Mr Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, on Sunday, faulted the number of Nigeria’s delegation at the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
President Bola Tinubu had on November 29, 2023 departed Abuja for Dubai for the summit expected to end December 12, 2023.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the ex-governor of Anambra State, described sending over 1,000 persons to the summit as a waste of scarce resources by the Tinubu administration.
Obi lamented the “huge contingent” in Dubai at public expense at a time when most Nigerians can hardly afford food and basic needs.
“Nigeria’s contingent to COP28 totaled 1411, the same number as the Chinese contingents. While China’s budget for 2024 is about $4 trillion, about $2,860 per head; Nigeria’s budget is about $33 billion, about $165 per head,” Obi said.
“Nigeria has more people living in ‘Multi-Dimensional’ poverty than China, despite China having seven times our population.”
Obi said majority of those in the Nigerian delegation to COP28 are either non-relevant civil servants or relations of high government officials.
“This huge contingent is out at public expense at a time when most Nigerians can hardly afford food and basic needs as a result of economic hardship.
“As we have kept emphasizing, we must stop waste as a a tradition of our government and nation. We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production.
“We need to de-emphasize unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behaviour. We need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority. A New Nigeria is possible. We only need to do the reasonable and the necessary.”
Meanwhile, a presidential aide, Temitope Ajayi, in a comment on Sunday, defended the delegation of the President to the summit, saying that “President Tinubu and other officials on the Federal government delegation are in Dubai for serious business not jamboree”.
“Multifaceted stakeholders from different countries including Nigeria are on ground in Dubai because they don’t want decisions that will affect them to be taken without pushing their own agenda. It is the reason delegates from China and Brazil are over 3000 respectively. China is…
— Temitope Ajayi (@TheTope_Ajayi) December 3, 2023