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Uzodimma Calls For Devolution Of Power To States And LGAs


Uzodimma Calls For Devolution Of Power To States And LGAs


By Collins Ughalaa KSC

Governor Hope Uzodimma today called for devolution of power to states and LGAs, noting that it would guide the taxing powers of the states and LGAs.

The Governor made the call while addressing the Southeast Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the Current Revenue Allocation Formula, which held in Owerri.

He said: “For Fiscal Federalism to truly thrive, which is based on fiscal decentralisation and financial autonomy, there has to be more devolution of power to the State and Local Governments, and this will guide their taxing power, allocation of funds, and expenditure.”

He added: “Imo State has 43 oil wells that were wrongly attributed to Rivers State. While Rivers was receiving the benefits in increased allocation of funds, Imo State was grappling with the consequences of oil spillage, degradation of arable land and waterways, restiveness of the youth, insecurity, and unemployment among other ills”.

The Governoralso called on the Federal Government to refund the State funds expended on Federal Government projects. “We believe that the lost revenue be refunded to Imo State. In addition, a special fund should be made available to Imo State to help the state in recovering and remediating the environmental damage caused by these oil and gas explorations.

“The Imo State Government and its people have constructed and built Federal Infrastructures which subsequently were taken over by the Federal Government without compensation.

“The Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport was built by Imo State Government from its lean resources and taken over by the Federal Government that collects revenues from the Airport to date. We the people of Imo State demand compensation for infrastructural development”.

The Governor noted that available records show that the State has the highest deposit of natural gas but regretted that it is being piped to Bonny NLNG.

“According to DPR records, Imo State has the highest deposit of natural gas and this is being piped to Bonny NLNG where it is exported. We recommend that a special metering system be put in place to identify the quantity of gas being piped to Bonny NLNG with consequent attribution to the revenue of the State”, he said.

While calling on the Federal Government to harness the full potentials of the huge natural gas deposit in the State, the Governor recommend that the Federal Government establish a petrochemical plant whose raw material is natural gas, stressing that it could be used to develop fertilizer plants, synthetic resins, etc.

He further recommended that “Gas-powered industrial layout for multi-national industries with lower cost of operations due to the cheap power supply. This will contribute greatly to fast tracking a robost economic development of the country. This coupled with a functional seaport will make it easy for companies to also export their products to the world. The Imo State Government is willing to provide the land and the gas to make this a reality for the country.

“We the people of Imo State propose that a seaport be developed in Oguta to aid the rapid development of the State and the South East, as well as incresse the exploration and export potentials for the oil and gas resources for the state. Our proposition is due to the fact that the River Niger which should have attracted a seaport has a siltation problem making the development of a seaport impossible. However Oguta with its direct link to the Atlantic does not suffer from such a problem.

“We also propose that special consideration be given to Imo State which is a central point for vehicular traffic to the South South and South Eastern states, given the heavy toll this will have on the road infrastructure and traffic management of the state.

“We therefore propose that Imo State be given more intervention funds as well as more allocation in the Revenue Allocation Formula”, he posited.

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