CAPTION: His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau with First Lady Adi Koila Nailatokau to his left and the Nigerian Ambassador to Fiji to his right at Government House today. Photo: MINFO.
1. LET’S NOT BECOME COMPLACENT-PM – The Fijian government is committed to bringing the highest level of professionalism and instilling a strong ethic of serving the people, says Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Voreqe Bainimarama.
2. FIJIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES NIGERIAN ENVOY – His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this week received the credentials of the non – resident High Commissioner of Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Ayoola Lawrence Olukanni at Government House.
3. UN CLIMATE BODY OFFERS SUPPORT TO FIJI AS G77 CHAIRMAN – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Ms Christiana Figueres has assured Fiji of the UNFCCC’s support during Fiji’s tenure as chairman of the United Nations Group of 77 (G77).
4. FIJIAN GOVERNMENT REDUCES HEALTH FEES – The Ministry of Health in an effort to provide affordable and quality services to the members of the public has reviewed its Hospital fees and charges.
5. PLANS IN PROGRESS FOR MINI FLOUR MILL – The development of Fiji’s Mini Flour Mill at the Nasalia Women’s Resource Centre in the Naitasiri province is well in progress.
6. TRAINING FOR THE VIOLENCE FREE GATEKEEPERS – In the quest to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation will be training its gatekeepers for the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
7. SPORTS GROUND UPGRADE TO BENEFIT YOUTH IN NAITASIRI – Government will upgrade the Matainasau Ground up in the interior of Naitasiri to assist young sports people in the area.
1 LETS NOT BECOME COMPLACENT-PM
The Fijian government is committed to bringing the highest level of professionalism and instilling a strong ethic of serving the people, says Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Voreqe Bainimarama.
The Prime Minister said Government is committed to modernising Ministries and other Government entities.
He made these comments as he launched the Ministry of Finance annual corporate plan, logo, new uniform and the new Business Resumption Site, which all aims to steer the premier Ministry towards modernising its outlook.
“We will always need to improve, become more efficient, find creative solutions to problems, and fight the temptation to rest our laurels- to become complacent,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
“The new logo and new uniform reflects the pride you have in your work and in being a part of a Ministry that focuses on service.”
He highlighted that for the first time, the Ministry will have a two-year strategic roadmap and with the new Business Resumption Site, the public, especially government agencies can rest assured that the services provided by the Finance Ministry will face no disruptions in the event of a disaster.
Ministry permanent secretary Filimone Waqabaca said the project took the staff one year who were passionate about it as they were committed to “modernising our Ministry so that we can adapt and deliver the service that our country needs”.
“We had to think outside the box and change the way we think so that we are more attuned to the needs of the economy and the stakeholders we serve including Government and the people of Fiji,” the permanent secretary said.
The Business Resumption Site is a contingency measure taken by the Ministry in the event of a natural disaster and will see the Ministry operating out of the Takayawa Building in Toorak so that Government’s essential services does not come to a halt.
2 FIJIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES NIGERIAN ENVOY
His Excellency the President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau this week received the credentials of the non – resident High Commissioner of Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of Fiji His Excellency Ayoola Lawrence Olukanni at Government House.
Ambassador Olukanni brought with him the greetings of the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the people of Nigeria saying he looks forward to strengthening relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Olukanni joined the Nigerian Diplomatic service in July 1980 after his University education and National Youth Service.
He has served in the Nigerian Embassy in Belgium, United Nations, Israel, and in senior positions within Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nigeria and Fiji has had cordial relations with exchanges at the United Nations and other international forums since establishing relations.
3 UN CLIMATE BODY OFFERS SUPPORT TO FIJI AS G77 CHAIRMAN
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change executive secretary Ms Christiana Figueres has assured Fiji of the UNFCCC’s support during Fiji’s tenure as chairman of the United Nations Group of 77 (G77).
She made the comments while addressing permanent secretaries and senior officials at the National Climate Change Coordinating Committee meeting in Suva today.
“We (UNFCCC secretariat) have no doubt that Fiji has the capacity and capability to lead this group which consists of more than 130 countries,” she said.
“The secretariat is always ready to come in and assist Fiji should you require assistance from the secretariat especially in decision making in policy and implementation strategies during Fiji’s tenure as chair of the G77.”
Based in Germany the Costa Rican national says Fiji needs to implement strategies in leaving no stones unturned in advancing the issues of the G77.
“We (Costa Rica) have been chair of the G77 once and we know the challenges it brings to the table. It is very hard because the dynamics of the G77 now has really changed as it was five or six years ago,” Ms Figueres said.
“It is more fractured now and Fiji will have to bring all these developing countries together and also represent the Group to development partners and umbrella groups.”
However she added that with Fiji’s status growing influence on the international arena, the work undertaken to advance the interests of the G77 should not be difficult.
“You have many friends within the G77 to support and help Fiji,” Ms Figueres added.
4 FIJIAN GOVERNMENT REDUCES HEALTH FEES
The Ministry of Health in an effort to provide affordable and quality services to the members of the public has reviewed its Hospital fees and charges.
Health Minister Doctor Neil Sharma says after careful consideration, the fees for Dental, Mammogram and Dentures have significantly reduced while prosthetic or artificial limbs are now free of charge.
“All fees and charges are now quoted VIP. We want to be more people oriented and at the same time provide quality and timely services to all citizens of the country. According to the last oral survey it was pointed out that 86 per cent of children under five in Fiji suffer from tooth decay. We believe that by decreasing the dental charges we will see more parents seeking assistance of dentists for their children”, Minister Sharma said.
“Another major problem in Fiji is breast cancer. Each year a number of women are diagnosed with breast cancer. To ensure that woman have access to cancer tests, we have also decreased the mammogram fee from $260 to $150. This is done to see that more women turn up to our clinics and have tests done at an affordable rate”, stressed Dr. Sharma.
The Health ministry has also decreased the fee levied on dentures.
“We all know that majority of the ageing population are unemployed and are staying with their relatives. We have made denture affordable so that these people can eat properly and are able to get proper diet and nutrition”, said the Minister.
The Ministry of Health has now made prosthetic or artificial limbs free of charge so that those who require urgent amputation will not be financially burdened.
Members of the public can access the whole list of revised fees and charges on our website www.health.gov.fj/pdfs/
5 PLANS IN PROGRESS FOR MINI FLOUR MILL
The development of Fiji’s Mini Flour Mill at the Nasalia Women’s Resource Centre in the Naitasiri province is well in progress.
This was relayed to the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni by the Nasalia Women’s Group, through their spokesperson Mrs Ateca Cawake.
While presenting the progress report at the Fiji Women’s Federation meeting in Suva on Monday this week, Mrs Cawake provided an update to the Minister.
“In November last year, one of our youth from the village has gone to Indonesia for training in flour making processes. We are just waiting for the equipment to be provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and the women will be trained by this youth to use local items like cassava, banana and breadfruit to produce flour.
Minister Luveni said the Ministry’s vision on the One Centre One Product concept through the Women Resource Centres with is shaping well.
“The women resource centres operate with One Centre One Product” approach which enables the women to perfect the quality of their products and ensure consistency with quality and quantity for effective marketing of their products,” Dr Luveni said.
The Nasalia Women’s Resource Centre was officially opened in December last year by the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
The Prime Minister has reiterated that it is in line with the Government’s concept of “One Centre One Product”, the Ministry of Agriculture had identified flour- making to be a product that can be produced by the women of Nasalia.
“Here in Naitasiri, the Ministry of Women is working with the Ministry of Agriculture to produce flour from bananas, cassava or breadfruit. The flour that will be produced from this centre, will be an organic food that is nutritious and very healthy to the people. It is all part of plans to include a mini flour mill with the $30,000 resource centre,” the Prime Minister said.
6 TRAINING FOR VIOLENCE FREE GATEKEEPERS
In the quest to eliminate all forms of violence against women and children, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation will be training its gatekeepers for the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign.
This was pointed out by the Minister for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Jiko Luveni while speaking at the Fiji Women’s Federation Advisory (FWF) Committee meeting held in Suva this week. The Ministry has embarked on the Zero Tolerance Violence Free Community Campaign with the aim of gathering community support to eliminate violence against women and children.
“We started this campaign way back in 2008 and it was piloted in Koroipita, Lautoka and Vatutavui in Ba based on the evaluation from these projects we have embarked on a national campaign”.
“We gather community support, conduct awareness and most importantly, develop gatekeeping committees that comprises of church leaders, women leaders, youth leaders and children take ownership of this initiative and contribute towards the implementation of this campaign,” she said.
She reiterated that the Ministry will work with the relevant stakeholders like Police to provide training opportunities for the gatekeepers, to educate and empower them to be the advocates of the violence free communities.
“The behavioral change takes time so when a community joins this campaign, the Ministry presents them with a certificate of commitment, then they are assisted and empowered through awareness programs on counseling skills, anger management, Domestic Violence Decree and Child Welfare Decree.
Dr Luveni said the increase in reported cases of violence demonstrate the growing commitment by the public towards this violence-free program.
“Violence is no longer a private issue, people are now reporting the cases to police which means that people are now more aware and confident in reporting the cases,” she added.
There 32 communities currently on the zero tolerance violence free campaign and 30 more communities are confirmed to join in this year.
7 SPORTS GROUND UPGRADE TO BENEFIT YOUTH IN NAITASIRI
Government will upgrade the Matainasau Ground up in the interior of Naitasiri to assist young sports people in the area.
Visiting Matainasau Grounds recently, the Minister for Youth and Sports Viliame Naupoto was overwhelmed with the commitment by youth there towards sporting activities which includes netball and rugby games.
“The presence of the team from the Ministry of Youth and Sports has shown the commitments and dedication in serving our young people in sports,” said the Naitasiri West Rugby club president Mr Emori Navuka.
“Our rugby teams make up the Naitasiri West Zone, and there are a total of 11 senior teams together with its respective 11 colts teams. We pick our team to play other Naitasiri zone teams for the selection of the main provincial rugby team”, he explained.
Apart from receiving sporting equipment, the sporting ground will finally get fencing around the ground.