- TASKFORCE TO MONITOR CHILDREN BEGGING ON STREETS – The National Taskforce on Beggars will closely monitor streets across the country to ensure that no child is found begging.
- MINISTER KUBUABOLA FAREWELLS AMBASSADOR REED – Jan 15, 2015 – The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola farewelled the outgoing Ambassador of the United States of America to Fiji Her Excellency Frankie Reed and thanked her for her initiatives in strengthening relations between the two countries.
- NEW FISHERIES PROJECT TO GENERATE EMPLOYMENT FOR LABASA RESIDENTS – The Department of Fisheries in Labasa is working closely with Kini’s Allied Industries to create more employment for locals in the Northern Division.
- MINISTER KUBUABOLA MEETS INVESTORS FROM CHINA – Jan 16, 2015- Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola assured a group of investors paying a courtesy call on him today that now is the perfect time to come and invest in Fiji.
- “BEWARE OF ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES”: EMPLOYMENT MINISTRY – The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations is investigating 4 separate cases of bogus Foreign Employment Agencies. All Employment Agencies must be registered with the Ministry.
TASKFORCE TO MONITOR CHILDREN BEGGING ON STREETS
The National Taskforce on Beggars will closely monitor streets across the country to ensure that no child is found begging.
The taskforce which is spearheaded by the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation is made up of different agencies that identify ways to assist beggars provide them with opportunities to generate income. An area that the taskforce is concerned with is the presence of children and minors found begging with adults and in some cases, with parents.
Children begging on the streets are often vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and the Minister for Social Welfare Mrs Rosy Akbar said that any child found begging will be taken into State care.
“We have intensified efforts to ensure that any child found begging will be taken into our care. Previously the police were just warning the parents, now we have started to take action and it’s sad to see that some people use children to gain public sympathy.
“The police will continue to monitor the situation in Suva and other towns as well. If any family is burdened with financial difficulty they are advised to visit the nearest social welfare office for assistance, but we will not compromise the safety of any child found begging”, the Minister said.
Highlighting a recent incident where a woman was found begging with her young infant, the Minister said the Government has a duty to protect young children from exploitation or abuse. While she added that the young infant was taken into State Care, the Minister pointed out that Taskforce will look at assisting the mother in accessing employment opportunities.
“The Ministry is stepping up its work through the Taskforce and we will ensure that no parent or guardian uses their child for begging,” Minister Akbar said.
To strengthen its work, the taskforce will work closely with municipal councils across the country to carry out profiling exercises on beggars and look at ways of assisting them.
Earlier this week Minister Akbar met with Nadi Special Administrator, Mr Robin Ali to look at how the Ministry and Nadi Town Council can work together to assist beggars in Nadi town.
MINISTER KUBUABOLA FAREWELLS AMBASSADOR REED
Jan 15, 2015 – The Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola farewelled the outgoing Ambassador of the United States of America to Fiji Her Excellency Frankie Reed and thanked her for her initiatives in strengthening relations between the two countries.
Minister Kubuabola commended Ambassador Reed for her efforts in improving the lives of ordinary Fijians through programs funded by the US Embassy here in Suva.
“We commend your diligent efforts to maintain the good relations between Fiji and the US,” he said.
Minister Kubuabola said the US Government’s donor assistance, bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation and development programs were greatly valued and appreciated by the Fijian Government.
“Thank you for being a friend of Fiji.”
He highlighted that Ambassador Reed’s extensive experience and knowledge of Pacific affairs had assisted her greatly in carrying out her role since she was posted to Fiji in 2011.
Minister Kubuabola thanked Ambassador Reed for her friendship and professionalism throughout the three years tenure in Fiji and wished her all the very best in her next assignment.
NEW FISHERIES PROJECT TO GENERATE EMPLOYMENT FOR LABASA RESIDENTS
The Department of Fisheries in Labasa is working closely with Kini’s Allied Industries to create more employment for locals in the Northern Division.
The Department’s Divisional Fisheries officer Joji Vakawaletabua, said the industry has acquired seven spots near sugarcane farms to create fish farming ponds.
“They have already dug three ponds for crab fattening, wild mullet and milk fish and working with our Aquaculture section. When it will be successfully completed, it will be replicated into other areas.”
Kini’s Industries Managing Director Kiran Chand Reddy says in the next 6-7 months they plan to have a 60-room hostel and a working research facility as people are finding it hard to work in technical areas.
“It is important to create employment and to also promote aqua culture development and these cane farms we have acquired are salinity areas and are reliable and at the moment we have 25 staff but we need 60 people.”
He said they are currently working to phase out the traditional cane farming methods and embrace technology through mechanized cane farming and new machines are to be introduced mid this year.
“We plan to inter-crop on the drain sides for crops such as legumes to bolster the natural rehabilitation of the land and livestock farming on the non arable portions of the farms and this is undertaken in close consultation with the relevant ministries and stakeholders”.
Mr Chand added that a request has been sent to the ministry to partner with them and the Fiji National University to set up a training facility for the supply of skilled labor.
Manasa Vaibete, 19, says work at the industry is a form of income for his family and they are being well looked after by their boss.
“I came here to look for work two years ago and I am happy, we have seen a lot of tertiary students coming here to look for attachment and they know its benefits.”
MINISTER KUBUABOLA MEETS INVESTORS FROM CHINA
Jan 16, 2015- Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kubuabola assured a group of investors paying a courtesy call on him today that now is the perfect time to come and invest in Fiji.
Minister Kubuabola told the 12 member delegation from Shenzhen, a city in Southern China, that they must make the most of this investment friendly opportunity and take advantage of the incentives offered by the Fijian Government.
The delegation, whose visit to Fiji was facilitated by Fiji’s Honorary Consul to Hong Kong, has business and investment interests in hotel development and agriculture.
Minister Kubuabola is optimistic that with the various incentives offered by the Government, coupled with the hard work of Fiji’s diplomats abroad, alot of investment opportunities could be generated for the country.
He thanked the potential investors from Shenzhen for their keen interest and assured them that Fiji was the best destination to invest in.
BEWARE OF ILLEGAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES”: EMPLOYMENT MINISTRY
The Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations is investigating 4 separate cases of bogus Foreign Employment Agencies. All Employment Agencies must be registered with the Ministry.
Under Section 4  of the Employment Relations (Employment Agencies) Regulations 2008, the Hon. Minister for Employment Mr. Jioji Konrote highlighted that any person or company operating an employment agency must have a Certificate of Authorisation issued by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Employment, Productivity & Industrial Relations.
He adds that the Certificate is attainable after and only if the company meets all the requirements stipulated under Regulations.
“The investigation of the four (4) cases reported shows that these agencies did not attain an authorisation certificate to operate an employment agency from the Ministry,” the Minister said.
“It is sad to note that Fijian locals who have paid money to these illegal agents and have not received any feedback on service agreements provided by the agency for employment in Australia, New Zealand and Middle East as promised” adds Minister Konrote.
The Minister has cautioned Fijians who intend to access the services of employment agencies in the country.
“As a result of these illegal operating employment agencies, the Ministry has also launched an investigation into a complaint lodged by a Fijian woman currently stranded in Kuwait in terms of her employment which was done through a private arrangement.” Minister Konrote said.
“The investigation is conducted with the assistance of the inter-agency enforcement team which comprises the Fiji Police Force, Fiji Commerce Commission and the Ministry of Employment’s Compliance Section.”
Currently the Ministry has two Employment Agencies authorized to enlist, recruit and deploy Fijian workers for overseas employment – the New Advent Ministry and Thrive International Employment Agency; and Mary Kates Travel Services.
Minister Konrote confirmed that any person or agency found breaching the Employment Relations (Employment Agency) 2008 is liable on conviction of a fine of not less than $4,000 and not more than $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
The Minister wishes to advise members of the public to demand for the Authorization certificate from these Agents for compliance issues.
Members of the public are warned not to give money to any bogus employment agency and must report the matter to the nearest Police Station or Ministry of Employment Office if approached by any person claiming to be an employment agent.