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Netizens knock FG over Nigeria’s 1,411 delegates to COP28

Nigerians on social media have slammed Nigeria’s large delegation to COP28.

The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, more commonly referred to as COP28, is the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held from 30 November until 12 December 2023 at Expo City, Dubai.

A netizen with the handle @EduWhaltzChuka expressed that such a gathering will increase the high of governance, “Nigeria always leading the line when it comes to irrelevant things or issue that will increase the already high cost of governance.”

For @realadnantweet, “It’s totally outrageous that Tinubu’s govt is sponsoring those large number of idle people attending #COP28 in Dubai without any official functions but to go there like tourism wasting taxpayers money.” while another user, @Hedutsinma sees the large participation as “part of his failed economic reforms & his pretend Renewed Hope of deceitfulness.”

@geophylexy said that despite the large entourage, the President will still consult other nations of the world to seek for funding national projects.

“My only concern is that the same Tinubu that came with the most entourage will still approach other countries to beg for loans,” he tweeted.

@Pontiffes laments the poor state of the nation’s electricity and supply and questions “What do you want to debate about climate change?” and added, “It could be that they don’t understand what COP is all about.”

Another Nigeria with the name Geraldine Adeniyi and handle @Geraldine1Omon simply described the large participation as “Wasting of time and resources”

Also, @Martinfeels sees it as a “Wasteful government” and questions “In what way will their participation impact Nigeria?”

@IamthatNaijaguy asked, “Why does he (Tinubu) have to travel with some many aides amidst the cry by the govt that they met an empty treasury?”

For @theIbadan1 who supports Tinubu, he believes the expenses should be lessened.

“While I support BAT, I also believe that trips like this should be curtailed. The average per diem per person on the entourage would be about $3k per day. Also ironic that you flew multiple planes to a conference on climate change,” he tweeted.

However, the Presidency, on Sunday, said only a handful of the 1,411 Nigerian delegates who registered to attend the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, were sponsored by the Federal Government.

The Presidency explained that a bulk of the contingents comprised private sector players, such as businesspeople, civil society organisations and delegates from Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region.

It also argued that the delegates were at the summit to promote their respective causes and not for a jamboree.

A statement signed by President Bola Tinubu’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, read, “It is important to state here that delegates from all countries, whether from government, private sector, media and civil society groups, attend COP summits and conferences as parties and the number of attendees are registered against their countries of origin. This does not mean they are sponsored or funded by the government,”

While noting that the large contingent from Nigeria was not solely government-funded, Ajayi said, “It is important to state here that delegates from all countries whether from government, private sector, media and civil society groups attend COP summits and conferences as parties and the number of attendees is registered against their countries of origin.

“This does not mean that they are sponsored or funded by the government. It must be said also that the fact that people registered to attend a conference does not mean everyone who registered is physically present.

“As the biggest country in Africa, the biggest economy and one with a bigger stake in climate action as a country with a huge extractive economy, it is a no-brainer that delegates from Nigeria will be more than any other country in Africa.”

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