Nigeria’s strategic importance for the future of global democracy is undervalued. Over the next five years, 100 million Nigerians will be eligible to vote in the 2023 general and local elections. While this gives citizens great opportunities to participate in the electoral process, research and observation conducted by the Consortium for Elections Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) note that voter participation and public confidence in democracy remain low. IFES is supporting Nigerian institutions in developing and implementing solutions to further improve the credibility and integrity of Nigeria’s democracy. Since 1998, IFES has helped Nigerian election management bodies (EMBs) build their capacity to promote credible, inclusive and transparent elections at national, state and local levels.
As a CEPPS partner, IFES’ Strengthening Engagement through Education for Democracy (SEED) project is helping foster a new generation of informed voters, through collaborative creation of a civic education curriculum that emphasizes experiential learning about democratic norms, processes and civic engagement. IFES also continues building a base of empirical data to drive evidence-based reforms — through time-series national surveys gauging public perceptions of elections and democracy in Nigeria — and is helping local partners increase accountability and equitable access in electoral justice.
IFES and CEPPS partners will further build on the achievements of the Support for Electoral Reform Project (SERP II), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, to enhance transparency throughout the electoral process with the Supporting Electoral Accountability and Transparency (SEAT) activity. Under SEAT, IFES is assisting Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) advance and fulfill its mission as an effective, sustainable EMB prepared to lead free, fair and credible elections. IFES is additionally focusing on voter education campaigns that target women, youth, persons with disabilities and internally displaced persons (IDP) along with the general electorate at the national and sub-national levels to address the challenges of low voter participation.
IFES Nigeria programming aims to promote meaningful and inclusive participation of elections through carefully considered, locally owned activities designed to meet the needs of Nigerian electoral and consolidate democracy in Nigeria.