Good morning! In today’s trending news stories;
1. The Nigerian government is facing gross criticism for sending an insanely large delegation of 1,411 people to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, UAE. This comes amidst economic challenges. On-air personality Toke Makinwa, who was part of the delegation, faced public backlash as she has never been involved in any climate-related projects. Despite Nigeria contributing only 0.319% of global carbon dioxide emissions, its delegation is the third-largest. Political parties, including the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), rose to condemn the delegation as wasteful, demanding a probe. However, the presidency clarified that only a few delegates are funded by the government. Meanwhile, the UK government has committed £100 million to help climate-vulnerable countries, including Nigeria.
2. In a series of tweets, former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, criticized Nigeria’s 1411-member delegation to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, comparing it to China’s delegation. Obi highlighted the disparity in budget allocation per delegate between the two countries and emphasized China’s higher Human Development Index (HDI). He expressed concern about the composition of Nigeria’s delegation, consisting largely of non-relevant civil servants and associates of government officials. Obi called for a reduction in the cost of governance, emphasizing the need to prioritize essential spending and invest in production for a more efficient and productive Nigeria.
3. Over the weekend, at least 11 people were killed in Pukah, Plateau State. Unknown gunmen, suspected to be Fulani militia, killed eight on Friday, and three more bodies were found later. Witnesses reported the gunmen arriving in large numbers without provocation. Tensions with Fulani herdsmen are suspected. The attackers also injured others and stole livestock and a motorcycle. Human Rights Coordinator Jerry Datim accused the Fulani, praising efforts to reduce crimes by Maj-Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar. Datim urged people to speak out.
4. The Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. David Greene, revealed that the embassy has conducted over 150,000 interviews for U.S. visas and 30,000 interviews for student visas in response to high demand. Despite acknowledging the demand-supply gap for visa appointments, Greene emphasized the embassy’s commitment to addressing the backlog, mentioning significant progress made after COVID-19 disruptions. He advised applicants to apply early, tying their visa requests to specific events and assured that efforts are being made to accommodate those who need visas to the U.S.
5. The Nigerian Senate’s Committee on Gas Resources is threatening to involve the EFCC to recover a N135 billion CBN intervention loan given to 15 oil and gas companies under the Nigeria Gas Expansion Program. The committee, chaired by Senator Jarigbe, expressed concerns about the misuse of funds by some companies and warned of potential involvement of anti-corruption agencies. Jarigbe highlighted inconsistencies in the process and deviations from guidelines, stating that companies failing to utilize the loan appropriately will face recovery actions. Records of beneficiaries and project locations have been collected for further investigation.
6. Kano Pillars’ winger, Yusuf Abdullahi, scored five goals in a Nigerian Premier Football League match against Gombe United, securing a 5-2 victory. Abdullahi’s exceptional performance was praised by Kano Pillars’ Technical Adviser, Abdullahi Maikaba, who expressed joy for the young player finally scoring after previous attempts. Abdullahi himself called it a milestone in his career and expressed readiness to represent Nigeria at junior levels. Abdullahi’s goals were scored in the 10th, 14th, 33rd, 45th, and 60th minutes, earning him applause from Gombe United’s fans.
7. In La Liga, Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos delivered an impressive performance, and surprise No. 2 Girona staged a thrilling comeback. The Bundesliga experienced partial snowfall, and in Serie A, Christian Pulisic scored as AC Milan secured a comfortable victory. Barcelona secured a 1-0 victory against Atlético Madrid in La Liga, with Joao Felix scoring the lone goal in the 28th minute. The match featured Barcelona’s dominance in the first half, tactical changes by Atlético at halftime, and both teams having chances in the second half. The win marked a significant three points for Barcelona in the league. In the Premier League, Arsenal secured a varied victory, and Newcastle United surpassed Manchester United in the standings.