Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, has urged the Federal Government to compensate the South-East for the losses the region suffered during the Nigerian Civil War.
Governor Uzodinma made the plea while declaring open a zonal public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation sharing formula organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Wednesday.
The civil war, also known as the Biafra War, occurred from 1967-1970.
According to the governor, a special fund should be established to compensate people of the South-East, especially those whose families were affected.
He explained that the special fund would provide succour to those who lost their properties and family members during the civil war.
He said: “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.”
Governor Uzodinma also described the current revenue allocation formula as “obsolete” and chronicled how the South-East has suffered “great injustice” from the sharing of the revenue.
He said: “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 Imo State currently has seven oil-producing companies but 43 oil wells were “wrongfully” allocated to Rivers.
The governor also said 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, implored RMAFC to look into the matter with a view to resolving it.