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COP28: Govt Splashes Over N3.2bn On Estacodes, Flight For 422 Delegates

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COP28: Govt Splashes Over N3.2bn On Estacodes, Flight For 422 Delegates

COP28: Govt Splashes Over N3.2bn On Estacodes, Flight For 422 Delegates
December 06
08:27 2023

Amidst the growing hardship and dwindling economy as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy, the President Bola Tinubu led Federal Government is splashing over N3.2 billion on the estacodes and travels of its 422 delegates to the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Summit tagged COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The government which denied taking 1,411 Nigerians to the conference said it only has 422 persons on its list comprising: National Council on Climate Change (32); Federal Ministry of Environment (34); All Ministries (167); Presidency (67); Office of the Vice President (9); National Assembly (40); and Federal Parastatals/Agencies (73).

However, checks by Osun Defender revealed that even with the 422 delegates the government claimed, the country will spend a whopping sum of over N3 billion naira on their feeding, accommodation, travels and transport, among others at the conference.

An estacode is a payment allowance paid to an official of the government to cover their travel expenses, including lodging and feeding.

According to budgetary provisions, allowances obtainable by officials of the federal government of Nigeria, every official is paid a certain amount of money on every official travel outside the country.

There has been an outrage in the past few days on the huge number of Nigerians who are attending the conference, with reports suggesting that the country has the highest number of participants at COP28.

Osun Defender learnt that at the 2023 Climate Change Summit, the federal government will spend not more than N3 billion on its officials – estacodes and flights.

Breakdown – Estacodes
In Nigeria, a Minister is entitled to a daily estacode of $900 equivalent to  N721, 800 according to the N802/$1 official exchange rate as at today, Tuesday, December 5, 2023.

On the other hand, a Permanent Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of a government agency is expected to take a sum of $600 equivalent to N481, 200 with senior cadre officers in the civil service at Grade Levels 15 to 17 taking $425 daily at N340,850.

If at least each member on the delegation for this year’s COP28 is given the estacode of a GL 15 – 17 officer at $425, the country will spend $179, 350 on the 422 delegates daily.

For the period of 13 days which the event will hold from 30 Nov – December 12, the nation with over 75% poverty index as of 2022 will have spent $2,331,550 of its resources estimated at N1,869,903,100 on the average of the entitlements of senior civil servants which would not be applicable to President Tinubu and his key aides, who are also attending the conference.

Breakdown – Flights
The daily estacode is different from the flight allowance for each of the 422 delegates representing Nigeria at the event. With a conservative price of N3,000,000 for a return flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where the event is holding, N3,000,000 multiplied by 422 amounts to another N1,266,000,000 for flights only.

The ministers, senior presidential aides, agency heads, Directors and other senior government officials are entitled to travel business class which cost between N6,000,000 and N9,000,000, depending on the time of purchase and booking agents used.

We had earlier reported an outcry by Nigerians on Social Media condemning the signing of a memorandum of understanding by two government agencies with headquarters not far apart in Abuja, in far away Dubai on the sidelines of COP28.

Tourism Industry sources also told Osun Defender that putting into consideration, the extravagant spending of government officials, it is likely the amount spent will be far higher than quoted.

COP28 Spending, Another Slap On Tinubu’s Face – Analyst
Speaking with Our Correspondent, a public affairs analyst, Comrade Benjamin Ogunjobi lambasted the federal government on its huge delegation to the climate change summit, noting that the development is another in the series of wasteful spending the Tinubu administration has plunged Nigeria into, amidst the lingering economic hardship.

Comrade Ogunjoji said it is unfortunate that a government that is asking Nigerians to persevere in this hard times is spending excessively on a summit with little or no gains for the citizenry.

His words: “Over 3bn on taking care of 422 people because of a Summit. Countries with huge resources are not even attending with a large chunk of people. We are spending a lot of money on frivolities. I initially thought President Tinubu is different but with this, we are in for a series of hardship.

“I am particularly unhappy because why a lot of us cannot eat three square meals per day again and are finding it hard to survive, our government officials are feeding fat, raking in estacodes and enjoying on our national treasury. This is sad. I hope Nigerians demand more from this government because as it is, they are just for their personal pockets and not our well-being,” the analyst lamented.

According to the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the overall Nigerian delegation to COP28 comprises government-sponsored (Federal and State Governments) and non-government-sponsored participants (from private companies to NGOs, CSOs, Media, academia, etc).

Idris added that: “As the biggest economy and most populous country in Africa, with a substantial extractive economy and extensive vulnerability to climate change, Nigeria has a significant stake in climate action, and our active and robust participation at COP is therefore not unwarranted.”

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– Osun Defender

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Opeyemi

Opeyemi

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