In a notable development at the COP 28 Climate Change Summit in Dubai, UAE, President Bola Tinubu refrained from delivering the anticipated speech, prompting the Federal Government to clarify this decision. Contrary to expectations, the absence of President Tinubu from the speaking roster was intentional, signaling a strategic shift towards action-oriented commitments rather than symbolic statements.
Speaking exclusively to Premium Times on the sidelines of the summit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, shed light on the government’s rationale behind President Tinubu’s decision. Tuggar emphasized Nigeria’s growing impatience with eloquent pledges and highlighted the country’s commitment to substantive actions in addressing climate change.
“Nigeria is 100 per cent for action. The speeches, as good as they may be, are mostly a repeat of pledges or promises, and Nigeria is saying enough is enough; it’s time for action,” reiterated Minister Tuggar.
The deliberate choice not to speak at the summit was part of a broader initiative by Nigeria to break away from the conventional pattern of delivering elaborate speeches with limited tangible impact. Tuggar explained that despite President Tinubu’s presence in the hall and preparedness to address the assembly, he opted against delivering the speech.
“The president was in the hall, he waited, he was going to give the speech, he listened, and he decided, perhaps, that was not the time to give the speech. There were other engagements that he needed to be involved in that would be more productive,” clarified Tuggar.
This strategic move aligns with Nigeria’s commitment to a results-driven approach, signaling a departure from the tradition of making impressive pledges without substantial follow-through. The government’s emphasis on concrete actions over rhetorical commitments underscores a renewed determination to tackle the urgent challenges posed by climate change.
Beyond President Tinubu’s decision, Minister Tuggar highlighted Nigeria’s active role in behind-the-scenes negotiations at the summit. The focus is on ensuring that developed countries, primarily responsible for emissions causing global warming, adequately compensate developing nations for loss and damage incurred.
“Nigeria is taking the lead in the behind-the-scenes negotiations to ensure that developed countries responsible for most of the emissions causing global warming compensate developing nations in terms of loss and damage,” Tuggar stated.
Furthermore, the Minister emphasized the broader foreign policy approach, noting that the ongoing climate change conversations align with Nigeria’s 4D foreign policy strategy, which includes migration and development.
In addressing the loss and damage fund operationalized during the early stages of the conference, Tuggar pointed out Nigeria’s favorable position to benefit from the fund.
“The ongoing climate change conversations tally with Nigeria’s 4D foreign approach, including migration and development,” added Minister Tuggar.