APC, PDP contenders tease dollars, deteriorate Nigeria’s economy: TMG
The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has slammed APC and PDP candidates for cornering dollars for Nigerians and businesses, while politicians continue to outdo each other in getting their parties’ tickets to the 2023 general election to get.
“We are already seeing a dollarization of the economy due to ongoing politician primaries, which should not be the case. Ordinary citizens and businessmen cannot get dollars because the politicians have taken over the forex allocation to the citizens,” lamented TMG CEO Auwal Rafsanjani. “This dirty money in politics crowds out competent individuals who have the capacity to rule but have no funds or sponsors to provide them with those funds.”
According to the TMG boss, the overt use of money by politicians soliciting votes from delegates “shows that political actors are willing to influence delegate elections”.
“Even now, if you look at the vast sums of money being spent on nomination forms by either party, you will see that it is designed to exclude those who do not have huge funds, most of which are likely to be stolen,” remarked Mr. Rafsanjani.
The TMG boss added: “There are laws that guide this process and political parties, contenders and candidates should abide by them. These actions should be in accordance with the relevant laws governing these processes. The anti-graft agencies such as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) are also required to examine suspicious transaction reports (STRs) filed by banks to ensure they meet the requirements of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) correspond to .”
Mr Rafsanjani further explained that this would ensure that the sources of money used by the politicians were genuine.
“Over time, what I’m going to call a vicious circle, it’s where politicians spend money on campaigns and then come into office and recover those funds. No one will use thousands of dollars to bribe a delegate or abuse office to get those funds back. It’s a business and in the end it’s the citizens who will suffer,” said the TMG chief.
He called on INEC to ensure that political parties submit their financial data in accordance with Nigeria’s constitution.
“Finally, I urge citizens to make sure they choose skill over money. You should look at candidates’ track records and capacity versus the money on offer,” he said.