COP28 contingent: Obi emphasises the need to tie spending to necessity, national Priority

Peter Obi

COP28 contingent: Obi emphasises the need to tie spending to necessity, national Priority

Dec. 3, 2023

Mr. Peter Obi has called on the federal government to de-emphasise unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behaviour, while emphasising the need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority.

Obi who was the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party at the 2023 general election in a message on X, was reacting to the number of Nigerian delegates at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai.

According to him, “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 $33 billion, about $165 per head.

He however noted that, 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. “Nigeria has more people living in ‘Multi-Dimensional’ poverty than China, despite China having seven times our population.

“Most importantly, the vast majority of those in the Nigerian delegation to COP28 are either non relevant civil servants or relations, friends and hangers-on of high government officials. Most of them hardly understand or have anything to do with Climate Change.

“This huge contingent is out at public expense at a time when most Nigerians can hardly afford food and basic needs as a result of economic hardship.

“I pray earnestly that a day will come soon enough when we can focus on competing with China on productivity and the miracle of migrating the highest number of its citizens out of poverty over a relatively short time.

Obi emphasised that we must stop waste as a tradition of our government and nation. “We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production.

“A New Nigeria is possible. We only need to do the reasonable and the necessary.