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Peter Obi reacts as Nigeria sends over 1000 delegates to COP28 Summit, Dubai

Obi expressed his concerns on Sunday, December 03, 2023, questioning the rationale behind sending over 1,000 individuals

Peter Obi [Kin Cheung/AP Photo]

Obi expressed his concerns on Sunday, December 03, 2023, questioning the rationale behind sending over 1,000 individuals to the international summit.

President Bola Tinubu, who departed from Abuja on November 29, for the summit scheduled to conclude on December 12, has come under scrutiny from Obi. The former governor of Anambra State, in a post on Twitter, criticised the move, describing it as a wasteful expenditure of the nation's scarce resources.

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Obi lamented the "huge contingent" present in Dubai, funded at public expense, at a time when a significant number of Nigerians are grappling with economic challenges, struggling to afford basic necessities like food.

"Nigeria's contingent to COP28 totaled 1411, equivalent to the number of Chinese delegates. While China's budget for 2024 stands at about $4 trillion, averaging about $2,860 per head, Nigeria's budget is approximately $33 billion, averaging about $165 per head," Obi stated.

Drawing attention to the disparity in economic conditions, Obi highlighted that Nigeria, with a population seven times smaller than China, has more people living in 'Multi-Dimensional' poverty.

He criticised the composition of the Nigerian delegation, alleging that a majority are either non-relevant civil servants or relatives of high-ranking government officials.

"This significant contingent is at public expense when a considerable portion of the Nigerian population is struggling to meet basic needs due to economic hardship. We must break free from the tradition of wasteful government spending and redirect resources towards production," Obi emphasised.

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Continuing his critique, Obi urged a shift away from unnecessary ceremonies and showmanship in government behaviour.

He stressed the urgency of tying government spending to necessity and national priorities, noting that a new Nigeria is possible through prudent and necessary actions.

However, in response to the criticism, a presidential aide, Temitope Ajayi, defended the delegation, asserting that "President Tinubu and other officials on the Federal government delegation are in Dubai for serious business, not a jamboree."

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