Budget to prepare 4196 officers for general election

Minister for National Security and Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola with Opposition MP Parmod Chand in Parliament. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

THE Fiji Police Force will need $2 million to prepare its 4196 officers who will be engaged in the upcoming general election.
Minister for National Security and Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the budgetary allocation of $2m was sufficient for election preparatory works.
“This allocation is enough. The operation will be in three stages — pre-election, election day and post-election,” Ratu Inoke said.
He said police officers would be providing security to election officials and also maintaining law and order.
The Police Force had also been allocated $350,000 to accommodate all training that would be organised by the organisation.
Ratu Inoke said the increase of allocation by $150,000 in this area was to cater for the cost of training at the Police Academy as well as training in other divisions.
The allocation of $476,900 to maintain the MV Veiqaravi, a vessel used by the Fiji Police Force for surveillance, was also questioned in Parliament by Opposition member Jiosefa Dulakiverata.
Mr Dulakiverata asked the minister to clarify if the amount allocated was for operational costs or if it was solely for maintaining the vessel.
Ratu Inoke confirmed the amount was entirely for maintenance and did not cover operational costs.