Defence minister meets chamber members

CAPTION: Nadi Town Council special administrator Aisea Tuidraki, left, Nadi Chamber of Commerce & Industry president Dr Ram Raju and minister for defence, home affairs and immigration Joketani Cokanasiga during the meeting at the Jacks of Fiji training room yesterday. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

By SHALENDRA PRASAD

Thursday, February 14, 2013. Minister for defence, home affairs and immigration Joketani Cokanasiga was in Nadi yesterday to meet various stakeholders as part of his tour of the western division with the commissioner of police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua and his team.

The honorable minister met with the board members of the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) at the Jacks of Fiji training room to discuss matters of importance.

Special administrator of the Nadi Town Council Aisea Tuidraki was also present at the meeting and gave the minister a brief report on the current situation in Nadi.

NCCI president Dr Ram Raju raised several issues in regards to security in Nadi.

?As we speak touting continues to be a major problem in the township and some of those involved in the act are unfortunately our members so we will need to talk to them to fix the problem,? Dr Raju said.

Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua, centre, is flanked by NCCI board members Lydia O'Neill and Commander Semi Koroilavesau. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

Police Commissioner Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua, centre, is flanked by NCCI board members Lydia O’Neill and Commander Semi Koroilavesau. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.

Dr Raju also commended the Nadi Town Council for taking a tough approach towards businesses which support touting referring to a recent newspaper advertisement in which the council has warned everyone involved in touting to immediately stop harassing visitors to the town or face the full brunt of the law.

Minister Cokanasiga assured the stakeholders of full commitment from government.

?We are here to listen to your grievances and put in place measures to address the problems,? Mr Cokanasiga said.

Commissioner of police Brigadier General Ioane Naivalurua maintained that Nadi is the safest tourism destination in the region and there is no shortage of manpower in his force.

?We have adequate officers on the ground in Nadi. I agree that there may be some resource constraints which we are addressing via our next budget submission to government,? Brigadier General Naivalurua said.

He is also urging all business houses in the area to secure their properties with CCTV surveillance cameras.

?The problems in Nadi are homegrown and only the people of Nadi can solve them. I urge all business houses to see CCTV cameras as an investment and not as an expense.

?We also need to have cameras on the entry points of the town and in the mid of town as well as this will allow officers to monitor movements from the station all the time.?

The police commissioner also noted that the proposed tourism zone from the McDonalds junction to Votualevu round-about which allows for 24-hours of operation by night club owners is now being heavily misused by locals even though the idea was for tourists to take advantage of such an initiative.

NCCI president Dr Ram Raju said the chamber will be writing to the government to remove all duty charges on the importation of CCTV surveillance cameras and other related products so that everyone is encouraged to invest in them.

END.