No.1 Mass Communication Research Topics and Materials

IMPACT OF NAIRA REDESIGN IN CURBING VOTE BUYING DURING ELECTION IN NIGERIA

(Last Updated On: )

Abstract ON VOTE BUYING

The main objective of the study was to investigate impact of naira redesign in curbing vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria. The study was anchored on Social Exchange Theory and Social Norms Theory to give the study the needed footing. A cross-sectional survey research method was adopted and questionnaires were used to elicit responses from respondents within Lagos Metropolis who were selected using quota sampling technique. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) and the data were presented with the aid of tables. The study found that a significant numbers of the respondents 98.1% were of the views that there was low prevalence of vote buying in the 2023 general election. Equally, majority of the respondents attributed vote buying in Nigerian election to poverty and economic hardship, lack of political education and awareness, political parties’ influence, inadequate law enforcement, corruption within the electoral system, desire to win election at all cost. Similarly, majority of the respondents (82.6%) observed that vote buying during the previous elections was very rampant. However, majority of the respondents (60.8%) admitted that naira redesign positively impacted on vote buying in the 2023 general election. The study recommended that educating citizens about their rights and the importance of making informed choices can help reduce the vulnerability to vote buying. Also, when citizens are engaged and feel their voices are heard, they are less likely to be swayed by monetary incentives. There is also the need to enforce existing laws that criminalize vote buying and ensure that those involved face appropriate penalties. This will act as a deterrent and discourage potential offenders.


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the Study

            Vote buying is a pervasive and concerning issue that poses a significant threat to democracy in Nigeria. In recent years, the act of exchanging monetary incentives or material goods for votes has become alarmingly common during elections. Vote buying is not a new phenomenon in Nigerian politics. It has deep roots in the country’s history and has gradually evolved over time.

            According to research by Anifowose and Enemuo (2018), the practice gained momentum in the 1990s due to the transition from military to civilian rule. As Nigeria shifted towards democracy, the allure of power intensified, leading to increased incidents of vote buying. Equally, a study by Uche (2019) found that 30% of Nigerian respondents admitted to being offered money or goods in exchange for their votes. This hugely development is undermining the democratic process and compromising the integrity of electoral outcomes.

            However, the Nigerian currency was redesigned apparently to curtail vote-buying in the 2023 general election. The decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign naira notes just before the 2023 general election received kudos and knocks, depending on who is doing the talking. In an ironic twist, governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are against the policy while members and supporters of the opposition parties are in favour (Yusuff, 2023).

            The practice often thrives due to poverty, lack of political awareness, and ineffective enforcement of electoral laws (Ezirim & Nwagwu, 2019). Vote buying has become a major concern for Nigerians, as it undermines the credibility of elected officials and weakens democratic institutions.

            Recognizing the need to address the issue of vote buying, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) implemented a redesign of the Naira currency. The redesign incorporates innovative security features, making it more difficult to counterfeit, and aims to discourage the use of cash in the electoral process (CBN, 2022). The intention is to reduce the ease with which politicians distribute cash to influence voters during elections.

            However, many Nigerians perceive the Naira redesign as a step in the right direction towards curbing vote buying. The enhanced security features are seen as a means to deter counterfeiting and limit the ability of politicians to distribute illicit funds to voters (Ajayi, 2023). The public hopes that this initiative will promote transparency and fairness in the electoral process, ultimately strengthening democracy in Nigeria.

            In the same vein, there are also skeptics who doubt the effectiveness of the Naira redesign in eliminating vote buying. Some argue that politicians may find alternative means to influence voters, such as through the provision of essential goods or services, rendering the currency redesign less impactful (The Guardian, 2022). Others express concerns about the implementation and enforcement of the new currency, emphasizing the need for strong regulatory measures and monitoring.

            Equally, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling APC, fired the first salvo when he said the hardship caused by the naira redesign policy and petrol scarcity was a plot to make him lose the election. He was believed to be talking about members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inner circle (Omotola, 2019).

            Though, Tinubu claimed the policy was a plot to stop his victory, adding that beyond keeping the new naira notes away from circulation. It was also to anger Nigerians and make them vote against the ruling party because of the hardship. Sharing money, or vote-trading, during elections in Nigeria is like a tradition, dating back to the first republic. There are various reasons: to reward voters, to facilitate their movements or to induce them. All purposes could also be served at one go (Adeola & Olaniyan, 2019).

            This is where it hurt election. There are over 176,000 polling units for the elections and each party is supposed to have a polling agent. Traditionally, they are paid legitimate allowances to cater for their feeding for the day. At just N1,000 per head (it is usually far more than that), a presidential candidate will spend nearly N2 billion on agents alone. The payment is usually dispensed in cash (Yusuff, 2023).

            It is essential to assess the actual impact of the Naira redesign on reducing vote buying in the 2023 general election. Comprehensive studies and data analysis are necessary to determine the effectiveness of this initiative. Monitoring mechanisms, such as voter education campaigns and robust enforcement of electoral laws, are also crucial to complement the currency redesign and address other forms of electoral malpractices.

            By and large, the Nigerians’ perception of the Naira redesign’s impact on vote buying in the 2023 general election is diverse. While many view it as a positive step towards curbing electoral malpractices and promoting transparency, skeptics raise concerns about its effectiveness and potential loopholes. The true impact of the Naira redesign can only be determined through rigorous evaluation and monitoring of the electoral process. Ultimately, a comprehensive approach that combines currency redesign with voter education, effective law enforcement, and accountability measures is essential to address the underlying causes of vote buying and strengthen Nigeria’s democratic foundations. Hence, this study investigates the impact of naira redesign in curbing vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria with particular voters in Lagos metropolis.

1.2       Statement of the Problems

            In the realm of democratic societies, the electoral process serves as the cornerstone of governance, giving citizens the power to elect their representatives and shape the course of their nations. However, the practice of vote buying poses a significant challenge to the integrity of elections and the democratic system as a whole.

            Vote buying refers to the act of exchanging money, gifts, favors, or other incentives for votes during electoral campaigns. It is an unethical practice that undermines the principles of fair and free elections by distorting the will of the people and compromising the democratic process. Vote buying can take various forms, ranging from discreet transactions between individual voters and candidates to elaborate schemes involving political parties and influential figures.

            However, despite the significant of naira redesign on vote buying in the last 2023 general elections, there is a few or no empirical study on the subject matter.  It is against this backdrop that this study investigates the impact of naira redesign in curbing vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria with particular voters in Lagos metropolis.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

            The primary objective of the study is to investigate the impact of naira redesign in curbing vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria. However, the specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the extent to which the naira redesign made it more difficult for politicians to buy votes.
  2. To raise awareness of the issue of vote buying and its negative impact on democracy.
  3. To identify other forms of vote buying adopted during the 2023 general election.
  4. To investigate the factors that makes voters more or less susceptible to vote buying.
  5. To establish how the naira redesign can be used more effectively to curb vote buying in future elections.

1.4       Research Questions

In order to explicate the aforementioned objectives, the listed questions provide answers to the research problem:

  1. To what extent has the naira redesign made it more difficult for politicians to buy votes?
  2. To what extent has there be enough awareness on the issue of vote buying and its negative impact on democracy.
  3. What other forms of vote buying adopted during the 2023 general election.
  4. What is the main factor that made voters more or less susceptible to vote buying during the 2023 general election?
  5. How can the naira redesign be used more effectively to curb vote buying in future elections?

1.5       Scope of the Study

            The study which investigates the impact of naira redesign in curbing vote buying during the 2023 general election in Nigeria shall be narrowed in scope to electorate in Lagos. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Lagos metropolis. The choice of electorate in Lagos is due to its proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all students in Lagos state among other logistics. However, the respondents’ demography will be examined before the administration such as age, gender, education etc.

1.6       Significance of the Study

            The study on the perceived influence of naira redesign policy on the 2023 general elections would have significant implications for both the electoral process and the overall democratic system. Here are some potential areas of significance:

  1. Curbing vote buying: Vote buying is a prevalent issue in many elections, including those in Nigeria. By examining the impact of Naira redesign on vote buying, the study could provide insights into the effectiveness of currency modifications in curbing this illegal practice.
  2. Enhancing electoral integrity: Vote buying undermines the integrity of elections by compromising the principle of free and fair voting. By investigating the implications of Naira redesign, the study can shed light on how changes in currency design and security features can contribute to strengthening the electoral process, ensuring that votes are cast freely based on individuals’ choices rather than monetary incentives.
  3. Policy implications: The findings of the study could have policy implications for electoral bodies, such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and policymakers in Nigeria. If the research demonstrates a link between Naira redesign and reduced vote buying, it could support the implementation of currency modifications as a proactive measure to address electoral malpractices.
  4. Public awareness and education: Conducting a study on the implications of Naira redesign on vote buying raises public awareness about the issue of electoral fraud and the potential role of currency design in mitigating it.
  5. Academic/research: Apart from contributing to research literature on the subject matter, this study among other things may also provide empirical information on vote buying.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Naira Redesign Policy: In this study, it refers to the CBN introduction of the redesign of N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele on 15 December 2022 during the rundown to 2023 general elections.

Vote Buying: In this research, the vote buying means the act of inducing voters usually with monetary benefit in order to influence their voting intention.

2023 General Election: This refers to the February 2023 general election held in Nigeria.


PROJECT DETAILS:

Format = MS Word, Price = ₦5000, Chapter = 1-5, Pages = 70 References = Yes, Questionnaire =Yes, Table of Contents = Yes and Abstract = Yes


HOW TO GET COMPLETE PROJECT MATERIAL

0Shares

Related Project Topics: