Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo, has called for the creation of a special fund to compensate the south east zone for its losses during the Nigerian Civil War.
This is contained in a release by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Oguwike Nwachuku, and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday.
Nwachuku said the governor made his call while flagging off the Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the Current Revenue Allocation Formula for the south-east states, organised by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission in Owerri.
The Governor said the demand is predicated on the fact that the Civil War resulted in loss of millions of lives with women and children losing their bread winners.
He said that for the reason of Boko Haram, the North East Development Commission was created while the Niger Delta Development Commission was created for the oil rich south south region.
He therefore argued that there was enough reason to create the South East Development Commission as a special fund to bring succour to the people of the zone who were devastated during the war.
He commended the bold steps taken by the Commission towards a review of the current revenue allocation formula while requesting it to look into the Oil Well matter between Imo and Rivers states with a view to resolving it in the interest of justice.
“Imo State has the highest gas deposits in Nigeria yet, revenue from these deposits and production does not accrue to the state.
“Imo State has suffered great injustice on Revenue Sharing and we demand justice and fair play as the yard stick for equity.
“The injustice has snowballed into gross underdevelopment of the oil and gas producing areas, resulting in youth restiveness, insecurity and other vices,” he said.
He further charged oil and gas companies in the state to develop a process that will result in creating a value chain and reinvest the proceeds into the producing areas.
He assured the commission of legislative and executive support to enable it achieve more as a committed organisation.
“Imo needs petrochemical industries, fertilizer plants and other oil and gas establishments to improve on her economy, create jobs and stem the tide of insecurity,” he said.
In an address, chairman of the commission, Mr Elias Mbam, thanked the governor and other participants for turning up for the public hearing.
Mbam said that the powers to review revenue allocation formula from time to time were derived from Part one of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“The review is to ensure conformity with changing realities and these changes amongst other considerations, informed the commission to commence the review of the formula to reflect changing realities.
“There have been several socio-economic and political changes since the last review of the Revenue Allocation Formula in 1992.
“The commission shall give serious consideration to all views and recommendations that will emanate from the public hearing,” he said.