Local News

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) says our foreign reserves are expected to remain comfortable till end-2018. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

$24.1bn assets: Fiji’s financial system remains sound – RBF

Fiji’s financial system remains sound with total gross assets at $24.1billion. The Reserve Bank of Fiji’s audited financial statements for the year ending July 31, 2021 showed the bank recorded a net profit of $31.7million...

COVID-19 Fiji: 65 new infections; 29 deaths reported between July-September

Sixty-five new infections of COVID-19 have been reported for Fiji in the last 24-hours ending 8am today. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has also reported 29 COVID deaths for the period July 6 to September 17. In his COVID-19 update statement announced tonight, Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong said 28 of the...

Commitment reaffirmed to build back better

Fiji’s Minister for Commerce, Tourism, Transport and Trade Faiyaz Koya has reaffirmed their commitment as a nation to build back better, stimulate decent jobs and transform into a greener economy while marking World Tourism Day in the weekend. He said the Fijian Government stood strong in its commitment to ensure tourism remained a pillar for...

Study shows Savusavu an emerging market

Savusavu has been tipped as an emerging region for local travellers, according to Fiji’s first-ever Domestic Demand Study. Launched by the Fiji Hoteliers and Tourism Association and funded by Australia’s Market Development Study, the Domestic Demand Study showed Fiji’s up and coming destinations that local travellers wished to visit next. According to the report, 15...

Popular destinations among Fijian locals

Denarau Island and Nadi remain the most popular tourist destinations for local travellers. This was revealed in Fiji’s first-ever Domestic Tourism Demand Study carried out by Fiji Hoteliers and Tourism Association and Australia’s Market Development Facility. The survey, which interviewed more than 10,000 local travellers, was designed to provide a better understanding of local tourism...

Finding love and happiness – Gasau retires to the farm

Growing up in Lautoka, Gasau Tube was raised by loving parents who cared dearly for him. He was the only child and whatever the other children had, he got it too. Gasau said his childhood days were filled with fond memories. As he got older, he was told that he was adopted. His mum and...

Remain cautious – Dr Fong

Please remain cautious with how you engage in the greater freedoms as restrictions are lifted, says Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong. “As the second dose coverage increases and a greater portion of our population become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, local and international travel restrictions and other social and workplace engagement restrictions will be...

OAG: EFL didn’t liaise with State on use of funds

Energy Fiji Ltd did not consult with Government on the utilisation of rural electrification funding from year to year, the Auditor-General’s 2019-2020 Report on Public Enterprises and Other Entities said. An audit review in 2020 showed $40.2 million worth of rural electrification projects were in progress. “There was no evidence of consultation with Government on...

No consistent copra rates – OAG report

Fiji Coconut Millers Ltd did not have a consistent rate to convert raw copra to dry copra, says the Auditor-General’s 2019-2020 Audit Report on Public Enterprises and Other Entities. The OAG said a review of the company in 2019 revealed it normally applies a rate of 50 per cent, which meant that one metric tonne...

Improper diets: Children not eating a balanced meal – report

Nearly 55 per cent of Fijian children between six to 23 months are consuming diets with the minimum number of recommended food groups, according to a new United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) child nutrition report “Fed to Fail? the crisis of children’s diets in early life”. In a statement, UNICEF said that in an analysis...

Assets with zero written down value

Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) had approximately $139 million worth of assets in its fixed assets register with zero written down value, says the Auditor-General’s 2019-2020 Audit Report on Public Enterprises and Other Entities. The OAG carried out an audit of EFL in 2020 and found there were numerous fully depreciated assets in the fixed assets...

Health Ministry to use $34.5m on reform

The Ministry of Health will use $34.5 million from its total 2021-2022 budget of $$403.3 million on the reform of public health services. Health Minister Ifereimi Waqainabete said this in response to a question filed by Opposition MP Salote Radrodro on August 17. He said the aim would be to reduce the prevalence of communicable...

Weak internal control: Audit review of loan files reveals anomalies – report

The Fiji Development Bank had weak internal control on loan files and anomalies were noted in the application of government subsidy. This, according to the Auditor-General’s 2019-2020 Audit Report on Public Enterprises and Other Entities that was tabled in Parliament last Thursday. “Audit review of loan files revealed the following anomalies around internal control —...

Ratu Epenisa ‘still SODELPA president’

Ratu Epenisa Cakobau is still the president of the Social Democratic Liberal Party, says party leader Viliame Gavoka. “Let me confirm that Ratu Epenisa is president of the party and nothing has changed,” he said from his village in Cuvu, Nadroga yesterday. He said SODELPA was preparing for next year’s election, which they assumed will...

‘Miller unable to meet costs’

Fiji Coconut Millers Ltd is unable to generate sufficient cash to meet its operating expenditure. This, according to the Auditor-General’s 2019-2020 Audit Report on Public Enterprises and Other Entities that was tabled in Parliament last week. The audit of the company in 2019 showed the company had “cash flow inefficiency”. “As at 31 December 2019,...

Poor nutrition a concern

Global malnutrition in children under two years old is leading to irreversible developmental harm and stunted growth with little improvement seen over the past decade. This, according to a new report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). In a statement on its child nutrition report 2021 “Fed to Fail? the crisis of children’s...

Police quiz nine for brawl

Police are questioning nine people in relation to a brawl that took place between youths of Nabua Housing estate on Mead Rd and Nabua Village on Sukanaivalu Rd in Suva last Sunday. Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said nine people were in custody and being questioned. Eyewitnesses claimed youths from the two areas fought with sticks...

Narube: Amendment will discourage voters

The amendment to the Electoral (Registration) Act requiring Fijians to use their birth name in voter registration will discourage voters, especially married women, from registering. Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube said this as he called for a mass voter registration drive because “Fijians need to understand that we have absolutely no chance of reversing...

Valuing rivers critical – Seam

Valuing rivers, which are important transporters of water and nutrients needed to sustain the planet’s ecosystems, including human life, is increasingly being recognised as critical to global efforts to adapt to climate change. European Union ambassador for the Pacific Sujiro Seam noted this during the commemoration of the World Rivers Day in Navutu, Sigatoka yesterday...

One death of person with HIV’ COVID-19 not the reason

Fiji recorded one death of a person living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) who was diagnosed with COVID- 19. Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said the death was not because of COVID- 19. He also said several persons living with HIV who were diagnosed with COVID-19 were supported and had fully recovered. He made the...

‘Suspicious noises’ before body was found

A couple who operate a mini market along Natabua in Lautoka claim that the night before a teenager’s body was found face down in a nearby creek there was a flurry of activity in the area. Tony Sare and his wife Paulini Dikisi said police were in the area last Saturday night looking for a...

‘COVID spread to slow as jab rate rises’

Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr James Fong says COVID-19 transmission will be slower, and the ability to contain the outbreak better, once Fiji achieves a high vaccination rate and also maintains strict adherence to COVID-safe measures. He said this in a virus update for the 24 hours to 8am on Sunday where he announced 54...

Ratu Epeli: HIV infection numbers in Fiji not acceptable

UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for the Pacific Region Ratu Epeli Nailatikau says the COVID-19 pandemic must not be an excuse to divert investment from HIV. He says there is a risk that the hard-earned gains of the AIDS response will be sacrificed to the fight against COVID-19, “but the right to health means that no one...

GIS mapping workshop for western evacuation centres

A Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping workshop is underway at Lautoka’s Tanoa Waterfront Hotel for church representatives who will be carrying out mapping of evacuation centres in the Western Division this week. This is under the Church Agencies Network Disaster Operations  (CAN DO) Safe n Redi Project funded by the Australian government through the Australian...

FCCC calls for submissions on Fiji Ports proposal

The Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission (FCCC) is reviewing a formal submission made by Fiji Ports Corporation Limited on a proposed increase in International Port Fees and Charges. And the Commission has invited members of the public to actively participate in this review by providing their views, comments and suggestions based on the FPCL submission....

FNU to implement phased re-opening of campuses

Students and staff of the Fiji National University are advised that the university will be implementing a phased re-opening of its campuses from Monday, October 4. FNU vice-chancellor Toby Wilkinson said to manage the reopening of campuses in a safe and controlled manner, most learning, teaching and assessment were expected to remain online for the...

What’s happening today!

Bula vinaka everyone. Here is another edition of some basic information you may need to know for today. First, here is your weather forecast for today: Weather Fine weather over most places apart from brief showers over the interior and eastern parts of the larger islands (Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu), and the...

27th September

COVID-19 Fiji: 52 new infections reported in last 24 hours

Fiji has reported 52 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, and two deaths recorded for July 29. Ministry of Health permanent secretary Dr James Fong said both COVID-19 deaths were reported from the Central Division – a 79-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman from Suva who both died at home. He said...

Point of Origin: Sewing through the toughest of times

Raj fashion centre at Waimanu Rd was established in 1981 by its director Vasant Kumar. Mr Kumar said in those years everything looked fine and not many shops were open around him. He said he opened his shop at the same spot where it is still today. “In those days, business in town was very...

Nadi business scales back operations

A lot of business houses on Viti Levu are scaling back their operations and services in anticipation of October 4, a day which would give an opportunity to many businesses to bounce back from the economic downfall caused by COVID-19. Nadi-based Fried Chicken Planet owner Mohammed Aiyaz said they had hired five more staff in...

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