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Uzodimma urges FG to resolve Imo, Rivers oil well matter, create special fund for South East

By Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
20 October 2021   |   4:05 am
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the issue of oil-well imbroglio between the state and Rivers.

Hope Uzodimma

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the issue of oil-well imbroglio between the state and Rivers.

Also, he advocated the establishment of special fund to compensate the South-East people for the losses incurred during the civil war.

He made the assertions during the flag-off of the zonal public hearing on the review of the current Revenue Allocation for the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC) held in Owerri, capital of Imo State.

The governor, who argued that during the civil war, millions of lives were lost, resulting in women and children losing their bread-winners, maintained that as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, the North-East Development Commission was put in place and due to the oil crisis, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was created.

He, therefore, stressed the need for the creation of the Special Fund and South-East Development Commission to assuage the mirage of sufferings of the people of the state.

He also insisted that oil companies should show their presence in the oil-bearing communities. Uzodimma said the RAMFC should work to actuality in reviewing the revenue allocation formula to favour the state handsomely.

He said: “The injustice has snowballed into gross under-development of the oil and gas producing areas. This has resulted to youths’ restiveness, insecurity and other vices.

“This is necessary because Imo needs petrochemical industries, fertiliser plants and other oil and gas establishments to improve on her economy, create jobs and stem the tide of insecurity.”

He submitted that the state had highest quantities of gas deposit, which does not commensurate with the revenue it received, demanding justice, fair-play and equity.

The governor also made case for the RAMFAC to be given more powers to introduce “checks and balances” on the activities of the national revenue bodies, such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Liquefied and Natural Gas Company (NLNG), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and Customs, among others, to ensure that all states, especially Imo State, receive their appropriate royalties and compensations.

Speaking, Chairman of the RMFAC, Elias Mbam, disclosed that the powers of the commission to review the revenue allocation was derived from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, thanking Uzodimma and the participants from other South-East states for convivial atmosphere to brainstorm in the state.

He said the review was to ensure conformity with changing realities, and “provided that any revenue formula, which had been accepted by an Act of the National Assembly, shall remain in force for a period of not less than five years from the date of commencement of the Act.”

Besides, the state Commissioner for Finance and Co-ordinating Economy who is also the Chairman of Imo State Committee on Revenue Allocation Review, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, while expressing gratitude to the RAMFAC officials and the participants for their attendance to the public hearing, urged that the articulated views should be reflected adequately to address the yearnings of the people of the geo-political zone.

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