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Thursday, March 23, 2023

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2023: ‘We’ve spent over £10m on Nigerian elections since 2019’ — British govt


The British Government has disclosed its involvement in the Nigerian electoral process with an expenditure of £10 million since 2019.

This was revealed by Ben Llewelyn-Jones, British deputy high commissioner to Nigeria, during an interview with NAN, on Saturday.

The ambassador claimed that the funds were used to improve civil society organizations, electoral observers, and government institutions in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that logistical difficulties would be overcome by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the polls.

“We have been working very closely with INEC and we have spent over £10 million since 2019; not just on them as that money went into capacity building for Nigerian government institutions, civil societies and observers who have been working closely with INEC,” Llewelyn-Jones said.

“We are impressed with steps that have been taken as we know there is still a lot to do, especially in terms of logistic challenges, but INEC is very experienced and they would overcome the challenges.

“We encourage Nigerians to work and cooperate with INEC as there will always be challenges, but Nigerians should remain supportive.”

The envoy further noted the UK government is committed to imposing visa restrictions on politicians found guilty of undermining democratic processes.

“Politicians must desist from buying votes as the right thing is to tell people to vote for you because of what you would do and not by buying votes to convince them to vote for you.

“It is imperative of politicians and people to do the right things as the UK government is committed to issuing visa restrictions where it is aware of attempts to subvert the democratic process.”

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