SUNBIZ

Levelling The Playing Field And Opening More Opportunities To People

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, yes­terday emphasised the Government’s develop­ment policy in the country’s 14 provinces when he addressed the Namosi Provincial Council meeting. In the past the element of
17 Oct 2018 12:02
Levelling The Playing Field And Opening More Opportunities To People
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama

The Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, yes­terday emphasised the Government’s develop­ment policy in the country’s 14 provinces when he addressed the Namosi Provincial Council meeting.

In the past the element of provincialism had crept into iTaukei governance impeding development and pro­gress. It had been exacerbated by favouritism. Those in positions of authority and influence tended to favour their own provinces. This resulted in an unfair distri­bution of resources and funds.

The principles of good governance like accountability and transparency were often overlooked in the process.

That change under the leadership of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has finally broken the cycle of leaders favouring their own provinces to the detriment of the national interest.

The FijiFirst’s inclusive policies have effectively ended the regressive old practices. They are based on the genu­ine needs of the respective provinces obtained by listen­ing to the people through various forums, including the talanoa sessions.

The administrative structure has been established under the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs. Provincial coun­cils have been given the tools and the freedom to act as catalysts for development in their provinces. These have been provided based on international best practices.

But those who criticise them belong to the old school. They claim that provincial councils have lost their in­dependence because they do not choose their chairper­sons. The ministry not only ratifies the appointment, it monitors the activities of the councils to ensure compli­ance.

In the past, this was no non-existent. It resulted in poor performance and mismanagement.

Structures are now in place to ensure this does not hap­pen again.

They prompt the delegates, the mata ni tikina (district reps) and turaga-ni-koro (village headmen) to focus on their core responsibilities to serve the people their rep­resent.

Government has made the provincial councils as its development arm especially when its officials are in contact with the people in rural areas.

These councils have been led by Fijian women and men who share Government’s vision for what the nation is capable of becoming, and who are helping realise their vision at the grassroots level every day.

This same commitment is shared by the Namosi Pro­vincial Council, says the Prime Minister.

Namosi paramount chief, Turaga na Tui Namosi, Ratu Suliano Matanitobua appears very happy with the de­velopments carried out in his province.

These developments help lift the lifestyle and welfare of the people.

This year alone Government has already completed a new hospital at Namelimeli and is extending the na­tional electricity grid to Naqarawai and Wainikoroiluva and bringing solar power to Naqara and Nukusere and Navunisoco. Government is building a new Farmers Collection Centre Co-operative and a new evacuation centre in Saliadrau. It is completing a new Ministry of Agriculture Office to serve the province, and new water projects in Wainadoi, Nakuvu Primary School, Wainilotuvelu Primary, Nakavika and Nukusere. And soon, Government will begin work on a brand-new ac­cess road stretching from Nasoqo to Wainiyavu.

The development they’re experiencing is lifting and empowering the people on an equal basis.

These developments are also seen in Serua, Ba, Rewa, Naitasiri, Lau and Macuata.

Every other province is experiencing that same pace of record development that is sweeping across the country.

With the increasing number of students in the prov­ince and the lack of schools, a new Ratu Simione Ma­tanitobua College will be under construction with the landowners giving their consent to the site.

Students from the provinces of Namosi and Serua are travelling daily to Suva to attend classes.

These examples tell us that Government resources are being spread to benefit as many people as possible.

It is gradually levelling the playing field, opening op­portunities to more people.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

Feedback: maikab@fijisuncom.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper