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Nigeria’s delegation to COP28 in Dubai is 422, not 1,411 – Information Minister

"Nearly 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries are attending the COP28"

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The Federal Government has clarified that its delegates to the ongoing Convention of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE) are 422 and not 1,411.

Nearly 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries are attending the COP28.

Information and National Orientation Minister Mohammed Idris, said the report that 1,411 delegates are sponsored to the convention is false.

Insisting that President Bola Tinubu and his team are not in Dubai for a jamboree, Idris, however, listed the gains of the summit including offering ample opportunities for attracting funding for tackling the effects of climate change.

On the composition of 422 delegates, the minister said it was a mixture of government officials, private sector representatives and civil society organisations, adding that the Federal Government is only responsible for the 422 officials.

“The Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons,which includes the 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.

“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.

“COP-28 presents an array of investment and partnership opportunities for the various sectors affected by climate change, and Nigeria is already benefiting from its ongoing participation,” Idris said in a statement emailed to Persecondnews.

On the gains of the county’s participation in the Dubai convention, the minister said: “Nigeria and Germany signed an accelerated performance agreement to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative (PPI) to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.

“The agreement was signed by Mr. Kenny Anuwe, Managing Director and CEO of FGN Power Company, and Ms. Nadja Haakansson, Siemens Energy’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, at a ceremony witnessed by President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz.

“President Tinubu 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.

“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 program is only the first step in a series of innovative, clean, modern, and sustainable initiatives across diverse sectors, 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.

“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.

“The Fund will 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 UAE to concretize engagements between the two countries. This is aside from the bilateral talks held with several countries and multilateral partners.”

He pointed out that Nigeria had 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.

The minister said President Tinubu has been unequivocal in his position that Africa, which is battling poverty, insecurity and struggling to provide education and healthcare to her people, cannot abandon its primary source of income, which is mostly from extractive industries, without the West providing the funding and investment in alternative and clean energy sources.

Describing Tinubu as a vocal champion for the African continent on the global stage, whether at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the G20, or the COP-28, Idris said the President has also been supported by active delegations at these 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.”

 

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