Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has berated President Bola Tinubu’s attendance of the COP 28 global climate summit in the United Arab Emirates with more than 1400 delegates, most of whose trips are funded by the federal government.
Mr Obi, in a post on his X (Twitter) account on Sunday, condemned the size of the president’s delegation, which he said was on the same level as that of more populated and richer countries like China.
He contended that the scale of the delegation in juxtaposition with China’s wealth and affluence was economically imprudent and lacked any reasonable justification, especially considering the economic hardship that plagues Nigerians and Mr Tinubu’s repeated calls for the citizens to continue to endure the suffering.
“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. China has a high Human Development Index, HDI, with a ranking of 79 out of 191 countries measured, and Nigeria has a low HDI, with a ranking of 163 out of 191 countries measured. Nigeria has more people living in ‘Multi-Dimensional’ poverty than China, despite China having seven times our population,” Mr Obi said.
Mr Obi also reiterated the observations that newspapers and public opinion leaders have made since the list was first published, that the majority of the names on it, especially those associated with the federal cabinet, were “non-relevant civil servants or relations, friends and hangers-on of high government officials,” who have no official business that warranted the funding of their trips with taxpayers money.
“As we have kept emphasising, we must stop waste as a tradition of our government and nation. We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production.
“We need to de-emphasise 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,” Mr Obi added.