By Sulaimon Sheriff

Amid raging criticism over Nigeria’s large delegation to Dubai for the COP28 climate summit, the Federal Government said the Federal Federal Government only sponsored 422 delegates out of the 1,411 Nigerians reported to be at the conference.

A source in the Presidency had on Sunday night told Daily Trust that the number of delegates sponsored by the government was less than 100.

But the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, in a statement on Monday said 422 delegates were chosen from the Presidency, National Council on Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, All Ministries, Office of the Vice President, National Assembly, and federal parastatals and agencies.

The statement, titled ‘Re: Nigeria At Cop-28’ noted, “It is imperative to point out that the overall Nigerian delegation to COP28 comprises government-sponsored (Federal and State Governments) and non-government-sponsored participants (from private companies to NGOs, CSOs, Media, academia, etc).

“The Federal Government-funded delegation is made up of a total of 422 persons: National Council on Climate Change (32); Federal Ministry of Environment (34); All Ministries (167); Presidency (67); Office of the Vice President (9); National Assembly (40); and Federal Parastatals/Agencies (73).

“As the biggest economy and most populous country in Africa, with a substantial extractive economy and extensive vulnerability to climate change, Nigeria has a significant stake in climate action, and our active and robust participation at COP is therefore not unwarranted.”

Meanwhile, the clarification by the minister came after the outrage that greeted the revelation that Nigeria had one of the highest delegations to the conference, despite the rising poverty and hunger across the country.

Credit : Daily Trust newspaper.