I dispute it- Arise TV anchor who is in Dubai discredits the presidency’s claim that Ijaw Youth Council sent 15 man delegates to COP 28, says the Nigerian pavilion in Dubai is empty

I dispute it- Arise TV anchor who is in Dubai discredits the presidency

Arise TV anchor, Ovieteme George, who is currently in Dubai has discredited the presidency’s claim that Ijaw Youth Council sent 15 man delegates to COP 28, says the Nigerian pavilion in Dubai is empty

The number of Nigerian delegation to the climate summit has been a topic of debate for some days now.

In a statement released on Sunday night, December 3, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Temitope Ajayi, said some people came to the conference on their own but registered as delegates from Nigeria. Ajayi said that Tony Elumelu, BUA chairman, 15-members of the Ijaw Youth Council, media houses and others attended the conference and were registered as delegates from Nigeria. He stated that the Federal government did not fund their trips to Dubai for the conference.

‘’In Nigeria like so many other countries, interested parties comprising government officials from both the Federal and sub-national governments, business leaders, environmentalists, climate activists and journalists are present in Dubai. Also participating  are agencies of government such as the NNPC and its subsidiaries, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NIMASA,   NDDC. Many youth organizations from Nigeria especially from the Northern and Niger-Delta regions whose lives and livelihoods are most impacted by desert encroachment and hydrocarbon activities are also represented. The President of Ijaw Youth Council, Jonathan Lokpobiri, leads a pan-Ijaw delegation of more than 15 people who registered as parties from Nigeria. Among delegates from Nigeria are also over 20 journalists from various media houses.

Their participation is very important. It is not for jamboree as it is being mischievously represented on social media.

It is important to state here that delegates from all countries whether from government, private sector, media and civil society groups attend COP summits and conferences as parties and the number of attendees are registered against their countries of origin. This does not mean that they are sponsored or funded by the government. It must be said also that the fact that people registered to attend a conference does not also mean everyone that registered are physically present.

As the biggest country in Africa, biggest economy and one with a bigger stake on climate action as a country with huge extractive economy, it is a no-brainer that delegates from Nigeria will be more than any other country in Africa.

Among the delegates from Nigeria are UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu, Abdul Samad Rabiu, Chairman of BUA group, and other billionaires whose businesses are promoting sustainability and climate actions through their philanthropies. These businessmen and women and their staff who came with them to promote their own business interests are part of the 1,411 delegates from Nigeria.  Their trip to Dubai is not funded by the Federal Government.”

Ovieteme George, a reporter with Arise TV who is currently in Dubai to cover the climate conference, disputed claims that the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) is attending with 15 members. He said he came for the conference with the IYC delegation and he is aware that it is only the President, Secretary and a few others that are part of the IYC delegation. According to him, the FG’s claim that the IYC came in with 15 members for the conference is strange to him.  He said he sees some of the FG delegation in Dubai for the conference but doesn’t know what they are doing there as he doesn’t see them at the Nigerian pavilion. 

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