The federal government has justified Nigeria’s delegation number at the COP28 holding in Dubai is in line with its avowed leadership role in the climate campaign in Africa.
Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris has disclosed that Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons. He made this disclosure in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said that the total delegation number from the presidency stands at 67 while the rest are those from other related ministries, department and parastatals of government.
Idris gave the breakdown of the delegation as follows: 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 said that the explanation was in line with a standing pledge to conduct itself with transparency and accessibility regarding public information.
Idris added, ‘Nigeria’s representation is very much in line with our status as Africa’s leading Sovereign voice and player in climate action.
”Parties to this Convention from Nigeria include government officials, representatives from the private sector, civil society, the voluntary sector, state governments, media, multilateral institutions, representatives of marginalised communities, and many others.
”It is imperative to point out that the overall Nigerian delegation to COP-28 comprises Government-sponsored (Federal and State Governments) and non-government-sponsored participants (from Private Companies, NGOs, CSOs, Media, academia, etc).
”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.”
He said that the participation of Nigeria has already led to a number of benefits for the country in various sectors affected by climate change.
These benefits include Nigeria and Germany signing an accelerated performance agreement to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.
Idris said that the President 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.
He said, ”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 programme are only the first step in a series of innovative, clean, modern, and sustainable initiatives across diverse sectors.
“They are 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.”
The minister added that 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.
He said that the Fund would 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 the UAE to concretize engagements between the two countries. This is aside from the bilateral talks held with several countries and multilateral partners,” he said.
Idris also pointed out that, over the years, Nigeria has firmly 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 said that Tinubu has been unequivocal in his position that Africa, which is battling problems of poverty and security and struggling to provide education and healthcare to her people, cannot be told to abandon its primary source of income, without the West providing the funding and investment in alternative and clean energy sources.
‘Idris added, “‘Since assuming office, 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 ongoing COP-28. The President has been supported by an equally active and engaged Nigerian delegation at these various fora.
”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.”