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COP28: If only our govt feared the people; Where is NLC?

Social media has been awash with reactions after a published list by the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of registered delegates from Africa, with over 1400 delegates making it the 4th highest overall in number of delegates at the Conference of Parties(COP) otherwise known as COP28.

Just when you think you’ve seen or heard the worst from the Nigerian government, they commit something more outrageous.

Nigerians were still criticising the government for the outcome of the President’s budget presentation to the Senate which revealed plans to borrow more money, when the Minister of FCT threw another shocker- that he needed 15 billion to erect a new building for the Vice president.

Now, it is about the 1,411 Nigerians in Dubai as delegates to COP28 Summit.

With Nigerians living in ‘multi-dimensional poverty’, taking that large number of delegates to a conference holding between November 30 and December 12, to many, really sounds like a wasteful government is in power.

Granted that the federal government through its minister of information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, gave a different clarification to the number of delegates sponsored by the government of Nigeria, putting the official delegation as 422 and not 1,411 persons widely reported; still, Nigerians are asking, what are 422 people doing in Dubai as delegates?

Idris further defended the number of delegates saying “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.” Not unwarranted, by taking such an outrageous number of delegates, majority of whom may not know anything on the subject matter?

Earlier, spokesperson to the president, Temitope Ajayi who first rose in defence of the federal government, said the total number of delegates sponsored by government was 590. According to him, the Nigerian Council on Climate Change has 54 persons, 53 came from the ministry of environment, 36 from the National Assembly and 138 from the presidency. So, whose figures should we accept? Besides, only about five delegates attended COP27 even without ex-president Buhari. Was it not successful? Should we be proud of 590 individuals spending scarce resources all in the name of delegation?

As expected, Nigerians have not stopped condemning government for the waste of funds that COP28 has turned out to be.

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Social media has been awash with reactions after a published list by the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of registered delegates from Africa, with over 1400 delegates making it the 4th highest overall in number of delegates at the Conference of Parties(COP) otherwise known as COP28.

Just when you think you’ve seen or heard the worst from the Nigerian government, they commit something more outrageous.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.608.2_en.html#goog_1399577573

Nigerians were still criticising the government for the outcome of the President’s budget presentation to the Senate which revealed plans to borrow more money, when the Minister of FCT threw another shocker- that he needed 15 billion to erect a new building for the Vice president.

Now, it is about the 1,411 Nigerians in Dubai as delegates to COP28 Summit.

With Nigerians living in ‘multi-dimensional poverty’, taking that large number of delegates to a conference holding between November 30 and December 12, to many, really sounds like a wasteful government is in power.

Granted that the federal government through its minister of information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, gave a different clarification to the number of delegates sponsored by the government of Nigeria, putting the official delegation as 422 and not 1,411 persons widely reported; still, Nigerians are asking, what are 422 people doing in Dubai as delegates?

Idris further defended the number of delegates saying “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.” Not unwarranted, by taking such an outrageous number of delegates, majority of whom may not know anything on the subject matter?

Earlier, spokesperson to the president, Temitope Ajayi who first rose in defence of the federal government, said the total number of delegates sponsored by government was 590. According to him, the Nigerian Council on Climate Change has 54 persons, 53 came from the ministry of environment, 36 from the National Assembly and 138 from the presidency. So, whose figures should we accept? Besides, only about five delegates attended COP27 even without ex-president Buhari. Was it not successful? Should we be proud of 590 individuals spending scarce resources all in the name of delegation?

As expected, Nigerians have not stopped condemning government for the waste of funds that COP28 has turned out to be.

https://8c13b4ff724e946b1ad7bcd9972c32f1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html

On social media, Brother Berth wrote, “In August 2023  Ajuri Ngelale informed Nigerians that Tinubu has instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to freeze the processing of Visas for government officials who have no business at UNGA in New York, in line with his broader efforts to cut the cost of governance. In December, Ajuri Ngelale is seen among the crowd of officials that accompanied Tinubu to Dubai at COP28. COP28 is a 13-day event that will gulp a lot more money in hotel accommodation than UNGA. It will be nice for Nigerians to know how much is spent in sponsoring Tinubu and  all that accompanied him at COP28. Tinubu and two ministers would’ve been more than enough for this trip in view of the current economic reality in the country. This just has to stop.”

Ukegbu James wrote, “Wasteful spending. Mismatch of priorities. Lack of vision. No plausible excuse for this upscale mediocrity. Nigeria is on the precipice.”

Ajimati Michael wrote, “Honestly speaking,  if the government is telling us that there is no money in Nigeria, how come people in government spend as if they are not part of us?”

Ukoha Otis wrote , “. The government is driving the country fast to the abyss.”

Rufai Oseni on Arise TV programme said; “It’s clear and simple, it’s a jamboree. The part that I didn’t fault them for is that they didn’t pick Aso ebi…(uniform) because this is a Nigerian party in Dubai.” He noted that with the sour relationship between Dubai and Nigeria especially as it relates to getting into UAE, attendees of the conference may have seen it as an opportunity. “You know they can’t deny them visa because this is COP,” he stated.

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Social media has been awash with reactions after a published list by the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of registered delegates from Africa, with over 1400 delegates making it the 4th highest overall in number of delegates at the Conference of Parties(COP) otherwise known as COP28.

Just when you think you’ve seen or heard the worst from the Nigerian government, they commit something more outrageous.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.608.2_en.html#goog_1399577573

Nigerians were still criticising the government for the outcome of the President’s budget presentation to the Senate which revealed plans to borrow more money, when the Minister of FCT threw another shocker- that he needed 15 billion to erect a new building for the Vice president.

Now, it is about the 1,411 Nigerians in Dubai as delegates to COP28 Summit.

With Nigerians living in ‘multi-dimensional poverty’, taking that large number of delegates to a conference holding between November 30 and December 12, to many, really sounds like a wasteful government is in power.

Granted that the federal government through its minister of information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, gave a different clarification to the number of delegates sponsored by the government of Nigeria, putting the official delegation as 422 and not 1,411 persons widely reported; still, Nigerians are asking, what are 422 people doing in Dubai as delegates?

Idris further defended the number of delegates saying “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.” Not unwarranted, by taking such an outrageous number of delegates, majority of whom may not know anything on the subject matter?

Earlier, spokesperson to the president, Temitope Ajayi who first rose in defence of the federal government, said the total number of delegates sponsored by government was 590. According to him, the Nigerian Council on Climate Change has 54 persons, 53 came from the ministry of environment, 36 from the National Assembly and 138 from the presidency. So, whose figures should we accept? Besides, only about five delegates attended COP27 even without ex-president Buhari. Was it not successful? Should we be proud of 590 individuals spending scarce resources all in the name of delegation?

As expected, Nigerians have not stopped condemning government for the waste of funds that COP28 has turned out to be.

https://8c13b4ff724e946b1ad7bcd9972c32f1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html

On social media, Brother Berth wrote, “In August 2023  Ajuri Ngelale informed Nigerians that Tinubu has instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to freeze the processing of Visas for government officials who have no business at UNGA in New York, in line with his broader efforts to cut the cost of governance. In December, Ajuri Ngelale is seen among the crowd of officials that accompanied Tinubu to Dubai at COP28. COP28 is a 13-day event that will gulp a lot more money in hotel accommodation than UNGA. It will be nice for Nigerians to know how much is spent in sponsoring Tinubu and  all that accompanied him at COP28. Tinubu and two ministers would’ve been more than enough for this trip in view of the current economic reality in the country. This just has to stop.”

Related News

Ukegbu James wrote, “Wasteful spending. Mismatch of priorities. Lack of vision. No plausible excuse for this upscale mediocrity. Nigeria is on the precipice.”

Ajimati Michael wrote, “Honestly speaking,  if the government is telling us that there is no money in Nigeria, how come people in government spend as if they are not part of us?”

Ukoha Otis wrote , “. The government is driving the country fast to the abyss.”

Rufai Oseni on Arise TV programme said; “It’s clear and simple, it’s a jamboree. The part that I didn’t fault them for is that they didn’t pick Aso ebi…(uniform) because this is a Nigerian party in Dubai.” He noted that with the sour relationship between Dubai and Nigeria especially as it relates to getting into UAE, attendees of the conference may have seen it as an opportunity. “You know they can’t deny them visa because this is COP,” he stated.

His words, “No matter how much the government tries to defend this COP28 debacle, it’s a scandal that stinks. If the government said the 1411 people were not all paid for by the government, why would people go there as confidants of the president? Who pays for that? Why would governors, ministers go there with their Aides, is it not with government’s money? A country that is bleeding as we speak with economic quagmire, where citizens can barely get by, most hospitals’ wards are shutting down because doctors are now leaving Nigeria to a place like Sierra Leone for better pay. When will this administration say enough to all this waste?”

Rufai continues, “What will shock you is the amount of money we are now expending to the UAE economy. If the flight tickets alone cost close to a billion, how about hotel accommodation, estacodes, etc, if possible, let’s start by writing FOI to demand how much the government spent on that trip. It’s a sad reality of how wasteful people are. We spend money on frivolous things. Just as last week, we wanted to spend 15 billion to build a new house for the VP. We can’t be saying Nigerians should tighten their belts but they are going there to do jamboree, do item seven and show off. It’s obvious that our leaders don’t fear the people.”

Ghana had 618 delegates, Kenya which also has been talking about cutting government spending had 763 delegates. They have been criticised heavily by their people and this is due largely to leadership problems wrecking Africa. 

Ayo Mairo-Ese says more on this. “It’s a problem with leadership and cost on the African continent. As Rufai said, its lack of fear for the people; the fact they can do what they want without backlash especially from the people or, lots of consequences. What is more provocative for Nigerians is that a number of the attendees at COP28 do not have direct advocacy or perhaps negotiators when it comes to climate change. I don’t understand the motive for choosing certain people to attend. We have issues and situations around flooding. Rather than sending delegates to a climate change conference in Dubai, let them put that money into tackling flooding and expanding roads, drainages or building more roads and infrastructure in the country. For every time we waste money on frivolities like this, it’s a cost on what could have been paid for the child who could not go to school: hospitals- people that die from maternal mortality because hospitals are not functioning, etc. The president has to demonstrate not just say about cutting costs, but that he is serious about it.”

Dr Reuben Abati first corrected that it is not true that Nigeria has the same number of delegates as China because China has 822 delegates while Nigeria is reported as the delegation with the fourth largest delegates. He said, “I share Mr Peter Obi’s view that we should focus more on production rather than using money, wasting money sending a large delegation to COP28.” He clarified that the statistics in terms of delegation are provided by an AI company, Statisense, noting that it’s not like a politician made up the numbers and nobody has contradicted those figures.

By Prisca Sam-Duru

Social media has been awash with reactions after a published list by the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change revealed that Nigeria has the highest number of registered delegates from Africa, with over 1400 delegates making it the 4th highest overall in number of delegates at the Conference of Parties(COP) otherwise known as COP28.

Just when you think you’ve seen or heard the worst from the Nigerian government, they commit something more outrageous.

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.608.2_en.html#goog_1399577573

Nigerians were still criticising the government for the outcome of the President’s budget presentation to the Senate which revealed plans to borrow more money, when the Minister of FCT threw another shocker- that he needed 15 billion to erect a new building for the Vice president.

Now, it is about the 1,411 Nigerians in Dubai as delegates to COP28 Summit.

With Nigerians living in ‘multi-dimensional poverty’, taking that large number of delegates to a conference holding between November 30 and December 12, to many, really sounds like a wasteful government is in power.

Granted that the federal government through its minister of information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, gave a different clarification to the number of delegates sponsored by the government of Nigeria, putting the official delegation as 422 and not 1,411 persons widely reported; still, Nigerians are asking, what are 422 people doing in Dubai as delegates?

Idris further defended the number of delegates saying “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.” Not unwarranted, by taking such an outrageous number of delegates, majority of whom may not know anything on the subject matter?

Earlier, spokesperson to the president, Temitope Ajayi who first rose in defence of the federal government, said the total number of delegates sponsored by government was 590. According to him, the Nigerian Council on Climate Change has 54 persons, 53 came from the ministry of environment, 36 from the National Assembly and 138 from the presidency. So, whose figures should we accept? Besides, only about five delegates attended COP27 even without ex-president Buhari. Was it not successful? Should we be proud of 590 individuals spending scarce resources all in the name of delegation?

As expected, Nigerians have not stopped condemning government for the waste of funds that COP28 has turned out to be.

https://8c13b4ff724e946b1ad7bcd9972c32f1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html

On social media, Brother Berth wrote, “In August 2023  Ajuri Ngelale informed Nigerians that Tinubu has instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to freeze the processing of Visas for government officials who have no business at UNGA in New York, in line with his broader efforts to cut the cost of governance. In December, Ajuri Ngelale is seen among the crowd of officials that accompanied Tinubu to Dubai at COP28. COP28 is a 13-day event that will gulp a lot more money in hotel accommodation than UNGA. It will be nice for Nigerians to know how much is spent in sponsoring Tinubu and  all that accompanied him at COP28. Tinubu and two ministers would’ve been more than enough for this trip in view of the current economic reality in the country. This just has to stop.”

Related News

Ukegbu James wrote, “Wasteful spending. Mismatch of priorities. Lack of vision. No plausible excuse for this upscale mediocrity. Nigeria is on the precipice.”

Ajimati Michael wrote, “Honestly speaking,  if the government is telling us that there is no money in Nigeria, how come people in government spend as if they are not part of us?”

Ukoha Otis wrote , “. The government is driving the country fast to the abyss.”

Rufai Oseni on Arise TV programme said; “It’s clear and simple, it’s a jamboree. The part that I didn’t fault them for is that they didn’t pick Aso ebi…(uniform) because this is a Nigerian party in Dubai.” He noted that with the sour relationship between Dubai and Nigeria especially as it relates to getting into UAE, attendees of the conference may have seen it as an opportunity. “You know they can’t deny them visa because this is COP,” he stated.

His words, “No matter how much the government tries to defend this COP28 debacle, it’s a scandal that stinks. If the government said the 1411 people were not all paid for by the government, why would people go there as confidants of the president? Who pays for that? Why would governors, ministers go there with their Aides, is it not with government’s money? A country that is bleeding as we speak with economic quagmire, where citizens can barely get by, most hospitals’ wards are shutting down because doctors are now leaving Nigeria to a place like Sierra Leone for better pay. When will this administration say enough to all this waste?”

Rufai continues, “What will shock you is the amount of money we are now expending to the UAE economy. If the flight tickets alone cost close to a billion, how about hotel accommodation, estacodes, etc, if possible, let’s start by writing FOI to demand how much the government spent on that trip. It’s a sad reality of how wasteful people are. We spend money on frivolous things. Just as last week, we wanted to spend 15 billion to build a new house for the VP. We can’t be saying Nigerians should tighten their belts but they are going there to do jamboree, do item seven and show off. It’s obvious that our leaders don’t fear the people.”

Ghana had 618 delegates, Kenya which also has been talking about cutting government spending had 763 delegates. They have been criticised heavily by their people and this is due largely to leadership problems wrecking Africa. 

Ayo Mairo-Ese says more on this. “It’s a problem with leadership and cost on the African continent. As Rufai said, its lack of fear for the people; the fact they can do what they want without backlash especially from the people or, lots of consequences. What is more provocative for Nigerians is that a number of the attendees at COP28 do not have direct advocacy or perhaps negotiators when it comes to climate change. I don’t understand the motive for choosing certain people to attend. We have issues and situations around flooding. Rather than sending delegates to a climate change conference in Dubai, let them put that money into tackling flooding and expanding roads, drainages or building more roads and infrastructure in the country. For every time we waste money on frivolities like this, it’s a cost on what could have been paid for the child who could not go to school: hospitals- people that die from maternal mortality because hospitals are not functioning, etc. The president has to demonstrate not just say about cutting costs, but that he is serious about it.”

Dr Reuben Abati first corrected that it is not true that Nigeria has the same number of delegates as China because China has 822 delegates while Nigeria is reported as the delegation with the fourth largest delegates. He said, “I share Mr Peter Obi’s view that we should focus more on production rather than using money, wasting money sending a large delegation to COP28.” He clarified that the statistics in terms of delegation are provided by an AI company, Statisense, noting that it’s not like a politician made up the numbers and nobody has contradicted those figures.

Analysing the 590 figures given by Temitope Ajayi Dr Abati said, out of that number, “from the presidency alone is 138, and then all other people going at the expense of the federal government is 590. Another report stated that three plane loads had to take people there. Now, the immediate indication is that more than half of the people in Dubai are just there for holiday at the government’s expense at a time when the 2024 budget of Nigeria is going to be funded almost 100% from borrowing…

“My concern here is, why is it that the organised Labour has not spoken up? Where is the NLC, to even ask questions? This is the kind of critical moment we expect NLC to speak up in defence of the interest of the people.” 

Dr Abati cited the case of Lazarus Chakwera, the president of Malawi saying “Malawi is going through austerity and needs to save money because of that, Malawi is not at the COP28 and Chakwera says even as the president, he will not travel until further notice. We can learn from the example of Chakwera.”

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