Postponed elections are not just about the annoyance of someone like me having to travel again next week. It means all my colleagues also have to return to Lagos (we are returning today), and then next Friday, we do it again. It means extra hotel costs, it means extra transportation costs. In some cases, these transportation costs are the costs of plane tickets, but consider the head of our Kaduna field office, who had to go to Idah, Kogi. There’s no way to fly from Kaduna to Idah, and at certain points, the roads are pretty awful, so there’s the potential risk to life. Thus when the last minute postponement happened, and we were doing our phone conference to plan the next election (and lamenting in the process), someone suggested that we count the cost, not just to our small organisation, but to the wider economy.
This report is the result of that effort.
Both the Civic Media Labs and my organisation’s partners, Gatefield, have taken the time to distil the calculations into infographics, since Nigerians don’t like to read.
We calculated Nigeria’s losses at $2.23 billion, which is not beans. For those of you that like details, the methodology is described in the report. It’s just six pages.