PM Bainimarama: Giving 99-year leases has changed lives for the better

Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Picture: FT FILE/SUPPLIED

GIVING 99-year leases to squatter families on land they’ve called home for decades has changed their lives for the better.

These were the words of Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama while officiating at the 5th Pacific Urban Forum in Nadi today.

“I’ve officiated at several of these title handovers. I’ve met personally with many of those families. I’ve seen the tears of joy, I’ve heard, first-hand, how their lives have been changed for the better,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“But what has stayed with me most vividly, is hearing the dreams these families now aspire to achieve after finally being granted a level of ownership over their communities,” he added.

Mr Bainimarama said empowered by the dignity of long-term tenure, those families saw the world through a new lens.

“When parents look to their children, they can think more seriously about the communities they will leave behind, as they can now build to better standards that will last for generations.

“With land as collateral, they can fully step into our financial sector, access loans from mainstream banks and build better, stronger and more resilient homes, business and communal buildings.”

The Pacific Urban Forum finishes in Nadi tomorrow.

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