iTaukei Land Ownership Intact - Cakaudrove Told


Josefa Uluilakeba
“You don’t have to strain your eyes to see the progress we’ve made here in Cakaudrove. It is all around you.”
This was highlighted by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the opening of the Cakaudrove Provincial Council meeting in Yaroi village in Savusavu held last week.
Addressing representatives of the 15 districts, guests and Government officials, Prime Minister Bainimarama said that from 2014 to 2021, the Government has dedicated more than $79 million to improve conditions in the province—to make life better for the people who live there.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said, “Under the Northern Development Programme, Cakaudrove received more than $25 million and a sum of over $20 million was allocated to road construction and maintenance”.
“We are continuing our drive to provide electricity for all rural communities and also to prioritise clean and renewable energy to help combat climate change so we have invested more than $8 million in rural electrification and solar projects here.”
“The Government has also spent more than $7 million on water and sanitation and through Energy Fiji Limited we spent over $2 million on grid extensions and dedicated more than $3 million to provide more effective assistance to welfare recipients in Cakaudrove.”
The Prime Minister further stated that more than 40 sites in Vanua Levu now had internet access allowing students, teachers, and healthcare workers to access information and connect with their fellow Fijians and communities can share that access as well.
While addressing the topic of iTaukei land, Prime Minister Bainimarama assured the council that “iTaukei land ownership has never been more secure and more useful to its owners than it is today”.
“Ownership has remained fully intact. Nothing has been taken, and nothing ever will be taken. That is your constitutional guarantee, which I am sworn to uphold.”
“Under past constitutions and past governments, iTaukei land was allowed to be converted and given away forever –– that can never happen again because we finally have a Fijian Constitution that makes that impossible,” the Prime Minister explained.
In addition, he said the Government had enacted the equal distribution of lease monies in 2011 which provided for the equal distribution of lease money of all those listed under a landowning unit in the Vola ni Kawa Bula.
At present, $27.1 million have been invested by TLTB on behalf of more than 27,000 young people below the age of 18 all of whom can access their funds when they turn 18 to pay for their higher education or even start their own business.
The Government in the recently announced Revised Budget 2021-2022 the provision of $1 million for constructing access roads on iTaukei land earmarked for development; $500,000 for the survey of residential leases; $500,000 for the survey of agricultural leases and $1 million to pay for arrears on agricultural and residential leases.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also officiated at the ground breaking ceremony for the new Cakaudrove Provincial office at Yaroi.