- FIJIAN PRESIDENTS RECEIVES NEW ITALIAN AMBASSADOR – His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has conveyed Fiji?s best wishes to the people of Italy as their new envoy presented his credentials at Government House today.
- GOVERNMENT PARTNERS WITH CHURCH TO ASSIST STREET BEGGARS – The Minister for Social Welfare, Dr Jiko Luveni today signed a grant agreement with the Church of the Nazarene representatives for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre for street beggars.
- Nasali River Bank Protection works to begin – Work on the Nasali river banks to protect it from eroding will begin soon following the signing of the Contract between the Ministry of Agriculture and Yadra Viti Investments Limited.
- FIJIAN ENVOY PAYS HISTORICAL VISIT TO EAST SEPIK PROVINCE – Fiji?s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Romanu Tikotikoca, recently visited Wewak, in the East Sepik province for a 2 day historic visit.
- PNG TRANSPORT OFFICIALS SHOW INTEREST IN FIJI?S TRANSPORT SECTOR – Papua New Guinea Transport Sector is working with the Fiji?s Land Transport Authority in the area of re-modeling the transport sector in Papua New Guinea.
- SUGAR INDUSTRY TARGETS SIX KEY AREAS – The Sugar Ministry has formulated a strategic plan to focus on six targeted areas to improve the sugar industry?s performance.
- Fiji launches IBMS servers for border security – Government continues to look at ways to strengthen its borders through the procurement of various state-of-the-art technological equipment and at the same time find more efficient ways of serving the public.
- LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN CHINA FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS – The Peoples? Republic of China (PRC), has again approved for 20 Senior Public Officials to be trained in China on Leadership in mid- May, 2014.
1 FIJIAN PRESIDENTS RECEIVES NEW ITALIAN AMBASSADOR
His Excellency the President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has conveyed Fiji?s best wishes to the people of Italy as their new envoy presented his credentials at Government House today.
The new Italian ambassador to Fiji, who will be based in Australia, His Excellency Pier Francesco Zazo presented his Letters of Credence and the Letter of Recall of his predecessor.
The ambassador also paid a courtesy visit to the Attorney General, Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation permanent secretary, Mr Amena Yauvoli.
Mr Zazo took up his first diplomatic posting as the Second Secretary Commercial in Seoul and went up the ranks as he served in countries such as Ukraine, Russia and Sweden.
2 GOVERNMENT PARTNERS WITH CHURCH TO ASSIST STREET BEGGARS
The Minister for Social Welfare, Dr Jiko Luveni today signed a grant agreement with the Church of the Nazarene representatives for the establishment of a rehabilitation centre for street beggars.
Under this agreement, the Ministry will allocate FJD $100,000 for the maintenance of a new home for beggars as well as administration costs.
Minister Dr Luveni acknowledged the partnership with the church as the project is aligned to government?s goal of empowering the disadvantaged through social based interventions.
?The signing of this grant is a milestone achievement for us, where the beggars are able to see positive efforts to improve their situations?, Minister Luveni said.
She added said that the church has offered a facility which includes land and infrastructure thus the grant is for the maintenance of the buildings and administration costs.
The Church of the Nazarene district superintendant, Rev. Kafoa Muaror highlighted the enthusiasm and commitment of the church towards this project.
?We are seeking to bring some level of hope and confidence to people that have got a little or nothing to move them forward.
Rev Muaror also stated that the establishment of a safe home will facilitate capacity building programs to equip the less privileged, empower them.
3 Nasali River Bank Protection works to begin
Work on the Nasali river banks to protect it from eroding will begin soon following the signing of the Contract between the Ministry of Agriculture and Yadra Viti Investments Limited.
Principal Engineer, Land and Water Resource Management (LWRM) Division of the Ministry, Mr Khin Maung Cho said the work is expected to be completed in four months.
?This project will greatly benefit the people within the greater Rewa delta area as the erosion of the banks along Nasali landing has been a threat and risk to the road infrastructure and community livelihood.?
He said that a total of $315,000 will be spent to complete this project which will see rural communities having safe access to the main land.
?We also have plans to construct a jetty type structure where steps will be constructed leading up to the river allowing for easier access for people travelling by boat,? Mr Cho said.
Director for LWRM, Mr Colin Simmons added that, this is one of the Division?s work programs addressing the impacts of flooding and climate change.?
Yadra Viti Investments Limited Managing Director Mr Rajen Kumar said that they are happy to be associated with this project as this will impact the lives of the people in the area.
This Nausori-based company is also expected to employ about 12 local people during the course of the project completion.
4 FIJIAN ENVOY PAYS HISTORICAL VISIT TO EAST SEPIK PROVINCE
Fiji?s High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea His Excellency Romanu Tikotikoca, recently visited Wewak, in the East Sepik province for a 2 day historic visit.
The visit was initiated with the view of strengthening existing historical ties between the Governor of East Sepik Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Fiji?s late President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.
High Commissioner Tikotikoca visited the Province?s Governor and Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare for a courtesy call in his provincial office upon arrival where Sir Michael Somare expressed his appreciation to High Commissioner Tikotikoca for visiting the province.
High Commissioner Tikotikoca was later received by the Wewak Town Mayor at the mayoral chambers before proceeding on to visit some historical sites in Wewak which included a visit to the Wom War Memorial.
He also visited West Yangoru LLG outside Wewak Town to witness an IT project currently being undertaken under the advice of their advisor and fellow Fijian Mr. Ranjan Naidu. He was received at West Yangoru LLG with a traditional welcome.
High Commissioner Tikotikoca later met with members of the Provincial Administration and held discussions on how best Fiji could assist East Sepik Province in terms of technical assistance and advice.
Meanwhile in his speech later on at a farewell dinner, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare expressed how grateful he was that Fiji has finally visited his home province of East Sepik. He further added that PNG and Fiji had long standing relations and that ?PNG would always stand by the people of Fiji in times of sunshine and also in times of rain?.
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5 PNG TRANSPORT OFFICIALS SHOW INTEREST IN FIJI?S TRANSPORT SECTOR
Papua New Guinea Transport Sector is working with the Fiji?s Land Transport Authority in the area of re-modeling the transport sector in Papua New Guinea.
The PNG Department of Transport permanent secretary Roy Mumu said there are a lot of agencies involved with the country?s transport sector however we would like to consolidate these operations under one administrative body.
?Transport officials are discussing various plans with Fiji?s Land Transport Authority officials to understand the operations and how to manage our very own Land Transport Authority,? Mr Mumu said.
?This is type of collaboration that we are interested with instead of setting up a whole new system, we are able to learn the experiences from our regional neighbors and share information?, he added.
Fiji?s LTA chief executive officer Naisa Tuinaceva said this is a positive indication of how Fiji is advancing in the region and how the Authority can offer development plans and assistance.
6 SUGAR INDUSTRY TARGETS SIX KEY AREAS
The Sugar Ministry has formulated a strategic plan to focus on six targeted areas to improve the sugar industry?s performance.
The Ministry?s director Viliame Gucake informed the National Committee on Better Utilization of Land (CBUL) that the six targeted areas identified include an increase in the crop production, to reduce the harvesting and transportation costs, milling, marketing and revenue generation and the industry structure and to improve the cane quality payment system.
He said the industry also has to do more work to improve mill efficiency and mill reliability.
?To improve mill efficiency we are talking about the need to extract more sugar from the cane and mill reliability is looking into no breakdowns of the mills during the crushing season.?
Meanwhile the Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu urged CBUL to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that deliverables and objectives are met.
He reminded the committee to work closely with the land users, stakeholders and amongst each other for the betterment of Fiji?s economy.
7 Fiji launches IBMS servers for border security
Government continues to look at ways to strengthen its borders through the procurement of various state of the art technological equipment and at the same time find more efficient ways of serving the public.
Through the purchase of an Integrated Border Management System (IBMS) Server, travelers passing through Fiji?s international gateways can expect quicker turnaround time for processing their travelling documents.
In launching the new services today, the Minister for Defense, National Security and Immigration Mr Joketani Cokanasiga who launched the system last year, said the services has provided Fiji with international capabilities into new ways of collating data for future usage by all stakeholders such as the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA), Immigration, Bio Security Authority of Fiji (BAF), Ministry of Health, Airports Fiji Limited and the Fiji Police Force.
?The launching of these IBMS servers today is proof of the Fijian Government?s commitment to the fulfillment of this objective on a national level. It is also a sign of the Fijian Government?s commitment to raising the bar and move towards?international best practice in this area,? he said.
Within the last twelve months, there were further developments, new software created and aligned, to have the system communicating to each other and more importantly the retrieving of data for analysis purposes which will then assist in decision making.
The servers will also enhance the captured data to be saved and distributed effectively on a timely basis strengthening Fiji?s border control capabilities.
?I am confident too that all Fijian Border Management agencies will continually strengthen their co-operation, exchange information, build capacities through training, and continue to work closely together for the improvement of border procedures in order to ensure to the efficient movement of people as well as facilitating trade and transit,? Minister Cokanasiga said.
?The data which you will be able to collect from this new system will open up numerous opportunities for improving policies, rules and procedures for border management ? both nationally and regionally.?
8 LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN CHINA FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS
The Peoples? Republic of China (PRC), has again approved for 20 Senior Public Officials to be trained in China on Leadership in mid- May, 2014.
The training will be conducted in Shanghai and in Beijing.
Mr Parmesh Chand, Permanent Secretary for Public Service said that the theme for this year?s training is again on ?Leadership Building?, and the teaching program will involve lectures, field visits and group discussions.
All expenses including round trip airfares, meals, accommodation, tuition and in-country transportation will be borne by the Peoples? Republic of China.
The Course is prepared for Senior Officials, particularly those involved in formulation of policy, implementation of projects and overall decision making.
In making nominations, Agencies have been requested to give consideration to suitable Senior Executives from statutory/corporatized entities under their respective responsibilities, as well as those Senior Officials serving at Divisional and District levels.
Mr Chand said that Fiji is deeply appreciative of ongoing assistance from the Peoples? Republic of China in the area of training and capacity building for our Senior Officials.
He said that training and exposure in China is greatly assisting in the Government?s reform programme to enhance the capacity of our Senior Officials for improved levels of service delivery to ordinary Fijians.