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COP28: FG sponsored 422 delegates not 1,411 -Information Minister

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, said  the Federal Government sponsored 422 delegates to the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, not 1,411.

Idris made the clarification in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

COP28, the Convention of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is the world’s pre-eminent Climate Change Conference.

The minister said the clarification became necessary because of the public conversation that on the number of delegates from Nigeria attending the ongoing Climate Summit in Dubai.

He explained that the Conference was being attended this year by over 70,000 participants and delegates from over 100 countries.

READ ALSO:Nigeria’s trade surplus hits N1.9trn in Q3 2023 him, 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 COP28 comprises Government-sponsored (Federal and State) and non-government-sponsored participants (from Private Companies, NGOs, CSOs, Media, academia), etc.

“The Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons, as follows: 32 persons from National Council on Climate Change and 34 from Federal Ministry of Environment

“Others were 167 delegates from all ministries, 67 from the presidency, 9 from the Office of the Vice President, 40 from National Assembly and 73 from  Federal Parastatals/Agencies,” Idris said.

The Minister further explained that, as the biggest economy and most populous country in Africa, with a substantial extractive economy and extensive vulnerability to climate change, Nigeria had a significant stake in climate action,

“Therefore, our active and robust participation at COP is therefore not unwarranted”.

According to the minister, COP28 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.

“Nigeria and Germany signed an accelerated performance agreement to expedite the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative to improve Nigeria’s electricity supply.

“The agreement was signed by Mr Kenny Anuwe, the 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.

“Also, 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.

“Similarly, the President unveiled the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan, co-chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change Dr Dahiru Salisu.

“The Electric Buses programme 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,

“It also aimed at reducing carbon footprint, modernising infrastructure systems, and positioning Nigeria as an attractive destination for global investments,” Idris said.

According to him, Nigeria stands to benefit from the Loss and Damage Fund established during COP27 in Egypt and formally operationalised at the opening plenary of COP28 in Dubai.

He added that the Fund would provide substantial non-debt financing to support countries most affected by the impact of climate change.

Idris disclosed that hundreds of millions of dollars had already been pledged as contributions to the Fund.

“The President also met the President of UAE to concretise engagements between the two countries. This is aside from the bilateral talks held with several countries and multilateral partners.

“However, it should be highlighted that, over the years, Nigeria has firmly demonstrated its climate action credentials by being the first African country to launch its Energy Transition Plan.

“We are the first African country to issue a Sovereign Green Bond, and one of the first to pass national climate change legislation.

“President 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,

“And the source of income is mostly from extractive industries, without the West providing the funding and investment in alternative and clean energy sources,” he said.

The minister explained that since assumption of office, president Tinubu had 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 COP28.

Idris further stressed that Tunubu had been supported by an equally active and engaged Nigerian delegations 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”. (NAN)

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