A-G: Government Assets Sales Strategic Divestment

Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka agreed with the facts of the sale of Government asset under his leadership.
14 Feb 2019 09:45
A-G: Government Assets Sales Strategic Divestment
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday assured the Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka that the FijiFirst Government would not repeat mistakes Mr Rabuka’s government made when it sold Government assets.

Mr Rabuka asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to explain to Parliament why Government was continuing the sale of Government entities such as the Government Printing and Stationery Department (GPSD).

The Attorney-General said there are certain assets that could be partly divested and some that could be sold completely. Referring to the question, he said although negatively premised, it was under Mr Rabuka’s government as Prime Minister that the sale of three government assets took place, namely National Bank of Fiji, Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited and the Government Shipyard.

He reminded the House that the Government shipyard was sold to a “$2 New Zealand company”, which came back and asked Government to guarantee a loan.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said GPSD was sold for $6 million to an investment company called Serendib Investments, which is 75 per cent owned by Fijian Holdings Limited and 25 per cent by Aitken Spence.

Opposition leader Sitiveni Rabuka agreed with the facts of the sale of Government asset under his leadership.

“I totally agree with all the facts pointed out by the Attorney-General” adding that it was done “… to enhance the struggling and growing the economy”.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Part of the requirement of the sale is that whichever company bought GPSD from the Fijian Government had to invest in technology to upgrade the printing technology in Fiji itself.”

He added that when new ballot papers needed to be printed, it had to be outsourced because Government Printery did not have the technology to print it.

He added that Serendib also has to invest $5 million over the next five years.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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