The All Progressives Congress APC has fixed the cost of its presidential expression of interest and nomination forms at N100 million. The expression of interest form is N30 million, while the nomination form goes for N70 million.
The party approved N50 million for governors, for both nomination and expression of interest, while Senate and House of Representatives aspirants are to pay N20 million and N10 million respectively.
The party also fixed N2 million for House of Assembly aspirants.
However, aspirants under 40 years will get a 50 percent discount on fees while women and persons living with disabilities will pay only for the expression of interest form.
Apart from the cost of the forms, aspirants will spend humongous amount to campaign and mobilise support around the country.
According to the review made by Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the President’s annual salary and allowances stand at N14.04 million. This means a salary breakdown of about N1.2 million monthly
One of the questions now begging for answer in the minds of well meaning Nigerians is the rationale behind asking aspirants to apply for a job with a fee higher than the salary? Is this not an invitation to steal? Even as the total income for a complete tenure of four years, is estimated at N57,600,000 million, which is a far cry from an application fee of N100,000,000.
Many Nigerians are of the opinion that the imposition of such humongous amount will not only strengthen corruption but also exclude some people from the presidential race, particularly young people.
In 2018, President Mohammadu Buhari signed the “Not Too Young To Run” law. This is an act of parliament which sought to reduce the age limit for running for elective office in Nigeria.
However, with the exorbitant cost, how can the youths and masses who have the capacity to lead afford it? Is APC really party for all or selected few?
President Buhari had explained in 2014, that the N27.5 million expression of interest form fee was exorbitant, the reason he has not publicly frowned at his party’s current presidential intent fee beats imagination.
Further more, based on RMAFC information, a governor in Nigeria goes home with N7.8 million annually. The cost of the governorship forms in the ruling party is above six years salary of a governor.
The form prices, according to the main opposition party, PDP, are “insensitive and mind-boggling”
This outrageous fee has been heavily condemned as deepening corruption in the country.
If this continues, women, youths and persons with disabilities will find it difficult to participate in politics and fulfill political aspirations.