Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
A group, People’s Life Improvement Foundation (PLIF) a non-governmental organization has called on the Federal and state governments to dedicate 35% of federal allocation and Internally Generated Revenue to rural development in Nigeria.
The group said, both the state and Federal government must think of how to trickle down development to rural communities by improving the standard of living and infrastructural development at the local level.
PLIF which had been advocating for liberty, freedom and prosperity for the rural dwellers made this known yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital during a-one-day summit to sensitize Nigerians on the obligation and the right of citizens in democracy.
The General Secretary of the group, Francis Eyong said the essence of the summit is to create awareness to Nigerians irrespective of their economic condition to know that they have equal right to enjoy liberty freedom and prosperity.
He noted that government had abandoned those living in the rural area to suffer, adding that government development plan must always include those living in the rural areas.
Sir Precious Elekima who delivered a paper at the summit called on government at all level to be responsive to the socio-economic challenges confronting the rural dwellers.
He said 35% of the allocation from the federated account and the internally generated revenue should be distributed for the development of local communities as to reduce the economic hardship being faced by the people.
Elekima said: “The idea is to enable all communities at the local areas to develop simultaneously without leaving any community behind. To be frank, communities in Rivers State have not been fairly treated when it comes to development. Irrespective of tribe, there must be a level playing ground for everybody.
“We need 35% of the allocation from the federated account and the internally generated revenue to improve development at the rural level. I think Government has deliberately failed to develop the third tier of government making those living at the rural areas to become instrument of poverty.”
Some of the guests who attended the summit also urged the state government to ensure the development of the rural communities by allowing the total allocation of the local government to get to them instead of playing politics with the welfare and development of the people.