3rd December, 2023
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has attacked President Bola Tinubu for sponsoring 1,411 delegates to the COP28 Climate Change.
Obi, in series of tweets on his X handle on Sunday, said 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.”
Obi said 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 stated that China has a high Human Development Index, HDI, with a ranking of 79 out of 191 countries measured, and that 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.
“As we have kept emphasizing, we must stop waste as a a tradition of our government and nation. We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production,” he said.
According to Obi, “We need to de-emphasize unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behaviour.
“We need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority. A New Nigeria is possible. We only need to do the reasonable and the necessary.”