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Economic Cost of Elections in Nigeria: Lessons from the 2011 General Elections
Election is a process where people make choices of the people they want as their leaders within a democratic system. In recent time, elections in Nigeria have been characterised by fierce competition, corruption, violence and rigging. Election in Nigeria is executed at great cost by the government, political parties and politicians. The economy has suffered greatly through inflation, depreciation of the naira, apathy/withdrawals by investors and general lull in economic performance because of uncertainty of election outcome. Apart from the loss of revenue, many lives have been lost and properties worth billions of naira destroyed through electoral violence. The 2011 general elections have been adjudged to be free, fair and credible though tainted by post election violence. We need to strengthen our democratic and judicial institutions to improve the electoral processes. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should employ modern information and communication technology (ICT) to improve its processes and reduce cost. It is hoped that with the improvement in the electoral system, whereby the votes of the people count, the economy will no longer suffer from election-induced shocks and withdrawals.