Border security boost

THE Pacific Leadership Program will provide training to assist participants to contribute towards regional security and economic growth.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service CEO Visvanath Das made the statement as he welcomed 18 participants from five different organisation to the 2018 Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) yesterday at the Regional Training Centre at the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service Complex.

Mr Das said PLP would help strengthen national border control, the removal of barriers at the border to legitimate trade and tourist flows, accurate identification and collection of revenues, mitigation of illegal border activity such as drug trafficking, money laundering, trade in firearms, people smuggling and bio-security risks.

In a media statement issued yesterday Mr Das said all participants understood and recognized the pivotal role that leadership played at all levels in a nation’s path to development, and the importance of collective efforts to bring about inclusive and robust change for the public good.

“The program also identifies influential individuals and organizations in the Pacific and supports them in their exercise of ‘developmental leadership’ – that is, leadership involving collective action towards legitimate policies and effective institutions,” he said.

The 2018 Pacific Leadership Program commences this week and is facilitated by New Zealand Customs.

Meanwhile chief guest New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr said leadership development was incredibly important.

“Competent performance in an organisation can only go so far before they need to develop leadership skills and take their performances to the next level,” Mr Curr said.

“We can all be better versions of ourselves and better leaders. In this program, you will learn about yourselves. You all need to find your way into leadership that reflect who you are, that reflects your individual strengths and your weaknesses,” he said.

Mr Das said over the years, through the assistance of the New Zealand Government, PLP has produced great leaders such as alumni Stanley Trief from Vanuatu Customs.

He said similarly, 2018 PLP participants from Revenue and Customs, Fiji Police, Fiji Immigration, Biosecurity Authority of Fiji and Financial Intelligence Unit would undergo the same training by the New Zealand facilitators Roy Lagolago, Michelle McCormack and PLP alumni.

Mr Das who is also a PLP alumni from 2012 said: “I for one can testify for Revenue and Customs. Our organisation has vastly transformed in its leadership over the period.”

Mr. Das said.

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