How Much Are Nigerian Parties Charging Aspirants to Run for Office?

April 27, 2022

Nigerian politics is a big-money business. It’s why everyone and their children want to stay involved until rapture happens. But before anyone can get to the money on the table, they have to first drop something for the boys.

Nomination forms are expensive in many parties

One of the biggest ways political parties in Nigeria raise money for their survival is through elections. According to Nigeria’s laws, only political parties can field candidates for elections. And before anyone aspiring for office can contest in a party’s primary election, they have to buy a nomination form and expression of interest form.

These two forms have to be bought before a party considers an aspirant to be serious about getting in the game. And because there are hundreds of people trying to get into elected office during any election cycle, political parties are usually smiling to the bank. 

Nomination forms are expensive in many parties

For example, the All Progressives Congress (APC) made over N6.9 billion just from the sale of forms to aspirants who participated in the 2019 elections.

With the 2023 general elections less than one year away, it’s harvest season again for political parties in Nigeria. Many of the parties have started selling forms to hundreds of aspirants for hundreds of positions nationwide. Let’s take a look at the billing field.

Nomination forms are expensive in many parties

Nigerian political parties right now

All Progressives Congress (APC)

President – ₦100 million

Governor –  ₦50 million

Senate – ₦20 million

House of Representatives – ₦10 million

House of Assembly – ₦2 million

Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP)

President – ₦40 million

Governor – ₦21 million

Senate – ₦3.5 million

House of Representatives – ₦2.5 million

House of Assembly – ₦600k

Action Alliance (AA)

President – ₦15 million

Governor – ₦6 million

Senate – ₦3 million

House of Representatives – ₦1.5 million

House of Assembly – ₦500k

African Democratic Congress (ADC)

President – ₦25 million

Governor – ₦12 million

Senate –  ₦2.5 million

House of Representatives – ₦1.5 million

House of Assembly – ₦500k

All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)

President – ₦25 million

Governor – ₦15 million

Senate – ₦10 million

House of Representatives – ₦7 million

House of Assembly – ₦2.5 million

National Rescue Movement (NRM)

President – ₦19 million

Governor – ₦8.2 million

Senate – ₦2.2 million

House of Representatives – ₦1.1 million

House of Assembly – ₦550k

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New Nigeria Peoples’ Party (NNPP)

President – ₦30 million

Governor – ₦11 million

Senate – ₦3 million

House of Representatives – ₦1,250,000

House of Assembly – ₦350k

Social Democratic Party (SDP)

President – ₦35 million

Governor – ₦16 million

Senate –  ₦3 million

House of Representatives – ₦1.7 million

House of Assembly – ₦500k

Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)

President – ₦10 million

Governor – ₦2.5 million

Senate – ₦1.5 million

House of Representatives – ₦250k

House of Assembly – ₦100k

Young Progressives Party (YPP)

President – ₦20 million

Governor – ₦10 million

Senate – ₦3 million

House of Representatives – ₦2 million

House of Assembly – ₦400k

Zenith Labour Party (ZLP)

President – ₦23 million

Governor – ₦12 million

Senate – ₦2 million

House of Representatives – ₦700k

House of Assembly – ₦350k

What’s the real cost of these forms?

The costs of the forms have been controversial, especially those charged by the APC and PDP who are the two biggest parties. The costs keep climbing every new election cycle. Even President Buhari cried that he couldn’t afford the ₦27.5 million that forms cost in 2014. But those same forms cost N100 million eight years later. 

Critics believe that the high cost of forms is keeping people of modest means out of politics. This equals influential political positions going to the highest bidders. The public fear is that these bidders are likely to dig into the public purse to compensate themselves if they get elected.

Nomination forms are expensive in many parties

Just the high costs of gate fees alone limit the participation of underrepresented groups like youths and women in Nigerian politics. As a deflection, some of the parties are offering the forms at discounted rates or even for free to aspirants that are below 35, female or living with a disability. Yet, critics don’t think the gesture levels the playing field for them in any meaningful way. This is due to the other money challenges they’ll face before winning a primary election.

Political parties are the only route to public office in Nigeria. As long as they continue to be the gatekeepers of elected office, they’ll continue to cash out. During election seasons, the real winners aren’t the ones announced by INEC or the voters, the real winners are the political parties.

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