South-South and South-East Governors have called for the improvement of the monthly Federation Allocation to states to reflect the rise in oil prices and production.
The South-South and South-East Governors Forum made the request during its meeting on Sunday night at the Government House, Uyo in Akwa Ibom State.
In attendance at the meeting were: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi and Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson.
Others are: Anambra State Deputy Governor , Dr Nkem Okeke, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel and Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ivra Esu.
In an opening remark at the meeting, Interim Chairman of the Forumand Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel said: “While our collective resolve for an indivisible Nigeria remains a cherish response, we wish to appeal to the Federal Government to demonstrate transparency in the area of allocation of resources to different parts of the country.
“It is indeed worrisome that allocations from the Federation Accounts do not seem to reflect the increase of crude oil production and improve in oil prices.
“If our people suffered on account of the slump in global oil prices, the rise in the oil prices should not only improve allocations to the states to enable the governors meet the expectations of their people, it will also help the states to develop in the areas that the Federal Government has been unable to reach out to the states. “
He said as long as the two regions consolidate on her cooperation, it will enhance their bargaining power in the country.
He said those who appear threatened by what the cooperation can achieve, have been secretly working to create division in the forum.
The Forum Chairman expressed happiness that there is a great commitment to overcome the challenges of disunity that affected cooperation in the past.
The forum chairman stated: “May I use this opportunity to register my profound appreciation to Your Excellencies for reaching a landmark decision that the two regions should henceforth go in one direction that will be beneficial to the political future of the people of both regions.
“This decision is heartwarming and holds the hope for the political security of our people within the Nigerian entity.”
He added: “Facts indicate that the formation of this body was long overdue. That it has finally come is a testimony of a renewed strategy that is a template with global best practices.
“The cooperation we are rapidly building, the forthrighness we are exuding in our collective challenges, is reassuring. I am confident that our people will be better for it.In our previous meetings, we identified some of problems which includes, the dearth of infrastructure in both regions, the rising tides of agitation in different parts of the country, the call for restructuring and issues of security. “
Commenting on the Anambra State Governorship Election, the forum congratulated Governor Willie Obiano on his re-election.
The Forum declared: “His success at the polls, speaks eloquently of the trust that the good people of Anambra State have in his ability to carry out the onerous task of building a prosperous state for his people.
“I also wish to commend the people of Anambra State for the mature and responsible way they conducted themselves during the polls.This is a testimony to the deepening of the democratic culture amongst our people. And also a testimony that South-South and South-East have fully deepened democracy in the region.”
While decrying the poor road infrastructure in the two regions, the Akwa Ibom State Governor suggested that the Federal Government relinquish all federal roads in the area to the states.