The majority leader of the federal house of representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, has cried out that he needs N70million in “hard copy” for his election expenses in the upcoming elections. Doguwa is the member representing the Doguwa/Tundun Wada federal constituency in Kano State.
Doguwa was referring to the naira scarcity issue after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at Abuja.
N70million is the cap by law on the election expenses permitted for aspirants in the house of representatives elections in Nigeria.
Doguwa said without getting the money in “hard copy” the candidates seeking relection in the national assembly would be at a disadvantage.
He called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately release the N200 notes into circulation as directed by the President.
He is quoted as saying:
“A member of the house of representatives is expected by law to have [no] more than N70 million naira to conduct his elections, logistics, and other things. The law has permitted me to have N70 million as logistics. I need to have this N70 million in hard copy.
“As I speak to you, I don’t have it, which means if this policy continues this way, if the central bank fails to make available this money, we need to fund our elections. Definitely, every candidate, no matter what party he belongs to, will be put at disadvantage.
The “hard copy” reference most probably means Doguwa wants to have the money in cash. This is one of the main reasons the CBN announced the new naira policy to curb election corruption and buying of votes.
And also, this explains why politicians have been up in arms against the CBN, as the new policy directly affects their known practices of vote buying and corruption of the electoral process.