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“FG Funded 422 To COP28 In Dubai” — Minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has disclosed that 422 out of Nigeria’s 1,411 delegation to ongoing, COP28, holding in Dubai were funded by the Federal Government.

The minister disclosed this as outrage continues to trail the large number of delegates attending the conference from Nigeria.

He said his clarification was hinged on the need to provide clarity in line with a standing pledge by the government to conduct itself with transparency and accessibility regarding public information.

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 30th November to 12th of December, 2023 at Expo City, Dubai.

The minister said Nigeria’s representation at the conference was in line with the nation’s status as Africa’s leading sovereign voice and player in climate action.

Contingents at the conference comprised private sector players, such as businesspeople, civil society organisations and delegates from Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region.

The social media space had went uproar over the significant presence of Nigerian delegates at the ongoing United Nations Climate Conference in Dubai.

Nigerians on social media had slammed Nigeria’s large delegation to COP28, PUNCH Online reports

A statement signed by President Bola Tinubu’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, on Sunday, said only a handful of the 1,411 Nigerian delegates who registered to attend the COP28 Climate Summit were sponsored by the federal government.

“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.

“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,” Ajayi said.

Corroborating Ajayi, Idris stated that “the Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons.”

The delegation funded by the federal government, according to the minister, are National Council on Climate Change -32 delegates; Federal Ministry of Environment -34; all ministries -167; Presidency -67; Office of the Vice President -9, National Assembly – 40, and federal parastatals/agencies -73

Successes recorded so far
The minister added that Nigeria is currently enjoying its participation in the summit.

According to him, “Nigeria and Germany signed an accelerated performance agreement to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply. The agreement was signed by Mr. Kenny Anuwe, the Managing Director and Chief Exective Officer 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.”

Also, he said President Bola 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 as the nation 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,” Idris added.

According to him, Tinubu also met the President of the United Arab Emirates to concretise engagements between the two countries.

Following the clarification that the Federal Government only funded 422 delegates to the summit, Idris concluded in the releas that, “President Tinubu and other officials on the Federal Government delegation are in Dubai for serious business, not a jamboree.”

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