- Political parties and their candidates will spend billions of nairas ahead of the forthcoming elections in Nigeria.
- Some particular businesses and persons will be benefiting from the political spending that has already started.
- Legit.ng highlights some of the businesses that thrive the most during the electioneering period.
Historically, the electioneering period in Nigeria is usually characterised by a lot of cash splash by political parties and candidates. Political parties are often driven by the desire to win the support and votes of electorates, hence the need to overspend during the period before the polls.
The National Assembly, last year, passed the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022, increasing from N1 billion to N5 billion, the limit on the overall amount a presidential candidate can spend during elections. The Electoral Act also approved increases in election expenses to be incurred for Governorship, Senatorial and other elective positions.
This, therefore, means that the forthcoming elections will experience more spending than previous elections. In this write-up, Legit.ng highlights some of the businesses that thrive the most during the electioneering period.
Perhaps the most potent platform to promote candidates and parties, the media benefits a lot during this period. Whether electronic, print or online media, major candidates and their supporters would most likely prefer jingles, advertisements, commercials and others on these platforms for national and international reach. In Nigeria, the media gets the major bulk of electioneering spending.
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One of the major activities that go on during the electioneering period is the printing of campaign posters, flyers, banners, billboards, customized T-shirts, caps and other types of souvenirs that would be used for publicity. This is indeed a moment where a lot of graphic artists and printers cash out from deals with political parties, political aspirates and candidates and even private supporters.
Social media influencing
Apparently, political conversations usually dominate social media platforms during this period, hence the desire for candidates to have a team to promote them. This is where social media influencers and bloggers come in. Due to their large followership, politicians patronise them with huge payments to push their political agendas to their followers across the various social media platforms.
Entertainment is always important for political campaigns and rallies. Apart from the hiring of musicians, DJs and comedians to perform during these events. The presence of popular actors is considered an endorsement of the candidates of the parties. In some instances, musicians record and release songs in support of their preferred candidates. For these endorsements, it is said that politicians usually part with huge sums of money. In recent campaigns, we have seen the influence of singers like Portable, Davido, P-Square, KWAM 1 and Pasuma playing the roles.
This is also an important business that will thrive during the electioneering period. As long as the campaigns and rallies continue, candidates, their supporters, party delegates and members will need to be conveyed from one place to the other. Who else will benefit more from these movements? Those involved in transport and logistics, of course.
As candidates and their supporters move from place to place for campaigns, the need for food, drinks and accommodation becomes most apparent. The hospitality industry gets to experience increased patronage of their services as people will have to lodge in several hotels and feeding, well taken care of. It is told that in some rallies, parties hire caterers to serve packs of food to thousands of supporters that show up for the events.
Another important aspect of election campaigns is the availability of professional event planners who are responsible for organising the events. Event planners are needed on small scales such as for local government or state assembly election campaigns and on larger scales for state governorship, national legislative positions and presidential levels. For handling necessary logistics needed during campaigns, arranging for event venues and hiring DJs, the event planners are usually well rewarded.
Why do politicians spend a lot of money during elections?
Sunday Bala, a political analyst tells Legit.ng that politicians are prone to spend a lot of money during electioneering periods due to the strong desire to win elective positions. He said:
In Nigeria, we run a money-politics system where it is a must for you to spend a lot of money for campaigns and other measures to ensure the hope of victory. You can't win an election without spending money. Voters, supporters and delegates all have to be taken care of in one way or the other. There are some politicians who even budget money that will be dispensed to voters as a bribe to ensure they vote for certain candidates or parties.
Politicians Begin Moves to Bypass CBN's Cash Withdrawal Limit
An earlier report by Legit.ng claims that political parties and some of their candidates are reportedly making plans to bypass the cash withdrawal policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria in funding their campaign activities.
It would be recalled that the CBN, last month placed limits on cash withdrawals at banks, ATMs and PoS stands. The CBN's policy was activated in order to curb money laundering and other criminal activities going forward, especially during the electioneering period.
Many have said that the policy will disrupt parties' usual tradition of disbursing cash to their agents to woo voters and may force acts of vote buying to decline.
However, reports insist that the parties and their candidates are already making contingency plans on how to source enough cash and make them available to their agents.
One of the major political parties is reported to be compiling the bank account details of its agents whom it hopes to send the monies. From the payments made to their accounts, they would be expected to withdraw and pay would-be voters.