The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has requested that President Bola Tinubu furnish a detailed account of the costs incurred by the Nigerian delegates attending the current COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to reports from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Nigeria has 1,411 delegates, which ties China’s record for third-highest number of delegates out of 81,027 registered attendees. Moreover, Nigeria is sending the largest delegation of any African country to the summit.
Ministers, governors, presidential special advisers, and prominent All Progressives Congress (APC) members are among the Nigerian delegates.
Nigerian citizens have expressed outrage as the federal government has come under increasing criticism for allegedly utilizing public cash to sponsor delegates.
The PDP spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, accused the Tinubu-led administration of mismanaging the nation’s few resources in a statement that was made public on Sunday.
The president was criticized by the opposition party for allegedly adding personal friends, associates, and those connected to the presidency, calling the action wasteful and careless.
The PDP demanded transparency, asking the federal government to reveal the identities of the delegations that are officially sponsored, along with an explanation of their significance to the conference and the entire cost of sponsorship.
The party also called on the National Assembly to investigate the incident in accordance with Section 88 of the Constitution, exercise its constitutional authority, and punish individuals held accountable for any misuse of public funds.
The PDP also insisted that President Tinubu be ready to return any embezzled money that was used to support attendees who made no significant contribution to the conference, arguing that the money should instead be directed toward initiatives that improve the welfare of Nigerians.
In a related event, Peter Obi, the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party in the 2023 elections, on Sunday in a post on his X handle was passionately poetic with Nigeria for having the same number of delegations like China’s.
“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 the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nigeria’s contingent to COP28 totaled 1411, the same number as the Chinese contingents.
“While China’s budget for 2024 is about $4 trillion, about $2,860 per head; Nigeria’s budget is about $33bn, about $165 per head. China has a high Human Development Index, HDI, with a ranking of 79 out of 191 countries measured, and Nigeria has a low HDI, with a ranking of 163 out of 191 countries measured,” Obi said.