INEC postpones Nigeria’s 2019 general elections - here are the economic implications

Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa looks at four economic implications of postponing the 2019 general elections.

Over 465,000 PVCs not yet collected in Delta – INEC
  • Nigeria's electoral umpire reschedules Saturday's general election citing difficulties in transporting electoral materials.
  • The new dates are February 23 for presidential and national assembly elections, and March 9 2019 for governorship and state assemblies elections.
  • We look at some immediate economic implications of the postponement on the nation, individual and the economy.

Nigeria's electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has rescheduled Saturday's general election, citing difficulties in transporting electoral materials in some areas.

The Commission says it will provide further details of the postponement at a conference scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

The new dates fixed for the elections are February 23 for presidential and national assembly elections, and March 9 for governorship and state assemblies elections.


Business Insider Sub-Saharan Africa looks at four economic implications of the postponement on the nation, the individual and the economy.

1. Increased economic uncertainty

The postponement of the elections will further keep investors away from the Nigerian market as fear and uncertainty about the country's economic and political direction linger. This will also discourage investment and bring adversely affect the nation’s economy.


2. Overbearing costs

Individual spending has increased in the last two days. Many have gone to filling stations and supermarkets to stock up for the election weekend, while some have travelled out of their places of residence to their constituencies where they are registered to vote.

Journalists, international correspondents, and election observers have spent thousands of dollars travelling to and around Nigeria to cover the elections and observe polling activities.

For instance, a return flight for a UK journalist to cover Nigeria election will cost them about N400,000 (more than £800) while hotel accommodation for up to a week in a Lagos hotel could cost up to N35,000 (£75) per night. Add to that an average per diem of $500 for 3-4 days and you will get a sense of just how much could have been expended on covering the elections originally scheduled for February 16.

Every Saturday, hundreds, maybe thousands, of people get married across the country. Those who might have scheduled their weddings for the week after the elections will now have to reschedule them, bearing unforeseen costs that might greatly affect their finances in the process.


3. Companies’ strategies at risk

Some companies have tied their spending and 2019 strategies around the Saturday, February 16 and March 2, 2019, initial election dates, spending millions of Naira. Adjusting to the new dates will not only affect company finances, but it will have some effects on employee morale going into the new week, further harming the companies’ productivity levels.

Last week, Nigeria fully recovered from its worst economic recession as the GDP growth recorded a remarkable 1.93% in 2018, thanks to the activities and spending of private organisations. It will be important to note how these activities will be impacted in the coming weeks.

4. Waste of national resources


INEC’s budget for the election year is roughly 189 billion Naira. It is safe to say that a large chunk of that budget that has already been expended on logistics in preparation for elections on February 16 has gone to waste, never to be recouped.

INEC will also need to spend more than it already has.

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