President Bola Tinubu is reportedly conspicuously absent at the live economic session of the ongoing summit, Global Financing Pact Summit convened by French President, Emmanuel Macron.
On Thursday President Tinubu delegated Nigerian ambassador Adamu Ahmed, the Nigeria Ambassador to France to represent him even though his office had announced that he was in France to attend the summit and participate in a debate about Africa’s economic prospects.
Tinubu was scheduled to join other participants on stage at 6:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. in Nigeria) on Thursday, with his aides saying he was fully prepared for the event as his first since becoming president on May 29, only to be represented by the Nigerian ambassador to France in a live economic session attended by world leaders in Paris.
The new global financing pact summit is a two-day event at Palais Brongniart in Paris, and organisers said it was aimed at finding efficient solutions to reduce poverty and the adverse effects of climate change on the world’s financial system.
However, President Tinubu was represented by the Nigerian ambassador Adamu Ahmed, who was on stage with David Craig, co-chair of the task force on nature-related financial disclosures (TNFD); Mark Carney of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), Mary Schapiro of global public policy at Bloomberg, Sabine Mauderer of the Network for Greening the Financial System; and United Nations special envoy Catherine Mckenna.
In a prepared speech, Mr Ahmed said: “We believe we’ve more pressing social issues in Africa. The argument has been that world leaders should elevate social issues just like environmental issues. I must commend President Macron who has brought the issue of poverty to the table. This summit is about climate, people and diversity.
“The severe financial and economic crisis that African countries found themselves in after COVID-19 is all over. There are economic difficulties, and we’ve all realized that public resources would no longer solve the problem, we need to track private capital and for us to track the capital, and we need to compete with other countries around the world.
“It is no longer business as usual for African countries, we now need to join the discourse. We need to compete with the rest of the world. We welcome the idea of President Macronto develop Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU) because we feel it is an open free repository that will greatly help African countries.
“The message from the African continent is that we are on board, we want to join the international community. We are now seeing movement from mere commitment to concrete transition plans.
“For example, in Nigeria, we enacted the Climate Change Act in 2021 which enables us to establish the Climate Change Council in which the president (Tinubu) is the head. It enables us to establish a climate change fund and National Action Plan on climate change which clearly reels our road map to the net zero target. We put our target to 2060 because we are aware of the enormous challenges we are confronting. We have tried to form regional partnerships as African countries.”
The Presidency last week reported that President Tinubu would engage on his first official trip as Nigerian president since his May 29 inauguration this week but top sources in the presidency also revealed that the president’s visit was also a “strategy” to see his team of medical doctors.
“BAT is to attend the Global Financing Pact Summit in Paris, France, next week. This will be his first official trip outside Nigeria since his assumption of duty as President,” one of the top sources disclosed on Saturday.
“The trip is to check his health too. It is a strategy to go to hospital,” another source noted.
SaharaReporters had weeks ago reported how Tinubu, after the May 29 swearing-in became exhausted and travelled to France to seek medical care.
The Nigerian President left Abuja through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport earlier yesterday for the event slated for June 22 and 23.
Tinubu was received at the airport by Ambassador Kayode Laro and other top government officials from the Nigerian Embassy and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after the plane touched down at 6:47pm local time.
During his time in Paris, the President was to join world leaders to review and sign a New Global Financial Pact that places vulnerable countries on a priority list for support and investment, following the devastating impact of climate change, the energy crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement by Dele Alake, the President’s Special Adviser, Special Duties, Communication, and Strategy, Tinubu will explore opportunities to restore fiscal space to countries dealing with difficult short-term financial challenges, specifically the most indebted.
The President, accompanied by members of the Presidential Policy Advisory Council along with other government officials, is expected to return on Saturday.