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Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests, and Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management: Mr. Inia Batikota Seruiratu's Opening Speech - Wainikoro Roadshow

Nadogo Secondary School                                                                       10.30am
Wainikoro, Macuata                                                                      Thur, 03 April, 2014         


 

A.          welcome

 

·        turaga BALE na tui MACUATA, NAI TAUKEI BOLATAGANE;

·        TURAGA NA TUInadogo;

·        TURAGA QAQA NA TUI NAMUKA;

·        TURAGA na SAuVOU

·        turaga nai talatala

·        members of the communities

·        STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

·        permanent secretaries and FELLOW CIVIL SERVANTS

 

B.          ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

 

·        BuLA SI’A.

 

·        i AM HONORED TO BE HERE THIS MORNING TO DELIVER THE opening ADDRESS AT THE northern division GOVERNMENT ROADSHOW 2014, TARGETTING fIJI’S ISOLATED RURAL COMMUNITIES.

 

·        thank you for the traditional ceremony of welcome.

 

·        i extend my appreciation to all who have come from afar including school children and teachers to be present here this morning.


C.
   objective of the roadshow

 

·        THE OBJECTVE OF THE TWO DAYS ROADSHOW IS TO BRING SERVICES CLOSER TO YOU AND to allow YOU to MAKE USE OF THE SERVICES OFFERED BY GOVERNMENT AND PARTNERS present.

 

·        government has alaways been concerned with the challenges faced by some of our rural communities in accessing government services and the amount of time and money spent to access those service. this was a major consideration when the idea of holding roadshows was mooted.

 

·        tHE TEAMS PRESENT today at the nadogo school ground ARE HERE SPECIFICALLY TO OFFER SERVICES AND provide ADVIsory in YOUr areas of needs.

 

·        additionally the PRESENCE of government agencies and partners is intended to BRING A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ADDRESS ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN AFFECTING YOUR DAILY LIVES.

 

D.     general guidance

·        tHERE IS AN ABUNDANCE OF NATURAL RESOURCES within the macuata province which can be utilised to improve the standard of living and the quality of life within the rural communties.

 

·        the onus is on us to use our time wisely and make the most of THE OPPORTUNITIES that are available to us.

 

·        to parents and guardians – find some quality time to spend with your children.

 

·        I say this in view of the many children and youths that are dropping out of school or at the wrong side of the law which could have been avoided had parents spent more time with their children.

 

·        government has provided free education for the first this year for primary and secondary school students and i urge parents and students to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

·        there are also opportunities available within our educational institutions that provide other forms of training which can assist you to set up your own business in areas such as agriculture, fisheries and within the economic sectors.

 

E.  DEVELOPMENT WITHIN MACUata province

 

·        i had served as the commissioner northern division for three (3) years from 2008 to 2011.

 

·        my term as commissioner northern ended in 2011, but it does not mean that i will foget completely our three provinces in the north. i will always remember you. in fact the north is a part of me.

 

·        my time as your commissioner was not plain sailing. i had many challenges.

 

·        but i comforted by the fact that the posting brought me closer to you, the grass root people, and enabled me to support government’s look north policy, which gave birth to the northern development plan aimed at ensuring that the developments within the northern division was properly targeted and coordinated.

 

·        you are now witnessing the realisation of some of the development initiatives which were planned from the last three (3) to six years (6).

 

·        within the last four (4) years to this year government had allocated more than $260 MILION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF MACUATA PROVINCE or are associated with the province.

 

·        THIS INCULDES THE UPGRADING OF THE NABOUWALU/DREKETI HIGHWAY at the cost of AROUND $228M. SOME OF THE CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS within the province INCLUDE THE electrcity GRID EXTENSION FROM SEAQAQA TO DREKETI WHICH COSTS AROUND $14M; THE CROSSING IN NABITI AND NASIGASIGA AND THE GRID EXTENSION TO MOUTA VILLAGE, which i understand has just been completed.

 

·        LAST YEAR, THE honourable PRIME MINISTER OPENED THE TELECENTRE HERE AT NADOGO SECONDARY SCHOOL aimed AT INCREASING INFORMATION ACCESSIBILITY FOR OUR school CHILDREN AND COMMUNITIES AT LARGE.

 

·        In addition, regular upgrading of rural roads by the Fiji road authority will continue and should help ease your travel and the transportation of your products to urban centres. some of the roadworks currently in progress include the lagi-nukusere road costing $400,000.00 and the nabunisoqosoqo road at the cost of $100,000.00.

 

·        THERE ARE ALSO PLANS THIS YEAR TO EXTEND THE LAGI HEALTH CENTRE BY CONSTRUCTING A NEW duplex nursing quarters.

 

·        government has also allocated a sum of around $2m for THE establishment of the SEQAQa to township.

 

·        some of the smaller and medium sized projects that have been implemented include the hamids poultry farm in siberia; the naleba youth hatchery and THE BEEHIVE projects in udu, seaqaqa and dreketi.

 

·        government has an obligation and is committed to continuing with its development programmes both within the urban and the rural communities.

 

·        consequently and by exTension, the commissioner northern’s office is currently forumalting a five (5) year development plan to enhance and expedite developments in the northern division.

 

·        development, to be meaningful must, must be adopted through a partnership approach. this ensures that all parties involved in the development take ownership and be appreciative of these projects. only then will development programmes be sustainlable and their benefits fully realised.

 

·        we all have a responsibility in development. communties therefore are partners in all of governments development programmes.

 

f.     september general election

 

·        AS YOU are AWARE, government has ANNOUNCED THAT THE 2014 GENERAL ELECTION WILL BE HELD ON THE 17TH OF SEPTEMBER. A TEAM FROM THE ELeCTIONS OFFICE WILL BE COMING AROUND TO ASSIST YOU.

 

·        for the first time, our youths from the age of 18 years will be casting their vote. this is part of governments desire to involve our youths in the process of governance.

 

·        I URGE ALL OF YOU TO TAKE PART IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT AND MAKE YOUR VOICE heard IN electing the new government. it is your duty to vote, but you must be informed to able to vote wisely.

 

·        as part of your preparations for the genral elections you must take the time to understand our new constitution. I understand that there will be copies available to you from the ministry of information booth.

 

G.          our indvidual responsibilities

 

·        ladies and gentlemen we must always be reminded of our responsibilities to create a better fiji for all.

 

·        it is incumbent on us as citizens to promote harmony and goodwill within our respective communties.

 

·        a better fiji is one that is founded on love, tolerance and integration.

 

·        together we can make fiji a better place for all now and into the future.

 

H.         closing

 

·        Once again i take this opportunity to thank all you for coming in large numbers this morning.

 

·        I wish to inform you as well that in the course of today there will be a talanoa sessions over the next two days we will be conducting talanoa where you will have the opportunity to raise your issues and questions with the heads of government agencies that are here today.

 

·        it is my fervent wish that the next two days will allow for fruitful interractions between you, members of the communties and government officials and partner agencies present.

 

·        go out to explore what is available. visiT the stalls and engage with officials who are here to assist you.

 

·        i now have the pleasure in declaring the WAINIKRO roadshow 2014 open.

 

VINAKA SAKA VAKALEVU.



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