Fiji’s Recovery a Joint Effort: PM


Prashila Devi
Fiji’s road to recovery was only possible due to joint effort between the Government, the people—with communities, the private sector, with the civil society organisations and the provincial councils.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, while opening the Nadroga/Navosa Provincial Council meeting held at the Nasigatoka Village Hall in Sigatoka on Wednesday, said “Fiji is back, our economy is strong and getting stronger every day”.
Speaking specifically on the development of the province, Prime Minister Bainimarama said from 2014 until 2021, the Government has invested just shy of $75 million of development into the province.

“A good portion was used to elevate the status of Navosa, which was ignored for decades by past leadership. We don’t view Nadroga-Navosa as a forgotten province or a small part of a vast confederacy –– you are on equal footing with every part of Fiji,” he said.
He said that $38 million was used for health services, from which $30 million used to build the Keiyasi hospital, which serves villages such as Noikoro, Nasikawa, Namataku, Bemana, Naqalimare, Navatusila and Nasivikoso in Ba.
The Head of Government also spoke about road infrastructure development and stated that $13.48 million was used to build roads in Nubuyanitu, Draubuta, Nakoro, Nawairabe, Navitilevu, and Matokana.
“When I think of Nadroga-Navosa, I think of the development we’ve delivered together for your people. I think of the beautiful Coral Coast and the vital role it plays in Fijian tourism. I think of your rugby legends, past and present. I think of your vast untapped potential.”
He shared his reflection on where Fiji was during the two years of the pandemic and the current recovery efforts, of the risks that the Government had to take and the support of the ordinary Fijians.
“I also thought back to the risks that Fiji faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. We drove past dozens of hotels to get here, all of them open and all of them employing Fijians, many of whom call this Province home. Every Fijian who is working in an open hotel is a testament to the success of the policy we implemented in response to the pandemic,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said. 
He said the Government paid out $500 million in direct and indirect Government assistance to Fijians affected by the pandemic; those who lost their jobs, those on reduced hours, fisher folks, taxi drivers, market vendors, domestic cleaners –– everyone.
Prime Minister Bainimarama was accorded a traditional welcoming ceremony by the Vanua of Nadroga/Navosa and was accompanied by the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Minister for Health and Medical Services Doctor Ifereimi Waqainabete.
A talanoa session was also held to discuss and address issues such as water connectivity, rural electrification and transportation issues faced by the villages in the Province.