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Tagivetaua: Bua Plea For Services

Students from Bua are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for Government scholarships, Parliament was told yesterday. Student debt was already causing concerns and needed to be addressed,
17 Oct 2014 09:31
Tagivetaua: Bua Plea For Services
Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) parliamentarian Ratu Viliame Tagivetaua.

Students from Bua are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing for Government scholarships, Parliament was told yesterday.

Student debt was already causing concerns and needed to be addressed, according to Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) parliamentarian Ratu Viliame Tagivetaua.

“Let me talk from an digenous Fijian or iTaukei’s perspective. A Form Seven student in Bua is expected to compete with a Form Seven student in Suva, for a scholarship. The quality of present educational services in the rural community has resulted in less indigenous Fijians getting scholarships, but they are encouraged to take up loans from Government for tertiary education. Because of this, a large number of students from the province of Bua are in debt before they even try to imagine employment,” he said in his maiden speech yesterday.

He turned his attention to shipping services to Vanua Levu and claimed the lack of safety, regularity and affordability was a harsh reality.

“The inability of ship operators to make adequate profits leads in turn, to a further deterioration in shipping services, entailing difficulties in securing finance, low levels of investment, inadequate maintenance,” he said.

As an immediate solution, the Government should take back the reigns of inter-island shipping services and serve the people with regular and affordable shipping services, he said.

Despite the massive investment by the Government in the Northern Division to improve infrastructure, Ratu Viliame claimed there were still roads that needed repairing.

“Many of the roads in Bua and around Vanua Levu date back to colonial and SVT/SDL times. We have heard of road projects from right across the nation and Vanua Levu, but during my campaign tours around Bua at least, I was very shocked at the state of our roads. I suggest Government move to adopt a plan to address the state of our roads, an example could be, agree to have a fixed target, where the State will maintain and build new roads on a quota of 500 kilometres per year, shared fairly across the nation.”

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