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Media Center > Speeches > HON PM BAINIMARAMA AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE SAUVA RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT IN NAUSORI

HON PM BAINIMARAMA AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE SAUVA RURAL ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT IN NAUSORI

1/5/2018
Navakacau, na Turaga Na Vunivalu;
Turaga Talatala;
Government Officials;
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula vinaka and a very good afternoon to you all.

I’d like to begin by wishing everyone a very happy New Year. I’m very glad you can welcome 2018 with the comfort, security and convenience of reliable electric power.

Today, we are officially opening a rural electrification project that will supply 27 households in the Sauva Settlement with affordable access to electricity. This is a big day for Sauva and another step on the path of progress my Government has forged for Fiji and the Fijian people. I never lose sight of the fact that progress is not just in the big projects; it is in these small steps that make life better for all our communities. Together, they make for a very big journey.

Over the last ten years, we’ve followed a simple strategy for success; invest in infrastructure, expand access to services and give ordinary Fijians the chance to realise their full potential, as citizens, as students, as parents and as providers. Village by village and community by community we’ve unleashed a wave of progress across Fiji, and combined with our sound financial management, we’ve carried our economy to eight straight years of economic growth.

And what have we done as we’ve welcomed economic prosperity? We’ve done our duty – as mandated by the Fijian Constitution – and we’ve spread the benefits of our success far and wide across the country, including here in Sauva.

In our rural communities, we are putting in place a solid foundation of essential services so that ordinary men and women can go about their lives without worrying about finding water, keeping the lights on at night or staying connected with the rest of our nation. This project is part of that vision.

Now that you’ve received access to electric power, this community has not only been made safer at all hours of the day, you now have access to an entire world of new possibilities.

Your community can stay active long after the sun has set, your children can study into the night, you can spend time with your families and loved ones and you no longer must depend on inefficient diesel generators or lantern lamps to keep the lights on.

This project is part of a massive programme of rural electrification my Government is funding throughout the country, this year alone we’ve allocated 42.6 Million Dollars to electrify homes in rural areas across Fiji.

My fellow Fijians, our work isn’t only about making services available, it’s about making those services accessible and affordable. My Government has a network of support in place to support eligible Fijians with a fifty per cent subsidy on electricity bills.

Families earning less than 30,000 dollars a year and using 100 kilowatt hours or less electricity a month qualify for this subsidy programme, and if you meet these requirements please apply at any office of our national electricity provider, the Fiji Electricity Authority.

As part of our national grid, your economic prospects are brimming like never before. But it is up to all of you to realise that opportunity. Access to power is an enormous advantage, it allows you to become more productive and accomplish far more on a daily basis. Don’t let this chance go to waste. Apply yourselves, continue making your valuable contributions to our national development, and together, let’s carry Fiji into an even brighter future.

This project has been made possible by Fiji’s prosperity, and only through greater prosperity can more development take place in our beloved Fiji.

We’ve achieved much over the last decade, with bold leadership from my Government and unrelenting effort from ordinary Fijians. That must continue.

We cannot risk all of the great progress that we have made. As I had mentioned this morning in Navuca Settlement, you need to protect yourself from those who would use you to help themselves or only benefit themselves. You need to think for yourselves; don’t buy into false promises from people such as opportunistic politicians who aren’t in your position and do not understand your situation. We must not allow that behaviour to stall our great journey forward.

We must keep Fiji on the path of progress and the fast track of development, and we must keep building up Sauva and every city, town, village and community in Fiji.

With those few words, I now have great pleasure in declaring this electrification project open.

Vinaka vakalevu. Thank you.
 
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