FG says Nigeria’s delegation to COP-28 is 422

The Federal Government yesterday shed light on the composition of its delegation to the Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, clarified that 422 delegates were sponsored by the Federal Government to the convention in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE).

He said the report that 1,411 delegates represented the country was false, adding that President Bola Tinubu is not in Dubai for jamboree.

Idris, who debunked the allegation of crowded delegation, listed the gains of the summit, saying it offered ample opportunities for attracting funding for tackling the effects of climate change.

No fewer than 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries are attending the COP28

Explaining the composition of 422 delegates, the minister said it was a mixture of government officials, private sector representatives and civil society organisations.

Idris maintained that the Federal Government was only responsible for 422 officials.

The minister said: “The Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons,which includes the National Council on Climate Change, 32; Federal Ministry of Environment, 34; All Ministries, 167; Presidency, 67; Office of the Vice President, 9; National Assembly, 40; and Federal Parastatals/Agencies, 73.

He added: “As the biggest economy and most populous country in Africa, with a substantial extractive economy and extensive vulnerability to climate change, Nigeria has a significant stake in climate action, and our active and robust participation at COP is therefore, not unwarranted. “

Idris said: “COP-28 presents an array of investment and partnership opportunities for the various sectors affected by climate change, and Nigeria is already benefiting from its ongoing participation.”

Highlighting the gains, the minister said: “Nigeria and Germany signed an accelerated performance agreement to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.

“The agreement was signed by Mr. Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director and CEO of FGN Power Company, and Ms. Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, at a ceremony witnessed by President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz.

“President Tinubu hosted a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and the Electric Buses Rollout Programme on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.

“The President unveiled the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan, co-chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Dr. Dahiru Salisu.

“The Electric Buses program is only the first step in a series of innovative, clean, modern, and sustainable initiatives across diverse sectors, all aimed at simultaneously addressing climate change-related challenges, reducing carbon footprint, modernizing infrastructure systems, and positioning Nigeria as an attractive destination for global investments.”

Idris stressed: “Nigeria stands to benefit from the Loss and Damage Fund established during COP-27 in Egypt and formally operationalized at the opening plenary of COP-28 in Dubai.
“The Fund will provide substantial non-debt financing to support countries most affected by the impact of climate change. Hundreds of millions of dollars have already been pledged as contributions to the Fund.

“The President also met the President of UAE to concretize engagements between the two countries. This is aside from the bilateral talks held with several countries and multilateral partners.”

The minister said Nigeria has 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.

He noted President Tinubu has been unequivocal in his position that Africa, which is battling poverty, insecurity and struggling to provide education and healthcare to her people, cannot 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.

Idris said President Tinubu has been a vocal champion for the African continent on the global stage, whether at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the G20, or the COP-28.

He said the President has also been supported by active delegations at these fora.

Idris added: “It is, therefore, essential to keep setting the records straight while assuring Nigerians that President Tinubu and other officials on the Federal government delegation are in Dubai for serious business, not a jamboree.”

Jimoh Ibrahim defends Fed Govt’s delegation

Senator Jimoh Ibrahim yesterday defended the composition of the Nigerian delegation to COP28.

Jimoh, lawyer and senator representing Ondo South District clarified that 422 persons were sponsored for the event by the Federal Government out of 1,411 Nigerian delegates at the summit.

Ibrahim, who spoke on a live television programme said the number was quite poor.

He said a sparse number of delegates could affect the perception of the international community, adding: “It won’t take Tinubu seriously if he was in Dubai with a lean delegation.”

He pointed out that the number of delegates has an influence on knowledge sharing at the event, which, in his view, may be hosted by Nigeria in the future.

Ibrahim said: “Funding 400 people to a conference like this is too small. You may want to host the conference sometimes in future.”

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