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Fiji Time: 2:29 AM on Thursday 17 April

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New ministers

Frederica Elbourne
Thursday, February 23, 2012

A PERMANENT secretary and the head of a vocational training institute have joined the Cabinet line-up as government ministers after they were sworn in yesterday.

Commander Viliame Naupoto, who was the permanent secretary for Fisheries and Forest, and Jone Usamate, the former CEO of the Training and Productivity Authority of Fiji, took up their respective roles as Cabinet ministers immediately after the ceremonial event.

Cdr Naupoto is now the minister for Youth and Sports. He held the previous posts of permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's office and was also Immigration Department director.

Mr Usamate was formerly director for Technical and Vocational Education at the Fiji National University.

The statement said the creation of a separate ministerial portfolio for the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment was indicative of government's commitment to labour-related issues.

The creation of a separate Ministry for Youth and Sports with its own Cabinet minister was necessary in light of Fiji's growing youth population.

"The ministry will also assist the government in preparing our young people who will be eligible to vote in the 2014 general election and by ensuring they understand their rights to vote and the importance of their votes in electing a new government," the statement said.

Both portfolios were previously held by Education Minister Filipe Bole.