The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, on Wednesday called for the establishment of a special fund to compensate the South-east over the devastation of the zone during the Nigerian civil war.
Naija News reports that he made this demand in Owerri, the Imo State capital while declaring open a zonal public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation sharing formula which was organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The Governor stated that the special fund if created, would provide succour to those who lost their properties and family members during the civil war.
According to him, “I think the debacles of the civil war led the south-east into a deep poverty level; houses were burnt down, people were killed.
“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.”
Uzodimma, while noting that the current revenue allocation formula which was last reviewed in 1992 is obsolete, said the South-east has suffered “great injustice” on how revenues accruing from the zone are shared.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 State currently has seven oil-producing companies but 43 oil wells were “wrongfully” allocated to Rivers.
Uzodimma disclosed that 25 per cent 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, therefore, urged RMAFC to look into the matter with a view to resolving it.
The Governor urged the federal government to establish petrochemical industries, fertilizer 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 in youth restiveness, quantum violence and subsequent deaths.
“I think that God did not make mistake endowing Imo with natural resources,” he said.