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COP28: Federal Government Sponsored 422, not 1411 Delegates –Information Ministry

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The Ministry of Information and National Orientation says the Nigerian federal government did not sponsor all 1,411 Nigerian delegates to the Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai.

In a statement released Monday, the information minister, Mohammed Idris, clarified that the delegates on the government’s tab were 422.

These comprise 67 presidency delegates, 32 from the National Council on Climate Change, and 34 from the Ministry of Environment. Others are:

   - Other ministries - 167

   - Vice President’s office - 9

   - National Assembly - 40

   - Federal parastatals and agencies - 73

The ministry justified Nigeria’s large delegation by stating its significant stake in climate action due to its “substantial extractive economy and extensive vulnerability to climate change,” besides being Africa’s biggest economy and the continent’s most populous country.

It added that Nigeria’s representation aligned with its “status as Africa’s leading sovereign voice and player in climate action.”

Criticism over Delegate Size

The government has been criticized for the size of the delegation at a time when Abuja is complaining about inheriting a bankrupt economy from former president Muhammadu Buhari.

With a federal debt of N78.2 trillion (Q2 2023) and a debt-to-GDP ratio of 38.4 percent, economists have been telling the government to cut down on spending.

The 2024 appropriation bill, presented to the National Assembly on 29 November, has 30 percent of the N27.5 trillion budget estimate projected for debt servicing.

The estimated debt service of N8.25 trillion is 45 percent of the expected total revenue and nearly matches the capital expenditure plan of N8.7 trillion.

COP28 Delegates 

Nigeria’s 1,411 delegation to COP28 equals that of China and is only outnumbered by Brazil’s 3,081 delegates.

The 422 federal government delegation is still larger than any delegation of Nigerians to any Convention of Parties before 2023.

The country went to the COP27 in Egypt in 2022 with 120 delegates, according to the data company StatiSense.

That was a 33-person increase from the 87 Nigerian delegates to COP26 in the United Kingdom in 2021.

The Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the world’s most important climate change conference.

World leaders, public and private sector decision-makers, climate activists, multilateral agencies, and the media gather in a select city every year to address global climate change and its impacts.

The COP-28 is being attended by more than 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries.


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