EFL Corrects Tabuya

A total of $2.268 million in performance pay-out plus a five per cent pay rise to all staff below management level was announced by EFL chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel on Monday.
22 Jun 2022 12:26
 EFL Corrects Tabuya
Lynda Tabuya.

Energy Fiji Limited (EFL) yesterday hit out at The People’s Alliance deputy party leader, Lynda Tabuya. Ms Tabuya said EFL staff did not deserve a performance pay out and pay rise.

A total of $2.268 million in performance pay-out plus a five per cent pay rise to all staff below management level was announced by EFL chief executive officer Hasmukh Patel on Monday.

This followed the $96m profit before tax recorded by EFL last year.

Yesterday, Ms Tabuya took to social media to criticise the staff pay-out.

“Do these people deserve massive profits from the constant power cuts yet they turn up on your doorstep the minute you don’t pay your bill to cut your power, and then take really long to reconnect it once you pay your bill?,” she said.

“How can the A-G, the director, the chair and the Japanese guy stand here and smile and grin with achievement of profits when their service sucks? Have they no shame? There is nothing to be proud of!”

Party’s response

The People’s Alliance General Secretary Sakiasi Ditoka last night confirmed that Ms Tabuya’s Facebook post did not represent the party.

“No no, she’s done that on her own,” Mr Ditoka said.

He said the party would issue a statement about Ms Tabuya’s Facebook post.

Populist politics

In response to Ms Tabuya, Mr Patel said it was unfortunate that EFL was being used by politicians to play populist politics without consideration of the realities on the ground, such as the impacts of extreme weather caused by climate change.

“EFL is flabbergasted by the comments made by People’s Alliance deputy leader Lynda Tabuya, which were riddled with inaccuracies and appear to be rooting for the failure of Fiji’s energy sector,” Mr Patel said.

“It seems that instead of giving credit where it’s due, PA doesn’t want any positive news going out and they have forgotten that some 37,000 Fijians hold shares in EFL – thus if EFL does good, it not only bodes well for Fiji’s energy sector but also for all Fijians.”

Mr Patel stated that Ms Tabuya’s claim that EFL’s service ‘sucks’ was a slap on the face of every EFL staff, including their engineers who sometimes tracked many kilometres for hours to fix infrastructural damage and restore electricity to her house.

“For Ms Tabuya to then say that we didn’t deserve profits is not only an insult to our hardworking staff, but is also silly, as profits are earned, and the word ‘deserved’ insinuates that we are receiving it from a third party,” he said.

“It is also important to note that it is our team members below management level who have received a 5% pay increase, so we cannot understand why the People’s Alliance party has a problem with everyday hard-working Fijians receiving benefits, especially during these times.”

He also clarified that a 14-day time period was given to customers to pay their bills, followed by a reminder text message and two hours grace period by their ground team before disconnection.

Customers also have the convenience of paying their bills via internet banking, phone banking, Digicel MyCash, Vodafone MPAiSA, QR Pay, at any MH/MaxVal-u Stores or EFL Customer Care Centre.

Mr Patel reiterated that despite all the challenges brought by the pandemic and climate change, EFL strategised to ensure reliable power supply for all Fijians and that the company survived without increasing prices.


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