The Federal Government has been criticised for sending a large number of delegates to the COP28 Climate Change Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is currently ongoing.
According to reports, Nigeria has 1,411 delegates at the summit, the third highest among the participating countries.
Many Nigerians have expressed their displeasure over the high number of the Nigerian delegates, especially in the face of the economic hardship facing the country, which has been worsened by the policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, such as the removal of petrol subsidy and the floating of the currency.
However, the Presidency has defended the delegation, saying that less than 100 of them were funded by the federal government, while the rest were from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Some of the opposition leaders have also condemned President Tinubu for allegedly turning the climate summit into a social event.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, accused Tinubu of being insensitive and clueless about the economic situation of the country.
In a statement issued by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said that Tinubu did not “understand or appreciate the enormity of the economic ruin that the country is facing.”
He said: “How will the head of a government turn a conference of climate change to a jamboree, all-comers and ‘owambe’ party of over 1,400 delegates? It is ridiculous and a confirmation that he is still in a slumber as far as governance is concerned.”
Similarly, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, described the large number of Nigeria’s contingents as a waste of resources.
In a post on his X handle, he said that most of the Nigerian delegates were either irrelevant civil servants or cronies of high government officials “most of whom hardly understand or have anything to do with climate change.”