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Clan waits for royalty

Siteri Sauvakacolo
Saturday, August 23, 2014

A CLAN in the village of Wailevu, Nailega in Tailevu hopes they will be given the $43,459.29 they have been waiting for over the past eight years.

The funds are for gravel extraction from mataqali land for the upgrade of the Kings Rd in 2006.

Mataqali Naitasiri (Bole) clan head Ratu Jone Sekoseko expressed disappointment at how the authorities had failed to give them the money after promises that it had been forwarded to the ITaukei Land Trust Board.

Upon investigating a few months back, Mr Sekoseko said he found out nothing had been done as promised by a senior construction engineer of the then Department of National Roads, now the Fiji Roads Authority.

He said he had conducted a series of meetings with a senior board member of the TLTB but nothing had been established yet.

On Thursday last week TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki confirmed the TLTB did not hold any gravel royalty funds for the mataqali Naitasiri.

Mr Qetaki said all enquires regarding any payment for gravel royalty should be directed to the Fiji Roads Authority.

Fiji Roads Authority CEO Neil Cook said they regularly received requests from landowners seeking redress for past grievances.

Some of these cases, Mr Cook said, dated back to the 1970s or even earlier.

"In each case, we investigate thoroughly to confirm the validity of the specific complaint and where it is confirmed there are monies owing, they are paid immediately through the correct channels," Mr Cook said.

"A recent example was the payment of $1.6million in outstanding royalties to mataqali Matanikorovatu of Kalabu for extraction of gravel at the former PWD quarry in Nasinu.

"Any person or community that feels they have a valid claim should direct their queries to Fiji Roads Authority with as much supporting documentation as they have at hand and we will work with them to resolve the issue. FRA can be contacted on short code 5720 or through our website"

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