NEWS

Text 161 To Apply For Lockdown Assistance

The programme starts in the Nadi containment area then move to Lautoka on Friday and will extend to the Lami, Suva, Nakasi and the Nausori containment areas.
06 May 2021 10:46
Text 161 To Apply For Lockdown Assistance
Acting Permanent Secretary for Economy, Shiri Gounder during a press conference held last night at Suvavou House in Suva. Photo: Len Lord.
Fijians living within the containment area from Momi junction to Lomolomo in Nadi will be the first recipients of Government’s $90 cash assistance.
Residents in the area can start applying for the $90 per household assistance from 9am today.
All applications are to be made by sending a text to 161.
Those receiving assistance from Fiji National Provident Fund will not be eligible for this assistance.
Acting Permanent Secretary for Economy, Shiri Gounder, announced the assistance would be extended to Lautoka from this Friday and subsequently to the Lami, Nasinu, Suva and Nausori areas.
“This assistance will be rolled out in partnership with Vodafone through their M-PAiSA platform and also through Digicel via their MyCash wallet,” he said.
“I wish to thank both the service providers for this partnership with the Fijian Government in rolling out this assistance to affected Fijians.”
People can apply by sending a SMS message to 161 with the following information:
  • Full name of the applicant
  • Applicants FNPF number, if any
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Occupation of applicant
  • Home address and
  • Number of people in the household
Applicants will be provided the funds through Vodafone’s M-PAISA or Digicel’s MyCash platform.
“While we encourage that these payments be received through MPAISA and MyCash, applicants can also provide their bank account details if they need the funds to be deposited in their bank accounts,” Mr Gounder said.
Those who prefer payments in their bank accounts will have to provide the additional following details:
  • The Account name;
  • Bank Account number; and
  • Name of the Bank.
Both Vodafone and Digicel have said all transactions under this assistance will be free of charge.
The cash assistance of $90 is per household and only for affected families.
Random verifications will be done to ensure that the system is not abused and only one individual from a household gets the assistance.
“Those that will try to abuse the system may face legal consequences,” said Mr Gounder.
This was highlighted by the acting Permanent Secretary for Economy, Shiri Gounder during a press conference held last night at Suvavou House in Suva.
Reiterating the Attorney-General’s statement, Mr Gounder said Fijians living within the Nadi containment area from Momi junction to Lomolomo will be the first recipients of this assistance.
“As highlighted, we will start the programme in the Nadi containment area then move to Lautoka on Friday and subsequently extend it to the Lami, Suva, Nakasi and the Nausori containment areas,” he said.
Mr Gounder acknowledged and thanked the assistance of telecommunication service providers Digicel and Vodafone for partnering with the Government in rolling out the assistance programme.
He said from 9 am this morning, Fijians living in the Nadi containment zone can send a text message to the number 161 with the following information; the full name of the applicant, the applicants FNPF number if any; Tax Identification Number; the occupation of the applicant; the home address and the number of people in the household.
“While we encourage that these payments be received through MPAISA and MyCash, applicants can also provide their bank account details if they need the funds to be deposited in their bank accounts. Those that prefer payments in their bank accounts will have to provide the following details; the account name; bank account number; and name of the bank,” Mr Gounder said.
He explained, “I wish to remind everyone applying in the target zones, to please check their details to ensure it is correct before the SMS is sent to 161.”
Mr Gounder further emphasised that this cash assistance of $90 is per household and only for affected families thus only one individual from each affected household should apply.
“Once the SMS request is received, Vodafone and Digicel will provide the applicant listing to the Ministry of Economy and this will also assist us in the identification of applicants to ensure that they are from the target zone.”
“The Ministry of Economy will also check with FNPF if the applicant is a recipient of the unemployment assistance and those currently getting the assistance through FNPF will not qualify for this $90 cash assistance.”
Both Vodafone Fiji and Digicel will provide the service free of charge as their way of supporting the Government.
Vodafone Fiji chief executive officer, Mr Pradeep Lal said their network can process a thousand text messages per second and the process should be fast which will augur well for both the Ministry of Economy and those that will be assisted.
“Even if you are not registered you can still send a text message and your application will be processed if you are on Inkk or Vodafone network,” he has assured their customers.
Meanwhile, Digicel CEO Mr Farid Mohammed said that their customers can access this service through the MyCash app which is available on Google store and can also dial *888# to access the service.


Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper