Senator Jimoh Ibrahim representing Ondo South District in 10th National Assembly has defended the number of Nigerian delegates at the ongoing COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain said Nigeria might host the climate summit in the nearest future, adding that the 422 persons funded to the event out of the total 1,411 Nigerian registered delegates at the summit weren’t enough.
“Funding (over) 400 people to a conference like this is too small. You may want to host the conference sometimes in future,” Ibrahim said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Monday.
He said the number of delegates has an influence on knowledge sharing at the event, adding that Nigeria was suffering from the impact of environmental pollution.
Ibrahim said President Bola Tinubu signed many multimillion-dollar bilateral deals at the summit in Nigeria’s interest.
The lawmaker said the international community won’t take Tinubu as serious if he was in Dubai with a lean delegation.
The President had on November 29, 2023, departed Abuja for Dubai for the summit expected to end on December 12, 2023.
Controversy has since surrounded the number of Nigerian delegates at the summit which ranked that of China, with many Nigerians on social media berating the government for being “insensitive” to their economic sufferings occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy in mid-2023.
Opposition political parties — the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) had called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to release the number of government-sponsored delegates to the Dubai summit.
On Monday, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the government officially funded 422 persons to the summit, arguing that the rest were from the private sector and the non-governmental organisations.