Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Peep into Jonathan’s Presidency

The time for lamentation is over. This is the era of transformation – President Goodluck Jonathan at inauguration on May 29, 2011 
Hearty congratulations to all the elected and appointed political office holders as they mark one year in office. In the past couple of weeks, Nigerian ministers have been giving account of their stewardship in office. Many state governors and their commissioners have been doing same. Public lectures, advertisements, town hall meetings and other sundry strategies have been explored by our political office holders to educate and inform the public on what their respective governments have been up to in the last one year. In this article, I have decided to review what President Jonathan told his compatriots and indeed the world he would do during his four year administration. Indeed a thorough analysis of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration should start from May 6, 2010 when he was first sworn in as the president of Nigeria after the unfortunate demise of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010.
President Jonathan at inauguration after the 2011 General Elections gave a 41 paragraph speech at the Eagle Square, venue of the swearing in. His speech was non-committal to any definite milestones. He played smart on us by not benchmarking his promises like his predecessor; Yar’Adua did with his 7 Point Agenda. Even his campaign promises tagged the transformation agenda lacked any definite benchmark. Has he kept faith with Nigerians on his electoral promises? 
The president in paragraph 17 and 18 of his inaugural said “In the days ahead, those of us that you have elected to serve must show that we are men and women with the patriotism and passion, to match the hopes and aspirations of you, the great people of this country.  We must demonstrate the leadership, statesmanship, vision, capacity, and sacrifice, to transform our nation…..It is the supreme task of this generation to give hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak and protection to the defenceless.” I dare say there is still leadership deficit in Nigeria one year after these lofty promises were made. Actions and activities of our political elite have been anything but ‘statesmanlike’.  What sacrifices can we say our leaders have made in the last one year?  How much hope, strength and protection have they offered the hopeless, the weak and the defenceless? The state of insecurity is still very alarming with no sign of abating while the promise of N18,000 minimum wage is yet to be fully resolved despite being one of the electoral promises.
In paragraph 20 of his speech, the president said: “We must grow the economy, create jobs, and generate enduring happiness for our people. I have great confidence in the ability of Nigerians to transform this country.  The urgent task of my administration is to provide a suitable environment, for productive activities to flourish.” President Goodluck Jonathan did earmark N50 billion for job creation in the 2011 budget, however, am yet to read or hear of how many people have benefited under this National Job Creation Scheme. I do however know that his administration’s Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOUWIN!) was launched in Abuja on 11 October 2011 with first batch of 1200 beneficiaries awarded their cheques of N500,000 at a well advertised ceremony in Abuja on 12 April 2012. This initiative is like a drop in the ocean considering the army of skilful but unemployed youths. And talking of suitable environment for productive activities to flourish; how much of that has the president succeeded in creating given the persistent high level of insecurity as well as worsening electricity supply which has made Nigeria entrepreneurs to run their businesses on generators?
 In paragraphs 27 and 28 of the inaugural speech, the president said: “Over the next four years, attention will be focused on rebuilding our infrastructure. We will create greater access to quality education and improved health care delivery.  We will pay special attention to the agricultural sector, to enable it play its role of ensuring food security and massive job creation for our people. The creation of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority will immensely contribute to strengthening our fiscal framework, by institutionalizing savings of our commodity-related revenues. With this mechanism in place, we will avoid the boom and bust cycles, and mitigate our exposure to oil price volatility.” In the last one year, beyond the noise of building ‘Almajiri’ schools, if the performance of secondary school students in their external exams such as those organized by West African Examination Council and National Examination Council is anything to go by, the situation is still very deplorable as mass failures are recorded in those exams. Even in the Unified  Tertiary Matriculation  Examination (UTME) conducted by Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, mass failure are still being recorded necessitating the lowering of the cut-off mark for 2012 admission for Universities to 180 and polytechnics and Colleges of Education to 160 over 400 marks. 
I agree that there have been some positive steps in the management of our ministry of agriculture but much is yet to be seen beyond the promotion of cassava bread and breaking of the fertilizer cabal.  Access to loan is still a major headache to our farmers while food insecurity looms large in the country due to the pervasive act of terrorism in northern part of Nigeria which is regarded as the food basket of the nation. Health wise, Nigerians lack access to basic standard and affordable healthcare delivery. We are yet to successfully roll back malaria while Nigerians still die needlessly of lassa fever, diahorrea, cholera, pneumonia and other treatable diseases. Though the sovereign wealth fund has been established with an initial start off capital of $1 billon yet the governors has been kicking against its establishment.  
In paragraph 30 of the speech, the president said “The bane of corruption shall be met by the overwhelming force of our collective determination, to rid our nation of this scourge. The fight against corruption is a war in which we must all enlist, so that the limited resources of this nation will be used for the growth of our commonwealth.” Really! To my own mind, after security this is another area the president and his cabinet are yet to make appreciable impact. Several legislative probes into Pension Scheme, Privatisation Scheme, and Fuel Subsidy Scheme have unearthed trillions of naira in fraud and mismanagement. What has happened after those jaw-dropping and eye-popping revelations? How many politically exposed persons have our anti-corruption agencies able to successfully prosecute in the last five years?
Just over the last few days, another revelation has come to the fore that “Nigeria’s current crude oil loss as a result of illegal activities that include bunkering and pipeline tapping on major oil facilities in the Niger Delta has risen from 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) as revealed in February this year by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to over 180,000bpd within four months” according to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Given that Nigeria’s sweet crude goes for $91 per barrel at the spot market, 180,000 barrels of the same product translates to $16.3 million or N2.47 billion daily. Isn’t this development interesting? Ghana’s total OPEC quota is said to be 120,000 bpd, big brother Nigeria loses close to 200,000 bpd to oil theft and goes a borrowing to meet its financial obligations; can you beat that? United States recently said that despite the fact that the nation’s law provides criminal penalties for official corruption, government does not implement it effectively, “and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity”. US in the new report titled: "Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011" observed further that: “though the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the Nigerian judiciary "remained susceptible to pressure from the executive and the legislative branches, and the business sector".
On the foreign scene the president pledged that “Nigeria, in partnership with the African Union, will lead the process for democracy and development in Africa. In particular, we will support the consolidation of democracy, good governance and human rights in the continent.” On this count, President Jonathan has discharged himself creditably. Nigeria has been unflinching in supporting democratic struggles in Libya, Senegal, Mali, Guinea Bissau and several others. When South-Africa in March 2012 repatriated 125 Nigerians over issue of non-possession of genuine Yellow Fever vaccine certificate, Nigeria responded in equal measures by repatriating some South-Africans and the latter had to eventually apologize. Going by the current state of the nation, it is still a long walk to freedom for Nigeria and I could not but wish the president and his team, good luck!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Implement Lemu’s Report on 2011 Electoral Violence

It is a year now since the 2011 General Elections took place. By May 29, the beneficiaries of those elections into the presidency, Senate, House of Representatives, governorship and State Houses of Assembly will be rolling out the drums in celebration of their one year in office. Amidst this euphoria, it is important to do a soul searching and asked a pertinent question: What has happened to the perpetrators of electoral violence who embarked on wanton destruction of lives and property before, during and after the April 9 – May 6, 2011 nationwide polls? It is important to note that much as the 2011 General Elections ranked best in Nigeria’s chequred history of electoral democracy, paradoxically, it has also been rated as about the bloodiest in terms of human casualties and other mindless destructions. Human Rights Watch in a May 17, 2011 press release alleged that about 800 persons were killed and over 65,000 displaced across 12 Northern states in the post April 16, 2011 presidential election. HRW then challenged Nigeria's state and federal authorities to promptly investigate and prosecute those who orchestrated and carried out these crimes.

At a post election Experience Sharing conference organized by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre at Sheraton Hotel in Abuja on Wednesday, June 1, 2011, the then DIG Operations, in the Force Headquarters, Mr. Audu Abubakar who represented the former Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim said “No fewer than 5,356 people were arrested during and after the April 2011 General Elections in the country for electoral offences. Out of the number, 2,341 were arrested before the polls and 3,015 for post-election violence.” The poser is: What has happened to those apprehended by the Police for perpetrating this heinous crime against humanity? Left off the hook? Remanded in police custody? Being prosecuted in a court of law? Nigerians need to know.

After the polls, President Jonathan on May 11, 2011 inaugurated Sheikh Ahmed Lemu led 22 member presidential panel of inquiry to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incidences of electoral violence during the 2011 General Elections. The panel submitted its findings to the president on October 10, 2011. Eight months after, the report is still begging for implementation. Among several discoveries and recommendations of the probe panel are:

The failure on the part of the previous successive regimes since the military handover of power in 1999 to implement the recommendations of various committees, commissions and panels that had been set up. The committee highlighted previous reports that were ignored by government to include:  Babalakin Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Bauchi State Civil Disturbances; Karibi Whyte Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Kafanchan Disturbances; Niki Tobi Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Plateau State Disturbances; Justice Snakey Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Wase and Langtang Disturbances; Justice Disu Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Plateau State Disturbances and Professor Tamuno Panel of Inquiry on National Security.

The committee opined that failure to implement earlier reports facilitated the wide spread sense of impunity in the culprits and perpetrators of crimes and violence in the Nigerian society. It then recommended to President Jonathan to order security agencies to fish out culprits of violence for prosecution.   The second major cause of electoral violence as identified by the committee was the existing widespread desire for change as a result of frustration and disappointment of many members of the general public regarding the inability of the successive past regimes to solve the problems of electricity power failure nationwide, deplorable state of federal government roads, bribery and corruption which have virtually been legitimized in all affairs of our nation.

The Sheik Lemu’s committee further observed that the general insecurity of life and property in people’s houses and on the high ways and kidnappings are fuel to the fire of public frustration and disappointment. “The true state of affairs could escalate to social revolution if preventive measures are not taken in time.”  The next major cause of violence and disturbances identified is the manner in which political office holders have ‘lucratised’ their respective positions at the expense of the whole nation. The panel discovered that the remunerations and allowances of the members of the legislature, in particular, are considered by stakeholders who addressed it as being outrageous. “It has turned politics in Nigeria to a do-or-die affair for which many politicians of all parties are seriously establishing private armies to execute. In that respect, easy access to drugs, serious general poverty at the grassroots level and youth unemployment, in particular, is providing many foot soldiers ready for recruitment at a cheap rate.”

The presidential committee also mentioned negative campaigns and rumour mongering by unscrupulous individuals as part of the triggers of electoral violence. The panel noted that “the zoning controversy, which started basically as internal political affairs of the ruling party, ultimately changed the nature of the presidential election into ethno-religious contest in the country particularly in the northern states.” The Sheik’s committee recommended strict enforcement of all the laws and regulations concerning use and trafficking of illegal arms while negligence on the part of the security agencies should be severely sanctioned to act as a deterrent.

Great job done! However, what milestones have been achieved by the Nigerian government in implementing this report. As rightly noted by the Sheik Lemu’s panel, the nonchalant attitude of previous administrations to reports of similar past enquiries was partly responsible for the outbreak of violence during the 2011 elections. Since the arrowheads and masterminds of previous electoral violence have read the government attitude correctly, no wonder the Edo governorship election slated for July 14 and the Ondo governorship election scheduled for October 20, 2012 are witnessing pre-election violence. Action Congress of Nigeria had accused the Labour Party of sponsoring electoral violence in Ondo State during the April 20 Adebayo Adefarati memorial lecture with the latter vehemently denying.  In the neighbouring Edo State, precisely on April 28, the convoy of Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomole was involved in a ghastly motor accident which left three journalists in his press crew dead. Barely a week after, on May 4, 2012, Olaitan Oyerinde, the principal private secretary to Edo State Governor was murdered at dawn in his residence. These two incidences have been linked to politics ahead of the July 14 poll. Why all these assassinations and attempted assassinations persist is due to impunity surrounding previous electoral violence crimes. It behooves President Jonathan to dust up the Sheik Lemu’s report and see to its full implementation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nosa Osaigbovo: Exit of a Quintessential Journalist

Death is by no means a democrat. It takes lives whenever it feels like doing so without consulting anyone. There’s nothing to do about it. You start to die the moment you are born. The whole of life is cutting through the pack with death – James Bond (Ian Flaming) in Live and Let Die.

“Jide, meet Sheriff Folarin, a student of History at the University of Ibadan” That was how Mr. Nosakhare Osaigbovo, then Features Editor with the defunct Daily Sketch in Ibadan introduced me to my best gift in my over 20 years of freelance journalism, sometime in 1993. I have met Mr. Nosa as I fondly called him sometime in 1990 at the beginning of my commentary writing in Nigerian dailies. I must have been introduced to him by one Mrs. Durojaiye, then a staff of Daily Sketch in Ibadan, Oyo State. He took a liking to me immediately, assisting with the typing and publication of my letters to editor and later full blown opinion articles. Nosa Osaigbovo was very articulate, frank, knowledgeable, conscientious, caring, humble, thorough and long-suffering.

I recall with nostalgia his honest advice to me sometime in 1995 when I wrote a critical opinion article on the prison condition in Nigeria titled ‘Thoughts on the Role of Prison.’  He told me point-blank,  after reading it, that he would not be able to publish it in Sketch being a government owned newspaper, more so at a time when military was in government. I took his counsel in good faith and mailed the article to Daily Champion, a private news medium in Lagos which wasted no time in publishing the piece. It was the same Mr. Nosa who informed me that the article had been published and therefore enabled me to get a photocopy of the article from Sketch’s library. Such was his generosity of mind.

I have followed Nosa’s carrier since his days in Sketch till he breathed his last on May 3, 2012 while working as a consultant (Editorial Board Member) and columnist with Nigerian Tribune. I am a regular reader of his column, MOSAIC on Friday in Nigerian Tribune and occasionally called, mailed or texted a feedback to him after reading his opinions. He was unfazed by criticisms; he took all with unusual equanimity. His last commentary was published on February 23, 2012 and when I didn’t see any fresh piece from him thereafter, I called his number only to be told by someone, a lady, at the other end whom I assumed to be his wife that he was very sick. I told our mutual friend, Dr. Sheriff Folarin about this development, asking him to put him in his prayers as I am already doing for him.   On May 5, 2012 I called again to know how he is faring only to be told he had died on Thursday, May 3. I was devastated! How come good people die early while the wicked live to old age? Only the Almighty knows.

Nosa, the intellectual juggernaut, a book worm, a philosopher king who is fond of showing off his in-depth knowledge of philosophy, Greek mythology and history is no more. Snatched off by the icy hands of death. The ever-considerate Nosa who will ask me gently to cut off our phone conversation because I am running too much cost speaking with him is no more. Pity, great pity! Nosa, a man of few words lived a Spartan and austere life. He shunned materialism and hate waste. He cultivated friendship only with people who can stimulate his intellect. How I my to know that we were seeing for  the last time in December 2010 when I met with you at Nigerian Tribune office in Imalefalafia, Ibadan where I presented a copy of my book, Nigeria, My Nigeria: Perspectives from 1990 – 2010 to you? 

It was a great pleasure meeting you, knowing you, learning from you and being your younger friend. My solace is in these eternal words of Adolf Hitler which says “All things will pass away. Nothing remaining but death and the glory of deeds” as well as Harold Robin’s thought in ‘A Stone for Danny Fishers’ which says “To live in the heart of those we leave behind is never to die” By your death, you have indeed paid all debts.  Adieu a great man, an unsung hero of Nigeria’s journalism. May the good Lord grant you eternal rest, comfort your bereaved family and meet them at the point of their needs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

House Fuel Subsidy Probe and Implementation Challenge

April 2012 can conveniently be tagged Nigeria’s Month of Corruption Revelations.  On April 17, a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, was jailed for 13 years by Southwark Crown Court, London, having pleaded guilty on 10 counts of money laundering and other fraudulent activities with total monetary value of £50m ($77m), about N12.17bn. The fraud sum excludes another 720,000 pounds (N183.6m) the ex-governor expended on exotic automobiles. He goes to join his wife, mistress, sister and lawyer in prison. Guinness Book of Record must note that uncommon feat. It was also the month that sordid details of how some civil servants in the Federal Pension Office perpetrated multi-billion naira frauds in cahoots with some unscrupulous bank officials. Same month, Bayelsa State claimed to have uncovered N6bn payroll scam. The state’s Treasury and the Universal Basic Education Board officials were alleged to be significantly involved in the scam. Also in April, some foreign airlines were found by the Senate Committee on Aviation to have scammed Nigerian government of certain revenues in spite of ripping off Nigerian travelling public through unfair fares charged.  The Senate Committee on Aviation alleged financial fraud and tax evasion and has ordered  all foreign airlines operating in the country to immediately refund five per cent Passenger Fuel Surcharge to the Federal Government.

By far the most startling revelation in the month was the tabling on April 18 and adoption on April 25 of the report of the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy headed by Farouk Lawan.  One of the national newspapers has this to say about the report, “The lawmakers in their 61-point recommendations, displayed the roll-call of institutions, private enterprises that ran a well-organised corruption regime, where both state officials and their private cohorts denied Nigerians the benefits of the subsidy policy, diverted public funds, over-invoiced fuel imports, and collected rebate for them.”  The highlights of the report included its recommendation of the refund of N1.067tn to the federal purse; the call for the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to make its operations more efficient and transparent; the request for a quick passage  of a well-drafted and comprehensive Petroleum Industry Bill;   the directive to the NNPC to stop any form of deductions not captured in the Appropriation Act before remittance to the Federation Account, and the request that the corporation should abide by the operational guidelines of the subsidy scheme.

Other noteworthy recommendations include the one that says the NNPC retail, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria and Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria should be the outlets for the distribution of kerosene to ensure availability and affordability of the product to Nigerians. Also, there was proposal that under the PSF scheme, importers, especially the NNPC, should be mandated to patronise Nigerian flagged vessels provided they produce the standard safety and sea-worthiness certificates in tune with international best practices.

The suggestion that the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency should provide the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA advance copies of allocation and vessel arrival notification documents to enable the Navy monitor, track and interdict vessels seeking to avoid Naval certification as well as the one that says all extant circulars preventing the Nigeria Customs Service from carrying out its statutory functions be immediately withdrawn by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance. These are just to mention a few of the well articulated recommendations.

What the subsidy probe committee has succeeded in doing is the certification of Nigeria as a country under oil curse. The black gold has brought us more curse than blessings as it fuels corruption of unimaginable proportions. We make so much money from the extractive industry, yet we rank among the poorest country of the world with a lot of infrastructural deficit. The Lawan Committee only probed the fuel subsidy regime of three years, 2009 – 2011, and discovered a sleaze of over one trillion naira. Can we imagine what the probe of the subsidy regime from inception would have revealed?  As at today, we don’t even have accurate data on how much oil we produce per day; how much is lost to oil theft (bunkering); how much crude is refined locally; how much is imported? All that is being bandied are estimated figures.

The PUNCH editorial of April 20, said inter alia that “The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have established a direct link between corruption and the impoverishment of Nigerians. Up to 40 per cent of all government spending in the country, they both agree, is stolen. This brazen theft, more than anything else, has left the Nigerian economy in tatters. It explains the latest dismal figures by the National Bureau of Statistics, showing that 112.47 million Nigerians are living in poverty, with almost 100 million or 60.9 per cent living in “absolute poverty”, using the United Nations benchmark of $1 as income per day.” According to the editorial, the oil subsidy fraud represents a complete failure of existing rules and financial regulations and criminal complicity by all agencies and officials entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding our public interest. I could not agree more.

My greatest fear is that this report like many others before it may not be implemented. My doubt is not unfounded. How much implementation has previous probes enjoyed? In the recent past, there have been the Halliburton bribery scandal; Siemen bribery scandal; House of Representatives probe of the Power sector in 2008 by Ndudi Elumelu-led committee; the Senator Ahmed Lawan Committee on Privatisation probe in 2011 and several others. All of these came up with eye-popping and jaw-dropping revelations but the public excitement soon worn out as the reports of the probes were shelved in the presidency.

My sixth sense suggests that in spite of the symbolic sacking of two audit firms on account of this report, the pledge of the government to implement the report and the promise by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that it has set up an investigating team to further examine the probe report with the aim of prosecuting those that are found culpable, may not be fulfilled. My doubt stems from the fact that most of the indicted people are politically exposed people who probably used a chunk of the fraud to bankroll elections of some of today’s elected officials. Many will recall that a humongous sum of money was deployed in prosecuting the 2011 General Elections with many phony NGOs sprouting during the campaign period to canvass for votes for parties and candidates. There is no free lunch in Freetown, so says a cliché. Another source of worry is our weak judicial system coupled with lack of diligent prosecution by our anti-corruption agencies. Be that as it may, the Nigerian public must stay the course by ensuring that this report by the House of Representatives is fully implemented. Eternal vigilance, they say, is the price of liberty.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

INEC’s 2010 Audit Report on Political Parties

On April 1, 2012, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission officially published the 2010 audit report on political parties in three national newspapers in accordance with the constitutional and electoral act provisions. A press release by the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Emmanuel Umenger states: “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published for public consumption, the executive summary of the External Auditors’ Report on the accounts of the 63 registered political parties in the April 1st, 2012 editions of three national newspapers. They are: Sunday Punch, pages 56-59; Sunday Sun, pages 65-68 and Sunday Trust, pages 41-44. The publication has been done in strict conformity with Section 15(c) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Specifically, the section stipulates that the Commission shall “arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties, and publish a report on such examination and audit for public information”. Members of the public and stakeholders in the electoral process are by this release, requested to go through these three newspapers in order to familiarize themselves with the details of the report of the audited accounts of Nigeria’s 63 political parties, please.”

This is commendable of INEC. Indeed, section 226 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) reinforced the aforementioned section quoted by the INEC Public Affairs Director. The section says “The Independent National Electoral Commission, shall in every year prepare and submit to the National Assembly  a report on the accounts and balance sheet of every political party. Will this audit report, having being published in consonance with provision of section 89 (4) of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) be sent to the national assembly? It remains to be seen.

I have taken a critical look at the findings in the audit report; it is noteworthy that Nigerian political parties’ compliance level with political finance regulations leaves much to be desired. The audit report shows that eight political parties were classified as “yet to co-operate with the Commission’s auditors” which invariably means they did not make their books of account available to INEC auditors. For the majority that cooperated with the auditors, the examiners verdict on their accounts book was very damning.  Indeed, only two of the parties got INEC’s pass mark out of 63 parties. The first party to receive favorable comment from INEC’s auditors was the Citizens Popular Party (CPP). According to INEC, “the party had its internal report and account. Conventional accounting records were kept and maintained by the party. Internal control procedures were in place.” The party is also said to maintain both its fixed assets and membership registers while budget and budgetary control were in place. INEC auditors further remarked that CPP’s “financial statement can be said to be true and fair and the accounts can be relied upon” 

 The second party that did well is the National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP). According to the professional examiners, “The party had its prepared and audited internal financial statement for the year under review.”  The auditors however observed that the conventional books of accounts though maintained but were not updated and that the party’s internal control procedures were weak. It further remarked that “Fixed assets and membership registers maintained by the party were not comprehensive and the budget for the year was prepared but not duly followed.” The auditors noted that “the financial statement can be said to be true and fair and the account can be relied upon.” With the exception of these two parties all the other parties including those with membership in national and state assemblies are said to have common malaise which include lack of internal audited report for the year under examination; non-existing conventional books of account; lack of budget and budgetary control measures and lack of membership and fixed assets register.

The non-compliance of majority of political parties with legal provisions as stipulated in section 225 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); section 89(1&2) of Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and Political Finance Manual and Handbook shows Nigerian parties’ unwillingness to comply with political finance regulations. It is noteworthy that this has been a sustained practice from the past. Indeed, many months after the election expenses report of political parties that contested the 2011 general elections had been due, only a handful of the parties have filed their report with the Political Party Monitoring and Liaison Department of INEC as stipulated in section 92 (3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Not only have most party ignored this provision, another of such contained in section 93(4) which states that “A political party sponsoring the election of a candidate shall, within 3 months after the announcement of the result of the election, file a report of the contribution made by the individual and entities to the Commission” have also suffered similar rebuff. It is left for INEC as the regulator of political parties in Nigeria to enforce compliance of these erring parties with political finance regulations.