$3.5m to refurbish PM’s residence
13 September, 2023, 12:15 pm
Major refurbishment works carried out at the Prime Minister’s residence at Muanikau — when former PM Voreqe Bainimarama was in office — cost around $3.5 million.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad made this statement in Parliament yesterday in response to an oral question posed by Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs Ratu Isikeli Tuiwailevu.
“After the former Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama vacated the government-owned residence at Muanikau Rd on February 10, 2023, the Public Works Department (PWD) had checked the residence at Ratu Sukuna Road, and upon assessment, advised that it would cost a substantial amount of money to repair,” Prof Prasad said.
“The total cost of renovating the Prime Minister’s residence at Muanikau is around $162,865. The breakdown is as follows — minor maintenance works $33,000, sliding gate repair works $8500, intense cleaning and servicing of kitchen and laundry appliances $580 and procurement of furniture and fixtures $120,785.”
He said in 2017 and 2018, there were major refurbishment works undertaken at the Prime Minister’s residence, which was carried out through the Construction Implementation Unit that was under the then Ministry of Economy.
“The initial cost approved by the Government Tender Board was $2,472,962.60 (VIP). “The contractor was Grace Road Food Company Ltd.
“There were four variations that were approved by the Government Tender Board, which increased the cost to $3,053,773.66 (VIP) — increase by around $581,000.”
Prof Prasad said in addition to this, the cost for the lead consultant, Maisuria Design Ltd, was around $417,005 (VIP).
“In total, the refurbishment works undertaken at the Prime Minister’s residence at Muanikau cost around $3.5m compared with $162,865.00.”
Prof Prasad said the procurement of furniture and fixtures was the biggest component of the $162,865.
“We were told that before the honourable Prime Minister moved in, the assessment was that there was no furniture.”