MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIJI NEWS SUMMARY 3.00PM 30/01/13

  1. SPORTS COMMISSION TO STRENGTHEN FIJI?S SPORTING SECTOR – The establishment of the National Sports Commission will strengthen the sporting sector in the country and regulate sports development in Fiji.

 

  1. PERMANENT SECRETARY LANDS POSITION CONFIRMED – The Public Service Commission chairman, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today confirmed the appointment of Mr Tevita Boseiwaqa as the Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources.

 

  1. TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENT VITAL FOR STRENGTHENING SECURITY – Collaborating efforts and setting the right security platform to enable an effective operation of the Ministry for Defence and National Security remains a priority as the country progresses towards elections in September, 2014.

 

  1. STUDENTS TURNOUT FOR SCHOLARSHIP INTERVIEWS – Large number of students from the central division turned out at the Ministry of ITaukei Affairs for interviews for local scholarships offered this year.

 

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1 SPORTS COMMISSION TO STRENGTHEN FIJI?S SPORTING SECTOR

 

The establishment of the National Sports Commission will strengthen the sporting sector in the country and regulate sports development in Fiji.

 

Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto said that establishing the commission will ensure that the benefits of sports are maximized for all citizens in this age of professionalism.

 

?Development of sports facilities to provide greater access to international standard sports events is being heralded through the refurbishment of the National Stadium complex while the development of rural playing fields continues to give access of rural sporting talent to standard sports grounds?, Minister Naupoto said.

 

Minister Naupoto stated that the ?National Sporting Federations will continue to be the vehicle with which the sports grants and development assistance is channeled by government including overseas sporting tours, short term experts and hosting international tournaments?.

 

In the 2013 National Budget address, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama announced the allocation of $1 million for the establishment of this commission.

 

?Fiji has had several different sports development programs that were largely unconnected and uncoordinated. This needs to change. So we are providing a new allocation of $1 million to set up a National Sports Commission to oversee and coordinate sporting development throughout the country,? the Prime Minister said.

 

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2 PERMANENT SECRETARY LANDS POSITION CONFIRMED

 

The Public Service Commission chairman, Mr Josefa Serulagilagi today confirmed the appointment of Mr Tevita Boseiwaqa as the Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources.

 

Mr Boseiwaqa had been acting in the position since June 2012.

 

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Serulagilagi said that Mr Boseiwaqa has proven leadership qualities and attributes which will be put to good use at the Ministry.

 

Mr Boseiwaqa joined the civil service in 1963 as an Assistant Teacher. He was gradually promoted to various positions including Principal.

 

In 2002, Mr Boseiwaqa was appointed Principal Research Officer in the Prime Minister?s Office before taking up the position of Director Research and Development with the Ministry of Provincial Development in 2009. In 2011, Mr Boseiwaqa was promoted to the post of Deputy Secretary for Defence, National Security and Immigration where he served until his posting to the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources as Acting Permanent Secretary in June 2012.

 

As the Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources, Mr Boseiwaqa will be responsible to the Minister for the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies relating to State Land Administration and Research, Land survey and development, Valuation of State Land, National Geological Survey and manages the development of Mining and quarrying Sector.

 

Specifically the post is responsible for providing services in the areas of land surveying, valuation, mapping, land information, oils and mines administration and geological and mineral investigations. He will have to liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure quick delivery of services in the areas of mining applications, survey plans checking and leasing.

 

The appointment, effective from Friday 25/01/13 will be for three years.

 

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3 TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENT VITAL FOR STRENGTHENING SECURITY

 

Collaborating efforts and setting the right security platform to enable an effective operation of the Ministry for Defence and National Security remains a priority as the country progresses towards elections in September, 2014.

 

The Minister for Defence and National Security, Joketani Cokanasiga said Government?s plans and commitment towards conducting a free and fair General Election in more than a year?s time continues to be a priority for his ministry.

 

Mr Cokanasiga said they would, through their various security arms, provide the right environment so that all Fijians are able to exercise their civil liberties.

 

He added that they would steadfastly combine efforts with stakeholders to improve all facets of technology to address technological requirements pertaining to national security.

 

?It is critically important that enabling legislation are enacted and adopted to enable the total security apparatus to function efficiently and effectively. It is more vital that security issues at all levels in the Ministry is given full attention so that our coverage is wider and more encompassing,? Mr Cokanasiga highlighted.

 

The Minister said they would also continue to strengthen strategies to address issues such as transnational crimes, cyber security, human trafficking, borders security and management, search and rescue operation, terrorism and other trivial threats that can turn into complex issues if not attended to rapidly.

 

?The enacting of enabling legislation and strategic policies would certainly drive the security apparatus to ensure security and stability is maintained and this is presumed to be the vessel for economic progress.

 

?While security legal frameworks are important, continuous improvement of technology is critically vital so that we are in par with the shift our techno-economical world has reached in our efforts to combat would-be criminal element that threaten us,? Mr Cokanasiga added.

 

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4 STUDENTS TURNOUT FOR SCHOLARSHIP INTERVIEWS

 

Large number of students from the central division turned out at the Ministry of ITaukei Affairs for interviews for local scholarships offered this year.

 

Similar interviews are expected to be conducted in the western and northern divisions.

 

Among the few interviewees was former Labasa College student Isaia Kumisalei who was shortlisted for the interview and is adamant that he will secure a scholarship.

 

?If I will be selected, I will do my best to attain the grade that is required and contribute to the economy,? Mr Kumisalei said.

 

Isaia Kumisalei said that students of this day and age have the opportunity to further purse their education with the incentive programs government is providing.

 

?I am thankful to government for providing students the opportunity to further pursue academic qualifications and become resourceful people for the future,? he said.

 

The Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in announcing the 2013 budget address highlighted that the cornerstone of Government?s policy and reforms is to ensure that education be made accessible to all Fijians.

 

Government has allocated $24million for tertiary scholarships with a common goal of prioritising education and to make Fiji knowledge based society. As well, $5 million has been allocated for a new scholarship program to cover tuition fees for more than 1,000 students in 2013 to undertake vocational courses, through the Fiji National University (FNU), to help them acquire specialised trade skills.

 

These incentives will provide students amongst other things, to become certified plumbers, electricians, deckhands, carpenters, mechanics and engineers.

 

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