Compensate south-east for civil war losses, Uzodinma tells FG
Governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma has demanded for the establishment of a special fund to compensate the south-east over the devastation of the zone during the civil war.
The demand was made on Wednesday while declaring open a zonal public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation sharing formula in Owerri, Imo state capital.
The event was organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor said if created, the special fund would provide succour to those who lost their properties and family members during the civil war.
“I think the debacles of the civil war led the south-east into a deep poverty level; houses were burnt down, people were killed,” Uzodinma said.
“Only recently, a special law was enacted as the North-East Development Commission, arising from the disaster of Boko Haram incidents. But the 30-month civil war that ended in 1970 left the south-east in a state of penury.”
Uzodinma said the current revenue allocation formula which was last reviewed in 1992 is “obsolete”.
The governor said the south-east has suffered “great injustice” on how revenues accruing from the zone are shared.
“Today, as it stands, the federal government takes home 52.68 per cent, state governments, 26.72 per cent, while the 774 local government areas take home 20.60 per cent,” he said.
He said Imo currently has seven oil-producing companies but 43 oil wells were “wrongfully” allocated to Rivers.
Uzodinma said 25 percent of gas production in Bonny is piped from Imo, but revenue accruing from it does not go to the state “while pollution is threatening the lives and assets of the residents of the area”.
He urged RMAFC to look into the matter with a view to resolving it.
He called on the federal government to establish petrochemical industries, fertiliser plants and other value chains in the oil and gas sector.
“It should not just be about multi-billion-dollar pipeline projects that siphon oil and gas from the state which results to youth restiveness, quantum violence and subsequent deaths,” the governor said.
“I think that God did not make mistake endowing Imo with natural resources.”