Koya grills Opposition

Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands & Mineral Resources Faiyaz Koya with the ministry’s principal officer Fulori Turaga at the Parliament complex in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

CIVIL servants are not to be used as political footballs, says Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Faiyaz Koya.

While addressing Parliament on the 2018/2019 budget yesterday, he said civil servants were impartial and were there to serve the Government of the day by delivering essential services to the people.

“It is my responsibility to ensure that the dignity of my officials is protected,” he said.

My Koya claimed the Opposition had not only contradicted themselves with their immature responses to the budget, but also confused and bewildered ordinary Fijians.

“They have confirmed to us that we are indeed scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to the quality of submissions coming from members on the other side of the house.

“It is outrageous that the Opposition thinks that Fijians are gullible and will somehow fall prey to the same race baiting and fear mongering that the Opposition is known for.”

Mr Koya said the FijiFirst Government treated everyone fairly and equally in accordance with the national laws.

“It is utter nonsense and counterproductive for SODELPA to focus undue attention on a particular group of investors.

“The FijiFirst Government also does not discriminate against any investor whether they are from China, Australia, New Zealand, PNG or the moon.

Mr Koya said programs such as the Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) standardised roadside stalls were not election gimmicks, but were a continuation of the longstanding commitment that FijiFirst made to the grassroots communities in 2014.

“There have been utterances, innuendos and mendacities by the Opposition which cannot go unchallenged and over the last day we have learnt nothing new and we have heard nothing new from the Opposition as they have done over the past four years; the Opposition continues to run around like a headless chicken by throwing around all sorts of nonsensical gibberish and outright fabrications living in hope that somehow these fabrications may stick,” he said.