By Joke Kujenya
For those raising questions about Nigeria’s large delegation at the ongoing Climate Summit in Dubai, please relax. The Presidency says Nigeria went there for a serious business and not to eat and drink.
Mohammed Idris, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and National Orientation, will not take the criticism lying low, he stressed government’s commitment to transparency and accessibility in public information.
COP28, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is a global conference with over 70,000 participants and delegated from 100 countries, Nigeria’s representation aligns with its role as Africa’s leading voice in climate action.
The Nigerian delegation to the COP28, the minister said, includes government officials, private sector representatives, civil society members, state government personnels, media, multilateral institutions, and marginalized community representatives, noting that the overall delegation comprises both government-sponsored and non-government-sponsored participants.
Here’s a breakdown of the delegates which consists of 422 individuals, covering various sectors;
• 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
• Federal Parastatals/Agencies 73
He said given Nigeria’s status as the largest economy and most populous country in Africa, with a substantial extractive economy vulnerable to climate change, active participation in COP28 is deemed essential.
The statement highlighted the tangible benefits already derived from Nigeria’s participation, including agreements such as an accelerated performance agreement with Germany for the President Power Initiative (PPI) and the activation of the Nigeria Carbon Market.
President Bola Tinubu also engaged in high-level discussions on the Electric Bus Rollout Programme and met with the President of the UAE, among other bilateral talks.
The government emphasized Nigeria’s climate action credentials, citing the launch of the Energy Transition Plan, issuance of a Sovereign Green Bond, the passage of national climate change legislation.
He also notes that President Tinubu, consistently advocating for Africa’s interests on the global stage, is an emphasis that the continent cannot abandon its primary income source from extractive industries without sufficient funding and investments in alternative energy.
The statement was wrapped by assuring Nigerians that the President and delegation are in Dubai for serious business, dispelling any notion of a jamboree.