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'Youths to determine next government'

Mere Naleba
Friday, March 09, 2018

WITH 65 per cent of Fiji's population comprising youths, as determined by the 2017 Population and Housing Census, Unity Fiji Party says ideally the next government would be determined by youths.

Party leader Savenaca Narube said the statistics released of the make-up of youths population —which is between the ages of 18 and 40 years — prompted political parties, Unity Fiji included, to target these large number of voters.

"It is therefore a foregone conclusion that their votes are important," Mr Narube said.

"Their needs must be addressed. They must be given every opportunity to realise their dreams and aspirations."

Mr Narube, who was a former governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and also former permanent secretary for Finance, said youths did not deserve to be used simply for political ends.

"All of those under the age of 30 were born after the 1987 military coup. We need to offer them a country where there is freedom, fairness and absence of fear," Mr Narube said.

He said it was obvious that jobs were the top of the list of priorities for youths. "Everything else hangs from this number one need. Education is a means to getting income," Mr Narube said.

"A growing number of these unemployed youths have tertiary qualifications but, without a job, they have gone back to the villages.

"Without any income, they continue to carry the burden of repaying their scholarship loans," he said.

"The private sector, including the small and micro businesses holds the key to creating more jobs.

"Small businesses are the largest employer in Fiji. We must therefore create an environment where the private sector can flourish."

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