Friday, March 1, 2024

Nigeria Rivals China With Highest Number Of Delegates To Cop28

The number of delegates from Nigeria attending the ongoing Climate Summit in Dubai or COP28 has generated a lot of controversies and strong social media conversations in the last 24 hours.

The Summit which means the Convention of Parties had over 97,000 delegates from more than 100 countries around the world in the 28th in the series since the issue of climate change and action took the preeminent stage in global affairs.

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Among the delegates from Nigeria are interested parties comprising government officials from both the Federal and sub-national governments, business leaders, environmentalists, climate activists and journalists are present in Dubai. Also participating. are agencies of government such as the NNPC and its subsidiaries, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NIMASA, NDDC.

Many youth organisations from Nigeria, especially from the Northern and Niger Delta regions whose lives and livelihoods are also represented by desert encroachment and hydrocarbon activities.

The President of the Ijaw Youth Council led a pan-Ijaw delegation of more than 15 people who registered as parties from Nigeria. Over 20 journalists from various media houses are also present in the delegation.

As the biggest economy in Africa, and one with a bigger stake on 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 African country.

Among the delegates from Nigeria are UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman of BUA group, and other billionaires who are promoting sustainability and climate actions through their philanthropies.

These businessmen and women and their staff who came with them to promote their own business interests are part of the 1,411 delegates. The Federal Government does not fund their trip to Dubai.

After the opening and national statements by Heads of State which began on November 30 when the summit opened and up until Saturday, December 2, 2023, the real work of COP28 which are the technical sessions and negotiations, financing, etc will begin from Monday, December 4 till December 12 where agreements will be reached on many proposals for consideration and ratification by the parties.

The presidential candidate for the labour party in the last election said In a twist of sad irony, let me congratulate the giant of Africa, Nigeria, for matching the great China, with the same number of contingents at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

He added that 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.

He said Nigeria needs to de-emphasize unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behavior.

We need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority.

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