Tui Nalawa welcomes new provisions in budget

Ratu Epeli Niudamu. Picture: File

TUI Nalawa Ratu Epeli Niudamu has welcomed some of the new provisions under the 2018-2019 National Budget.

He said he was especially interested in the Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) budget which was given $563.1 million — an increase of $35m.

“I think FRA’s allocation is good because it will continue to bring upgrades to our roads, especially in the rural areas,” Ratu Epeli said. “Our people in the rural areas need good access to be able to travel to the nearest town, school or hospital.”

He said he hoped that areas needing urgent attention would be addressed in the new financial year. According to the 2018-2019 Budget Estimates, the FRA was allocated $69.6m for rural road programs.

“The total budget for FRA is $563.1m, of which $29.6m is for operating expenditure and $533.4m for capital expenditure,” the 2018-2019 Budget Estimates stated.

“A sum of $74.2m is being provided for renewals and replacement of roads while $67.6m is allocated for the upgrade and replacement of bridges and crossings. The renewal of bridges and crossings involves the replacement and renewal of 14 bridges in the Central/Eastern Division, 20 in the Western Division and 20 in the Northern Division. “$300,000 is allocated for the rehabilitation of Vunimasei Access Rd in Legalega, Nadi.”

The Tui Nalawa also welcomed the assistance provided to iTaukei landowners with plans to develop their land.