being tracked” under the current election financing practices in the country.
While noting the difficulty in controlling election financing due to cash transactions, Osinbajo said that there are still infrastructure issues required to be in place to ensure an efficient cashless system in the country.
“With cash transactions, it’s still difficult to seriously control election financing,” the VP observed.
On the issue of electoral offences, Osinbajo noted that there is the Electoral Offences Commission Bill at the National Assembly, and “we hope that it’ll begin a new regime of dealing with electoral offences, which would be helpful.”
The VP emphasized: “By and large, one should not expect INEC to be the investigator of electoral offences. I think that law enforcement agencies should be responsible for arresting and prosecuting offenders, state by state.”