The Independent National Electoral Commission said it has put in place measures to track campaign expenditure incurred by political parties as it lifted ban on election campaigns.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, on Monday in Abuja stated this in an interview with newsmen following the lifting of the ban on election campaigns.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in line with the electoral timetable released by INEC, presidential and National Assembly aspirants of political parties were allowed to commence campaign from November 16 (Sunday).
Similarly, the ban on campaign by governorship and state House of Assembly aspirants is expected to be lifted on November 30.
Idowu said the commission now had a department to monitor spending of candidates in the 2015 elections.
He added that the department was functional and was in full capacity.
He stated, “That structure did not exist in 2011 and we could not do much in that regard. Now, we have been able to put structure in place to track expenditure and we are going to be doing that.
“The situation now is that we can only know whether a person has over spent until he or she has spent it. You cannot stop people from spending until the person has spent.
“What the law anticipates is that we have put a ceiling on spending and we will now monitor to know whether we can make a case about it.”
Idowu stressed the need for political parties to adhere to election expenses as stipulated by the Electoral Act.
he said, “According to section 91 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the maximum expenses to be incurred by a candidate at a presidential election shall be N1bn; for governorship, it is N200m.
“The act also places a campaign ceiling of N40m and N20m for Senatorial and House of Representatives candidates respectively.
“It also fixes an amount for election expenses in the state assembly and chairmanship election for an area council at N10m”.