The Labour Party had described Nigeria’s delegation to the COP28 Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as a continuation of the culture of waste in the country.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, made the position known in a statement on Monday.
The statement said: “Nigeria’s huge delegation of 1,411 to the United Nations COP 28 in Dubai is a continuation of the culture of waste which the All Progressives Congress administration has become infamous for.
“It is sad that a government which has been preaching to Nigerians to tighten their belts and sacrifice for the economy to pick up; is involved in this wasteful venture. There is no moral justification for the Federal Government of Nigeria to deplete our scarce foreign reserves to sponsor over 1,411 persons on what is obviously a shopping spree for cronies and government apologists.
“Why would a government which is currently engaged in approaching lenders to borrow money to pay salaries and meet other obligations embark on such a waste?
“The answer is not far-fetched, this government is not interested in the wellbeing of citizens. It is only interested in satisfying the luxurious lifestyles of those in power and those close to it.
“Nigeria has diplomatic ties with the UAE, we have an embassy, trained and efficient diplomats who if allowed to do their jobs, can provide all the support Mr. President and the ministers of Trade and Investment as well as Foreign Affairs and a number of captains of industries need to fully represent Nigeria at the summit.
“But no. This wasteful administration must fulfill the fantasies of its cronies who are in a constant look out for opportunities to waste public funds.
“The Naira is today trading at over N1,200 to $USD 1, the 2024 budget recently submitted to the National Assembly does not inspire confidence because it lacks any ounce of seriousness to provide the necessary atmosphere to support small businesses and stimulate the economy for growth.
“Inflation is at all time high and the security situation is dire with killings, kidnappings and all forms of violence being unleashed on Nigerians by non-state actors.
“This administration and its officials appear not to have a clue as to what to do to deal with these challenges but take every opportunity to hop on planes at taxpayers expense to escape from the country under the guise of looking for direct foreign investments.
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“Like our presidential candidate in the 2023 election Mr. Peter Obi, has alway said, we must end this culture of waste and improve our capacity for production in order to compete at the global stage.
“We must begin to look inwards to improve our productivity by supporting local businesses, cut the cost of governance and operate a lean bureaucracy in order to ensure Nigerians get real value for money.
“Then and only then can we be on the path of real growth.”