The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega has said the commission is barred by law from funding registered political parties.
Jega stated this yesterday in Abuja, shortly after declaring open a three-day Train the Trainers workshop which focused on the role and responsibilities of political party agents on Election Day which was organised by INEC, in collaboration with the Democratic Governance for Development Project (DGD ) of the UNDP.
“The issue of funding political parties is a constitutional matter. As I speak with you, the constitution of Nigeria does not permit INEC to fund political parties. But in many other countries, their laws allow for the funding of political parties,” Jega said.
According to him, until the National Assembly amends the Nigerian constitution to allow for funding of political parties, INEC can’t do anything about financing them, adding that the commission would continue to abide by the provisions of the constitution.
“…Until our laws are changed, there is nothing we can do about funding political parties. Maybe our legislators would look into that possibility. We would abide by whatever is in the law,” he said.
Speaking further on the essence of the train the trainers workshop, Jega said “Party agents have a great responsibility to play for credible election to hold and for the party agents to be able to discharge this responsibility, they need to be properly and adequately trained”.
He said that as Nigeria’s electoral body, the commission believes its contribution would be to train the master trainers who will go back and train very credible agents that will be knowledgeable about the electoral process and would be able to play a positive role for the parties they represent.