COP28: Only 422 delegates were funded by FG – Information Minister

THE Federal Government says it only funded 422 persons to the ongoing COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Nigerian government issued this clarification in response to the uproar and condemnations from concerned Nigerians regarding the reported number of delegates sponsored by the government.

A statement by the Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris, on Monday, December 4, said ‘Nigeria’s representation is very much in line with our status as Africa’s leading Sovereign voice and player in climate action.’

The Minister also noted that a number of delegates were sponsored by the state government, Civil Society Organisation, Non Governmental Organisations, Media among others.

According to him, the Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the world’s pre-eminent Climate Change Conference, attended this year by more than 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries.

“Parties to this Convention from Nigeria include government officials, representatives from the private sector, civil society, the voluntary sector, state governments, media, multilateral institutions, representatives of marginalised communities, and many others.

“It is imperative to point out that the overall Nigerian delegation to COP-28 comprises Government-sponsored (Federal and State Governments) and non-government-sponsored participants (from Private Companies, NGOs, CSOs, Media, academia, etc).”

Giving the breakdown down of the 422 Federal Government-funded delegates, the Minister highlighted the figures as follows: 

1.National Council on Climate Change: 32

2Federal Ministry of Environment: 34

  1. All Ministries: 167
  1. Presidency: 67
  2. Office of the Vice President: 9
  3. National Assembly: 40
  4. Federal Parastatals/Agencies: 73

Idris further mentioned that Nigeria holds a substantial interest in climate action, justifying its active and strong involvement at COP.

“It should be highlighted that, over the years, Nigeria has firmly demonstrated its climate action credentials by being the first African country to launch its Energy Transition Plan, the first African country to issue a Sovereign Green Bond, and one of the first to pass national climate change legislation.

“President Tinubu has been unequivocal in his position that Africa, which is battling problems of poverty and security and struggling to provide education and healthcare to her people, cannot be told to abandon its primary source of income, which is mostly from extractive industries, without the West providing the funding and investment in alternative and clean energy sources.”

    The ICIR reports that several Nigerians have since taken to social media, particularly X to vent their anger after the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) published a provisional list of accredited delegates at the ongoing COP28.

    According to the published list, Nigeria ranked third joint behind UAE and Brazil, with 1,411 delegates each with badges accredited to attend this year‘s summit in Dubai.

    However, Nigerians condemned the ‘substantial’ number of delegates representing the country, citing the current economic hardships.

    They also highlighted certain individuals whom they believed lacked portfolios or the capacity to participate in the event, labeling it as a way to reward party loyalties.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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