2024Election: Credentials Screening Committee’s Exorbitant Nomination Fees Spark Uproar In Kwara NUJ

Controversy has erupted within the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) following the announcement of nomination fees for the upcoming council elections.

The Credentials Screening Committee’s decision to charge high fees has drawn widespread criticism from members across various chapels, who are demanding a review.

The announcement, posted on the council’s WhatsApp platform on June 23, 2024, has sparked outrage and accusations of exploitation, threatening to mar the electoral process.

The committee has stipulated that the non-refundable fee for the positions of Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer is Two Hundred Thousand Naira (₦200,000.00) each.

For the positions of Vice-Chairman, Assistant Secretary, Financial Secretary, and Auditor, the fee is set at One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (₦150,000.00) each.

This has led to significant backlash, with members criticizing the fees as exorbitant and out of reach for many potential candidates.

The sentiment among the chapels is that such high fees are almost at par with those for national offices and even higher than the fees for local government chairmanship nominations in Kwara State, which are capped at One Hundred Thousand Naira (₦100,000.00).

In response to the uproar, the State Executive Council (SEC) of the NUJ Kwara Council has written a letter of appeal to the national secretariat, urging them to intervene.

The SEC’s letter calls on the national leadership to prevail on the credentials committee to reduce the nomination fees to Fifty Thousand Naira (₦50,000.00) for the Chairmanship position and correspondingly lower amounts for the other positions.

The SEC argues that the current economic situation in the country makes the high fees untenable and unfair to NUJ members who wish to participate in the democratic process.

They emphasize that these fees pose a significant financial barrier, limiting the pool of aspirants to only those who can afford such costs and thereby undermining the principles of democracy and equal opportunity that are fundamental to the NUJ’s values and mission.

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