Caption: Stakeholders during the consultations on Nadi’s proposed city status. Photo: SUPPLIED.
By Dr RAM RAJU
NCCI was represented by President Dr. Ram Raju & senior board member Mr Chandra Prakash.
There were representatives from many stakeholders including town and country planning reps from Suva and Rural Local Authority.
This was not the first stakeholders meeting but the 4th or 5th. The town expansion plan was supported by NCCI to include all the areas earmarked into the new boundary so that Nadi could be declared a City sooner or later. NCCI also suggested to include Nacovi & Sonaisali road, and perhaps Sonaisali Island Resort as many developments have taken place along this stretch and more to be developed in the near future. There were plans to include Momi as well but due to the distance this has now been dropped for now
NCCI had taken a proactive approach in the past and invited all the stakeholders to partake in several forums, looking at the overall developments taking shape in Nadi and elsewhere. Officials from Suva (Town and Country Planning), NTC and other stakeholders have taken advantage of such business forums looking at the pros and cons or merits and demerits of declaring Nadi a City. The merits outweighs the demerits if any.
The government has already stated that Nadi will be declared a City in 2017. This will spur and accelerate more investments and developments thereby creating job opportunities or employment and hence increase in productivity and economic activities.
Thousands of graduates will be looking for jobs and Nadi’s expansion program can surely provide opportunities for employment, growth and productivity
Providing all the essential services and central control over developments will be beneficial to all and sundry. I’m sure Nadi Town or City Council will be ready to provide all the essential services in a timely and professional manner. Robin Ali, the SA, has already stated that they are ready for the challenge
We believe that the City declaration in 2017 is very wise and timely and all the areas to be included should be able to cooperate and support this bold and ambitious undertaking as it will spur growth and investments. It will certainly draw overseas residents and locals to invest in Nadi
NTC must get their manpower and other resources in order and a CEO appointed asap as this position has remained vacant for several months.
Investors will be confident once this is in place since the areas being expanded are far and wide. Having a central control over developments and planned professionally will propel investments and growth in the private sector
Many areas in the periphery of Nadi Town are growing in strength as already evident. However these ad hoc developments are not planned nor controlled professionally. These areas can potentially grow better once developments are centrally planned, taking into account all infrastructure and essential services are in order.
Positioning ourselves for this bold and ambitious undertaking requires everyone’s cooperation. We need to join hands. We ought to be more inclusive than exclusive and think globally and holistically.
Opportunities are boundless and we have many untapped areas to expand our businesses. We have the potential and resources to grow exponentially, creating jobs and employment in a safe and secure environment