Senator Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo State, has called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to deem it necessary to create additional states for the South East zone for justice and equity.
The governor made the request while speaking at the South East zonal public hearing on the review of the revenue allocation formula organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission held in Owerri on Wednesday.
He requested that the demand be quickly considered by the authorities concerned to douse tension of sheer marginalisation of the South East geopolitical zone.
Governor Uzodimma had also urged the Federal Government to reconsider paying royalties to Imo State for its 42 oil blocks being tapped by Rivers State so that the revenue allocation formula of the state would improve in order to meet infrastructure, welfare and security needs of Imo citizens.
He called on all agencies that generate revenue for the government to ensure that they quickly remit generated revenue to the coffers of government just as they pay salaries to their workers.
Earlier in his speech, Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, stated that the commission had started the process of reviewing the existing vertical revenue allocation formula.
He said, “It is on record that there have been sever also cio-economic and political changes since the last review of the revenue allocation formula in 1992. These changes, among other considerations, informed the commission to commence the review of the formula to reflect these changing realities”.
To ensure wide coverage of participants of Nigerians in the review process, Mbam said that the “commission invited memoranda from stakeholders in both the print and electronic media on the review of the revenue allocation formula. These included organised labour, civil society organisations, the academia and the general public”.
The commissioner also maintained that the commission under took sensitisation tour to all the states of the country and noted that studies on fiscal matters relating to revenue allocation and collection of data from relevant government agencies had been carried out.
Mbam while thanking participants for participating and contributing effectively towards revenue generation and remittance, assured them that their request for improvement and increment of allocation by the Federal Government would be considered by appropriate authority in order to meet infrastructure and welfare of the people to reduce insecurity, unrest, poverty, hunger and vulnerability.
However, the Imo State Finance Commissioner, Doris Uzoka, had disclosed that the state government was working to improve infrastructure such ashospital, road, power, water, including commerce and industry.
All the five states of the South- East attended the meeting by proxy except the governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, wh owas present.
Traditional rulers, the media, academia, civil society organisations and the public fully participated in the South-East zonal meeting.