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Koya Assures Internal Reforms At Lands, Mineral Resources Show Positive Signs

Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, the newly-appointed Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources has assured the business community that much has been accomplished in the Ministry through internal reforms. Mr Koya was
27 Oct 2016 13:56
Koya Assures Internal Reforms At Lands, Mineral Resources Show Positive Signs
Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, addressing the business community at the Fiji Chamber of Comemrce and Industry Breakfast Seminar at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO NEWS

Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, the newly-appointed Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources has assured the business community that much has been accomplished in the Ministry through internal reforms.

Mr Koya was speaking during the Fiji Chamber of Commerce and Industry Breakfast Seminar at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday.

He referred to the former Minister, Mereseini Vuniwaqa’s, maiden speech a year ago where she had stated the image of the Ministry had been tarnished with allegations of corruptive practices and poor service delivery.

Today, Mr Koya said: “We have strengthened our systems and processes.”

He said this has been by improving working platform through legislative reviews, reviewing various policies, strengthening of application development and promoting staff capacity building.

The Ministry has also undertaken an internal Organisational Restructure exercise and the Op=erational Manual is being finalised after being piloted for a year.

Mr Koya acknowledged the efforts of his predecessors.

“These reforms were undertaken to elevate and improve management of lands and minerals and at the same time strike the right balance between economic development and sustainable environment,” he said.

Mr Koya stressed he is entering the role of the new Minister with a strong will to improve service delivery for customers, ordinary people and investors alike.

He said the Ministry will continue from its preliminary work on the reviews of its relevant Legislations and policies and the Formulation of a Land Valuation Act to regulate valuation practices and property market.

 

Mineral Sector

Mr Koya highlighted the Mineral Investigation project is in the view of improving and increasing mineral exploration and development.

“This contributes to increasing investment in the mineral sector,” he said.

“The environment unit of the Department has been upgraded to a Division to manage environmental issues from the mining sector and also on state land development.

“The new division will manage the entire environment issues of the Ministry in support of Government aims on sustainable development and green growth.”

 

Regularisation of Informal

Settlements

Mr Koya further indicated the Constitution pledges the right of every person to accessible and adequate housing.

“The provision is to cater for the regularisation of informal settlements on State Land providing Fijians residing in these settlements security in land tenure and some dignity,” he said.

“This will cater for both squatters residing on vacant state land and those on illegal subdivisions of state land.

“A total of 72 Approval Notices for Lease have been issued in the Western division and a total of 77 Approval Notices have been issued in the Northern division to date.

“That translates to 149 families given security of tenure and a real opportunity to better their livelihoods.”

EDITED BY: RACHNA LAL

Feedback:  kathrin.krishna@fijisun.com.fj



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