COP28: “FG should publish number of Govt-sponsored delegates” – LP’s Tanko

Amid controversy surrounding the 1,411 Nigerian delegates attending the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), Tanko Yunusa, says the Federal Government should publish the number of persons it sponsored to the event.

Tanko, who is the LP presidential campaign spokesman, made the comment when he appeared on a television’s programme in the wake of the criticisms that greeted the country’s delegates’ list to the outing.

He said yesterday, “The question we should ask is: Was there any communication by the government to the people of Nigeria that we are going with ‘x’ numbers? There was no communication. So, you could find it very difficult to understand exactly how they came about that particular number”.

“There are various NGOs that have the opportunity to get international funding to sponsor their trips. But what we are saying is that the number of Nigeria delegates sponsored by the government should have been made public for us to know”.

The Presidency said not all delegates were sponsored by the Government.

There has been widespread criticism over the number of delegates from the country attending the Dubai event, with many calling it insensitive owing to Nigeria’s current economic struggles.

With the cost of living rising since the removal of fuel subsidy, Tanko maintains the government should clarify if it indeed sponsored all delegates from the country.

“If the Government is saying that they didn’t sponsor all of the 1,411 delegates, let them give us the delegate number that the government sponsored”, the LP chieftain insisted.

He criticised the lack of communication and transparency from the Government and suggested that the trip seemed more like an excursion “Everything was kept in its crude; and the only thing we saw was the number of 1,411 people going to Dubai, for what I will call: ‘Come, let us go and chop and relax’ rather than you ‘Come, let us go and make money for Nigeria”, he stated.

Highlighting concerns about accountability, Tanko claims the Government has a history of wasteful spending, as well as a penchant for concealing information from the public.

However, the Presidency has faulted critics over the country’s delegate list to the COP28, saying the Government did not sponsor all of them.

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