NATION

Housing Minister Determined To Weed Out Corruption

This reassurance was made to residents of Wakanisila Settlement in Kalabu, by Minister for Housing Premila Kumar on Tuesday night.
23 Jul 2020 16:42
Housing Minister Determined To Weed Out Corruption

Whether it’s the public who cheated the Government or the staff of Housing Authority who cheated the Government, they will be taken to task.

This reassurance was made to residents of Wakanisila Settlement in Kalabu, by Minister for Housing Premila Kumar on Tuesday night.

She received concerns from residents saying they fear a repeat of the Lagilagi Housing scandal once the Wakanisila Subdivision is done.

The Ministry of Housing will undertake development work at Lagilagi Housing once the transfer of the development lease from People’s Community Network to the ministry is finalised.

Ms Kumar said a socio-economic survey would be done to identify those who had paid money for the Lagilagi flats.

“Government will try to salvage the situation. We will try and complete the development work and find other places for the households who are residing in different areas. We will try our level best to accommodate them,” Ms Kumar said.

However, she stated that no one could claim money they had lost to Peoples Community Network from the ministry.

She agreed that there is a problem at Housing Authority and that the board was looking into the matter.

“We have already given 10 cases to FICAC (Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption) and the number will definitely go higher. I am just giving you an assurance that if such corruption occurs in any place, we don’t close our eyes. We investigate and we make sure that the taxpayers’ money which somebody else abused as a civil servant or as a public as a Fijian, that person will be taken to task. You have to pay for it,” she said.

“If there is a lot of corruption, we’ll be unnecessarily wasting money in the system. As I said for Wakanisila, we need $4.5 million to develop this place and if people try and steal money from the Government coffers then how are we going to provide all these service.”

She said weeding out corrupt practices was crucial to ensure that the system was fair to everybody. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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