Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 polls, has raised concerns and criticism over Nigeria’s 1411-member delegation to the ongoing UN climate summit, COP28, in Dubai.
In a statement shared on his X account on Sunday, Obi expressed disappointment in the size and composition of the Nigerian delegation, comparing it to China’s delegation.
Highlighting the vast difference in the budgets of China and Nigeria for the year 2024—approximately $4 trillion for China and $33 billion for Nigeria—Obi questioned the logic behind such a large delegation, especially when considering the financial constraints faced by most Nigerians.
Obi 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 COP28 in Dubai.
“While China’s budget for 2024 is about $4 trillion, Nigeria’s budget is about $33 billion. Most importantly, the vast majority of those in the Nigerian delegation…are either non-relevant civil servants or relations, friends and hangers-on of high government officials,” he lamented.
Obi raised concerns about the relevance of many delegates to the climate change discussions, emphasizing that a considerable portion of the delegation may lack a deep understanding of climate change issues.
The former governor of Anambra State expressed hope for a future where Nigeria could focus on competing with other nations on productivity and lifting citizens out of poverty.
He called for a more prudent approach to government spending, emphasizing the need to align expenditures with national priorities.
“As we have kept emphasising, we must stop waste as a tradition of our government and nation. We need to tie spending to necessity and national priority,” Obi advised.