22nd July 10:55 PM
Fiji lost the National Bank of Fiji, something Rabuka is trying to duck and weave now - Sayed-Khaiyum
By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 11/07/2018
Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and SODLEPA leader, Sitiveni Rabuka

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says under the current SODLEPA leader, Sitiveni Rabuka’s prime ministership, Fiji lost the National Bank of Fiji, something Sayed-Khaiyum says Rabuka is trying to duck and weave now.

While speaking during his response on the budget debate, Sayed-Khaiyum says the late former Governor of Reserve Bank of Fiji, Savenaca Siwatibau said that the NBF management did not have the experience to run a bank, the then government failed to call a Commission of Inquiry into the NBF scandal and Siwatibau also stated that the cost to the taxpayers at the time was more than 300 million dollars which has almost doubled now.

He says the late Siwatibau also said that transfers to the NBF ballooned the government’s budget deficit and escalated the level of domestic public debt.

Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the late Siwatibau also stated that creative debt maneuver was then employed by the then Rabuka led government to bring down the debt level when the government sold part of it’s holdings in Amalgamated Telecom Holdings to FNPF at a price much higher than the offer by external tenders, so effectively the burden of the cost of the NBF scandal was shifted to the FNPF members.

The Minister for Economy says now the same people are speaking out about the FNPF reforms.

Sayed-Khaiyum says if the reforms were not done by the Bainimarama led government, then FNPF funds would have run out by 2052.

He says almost $1 billion has been spent on the National Bank of Fiji disaster, the interest is still being paid on it and this will continue for generations.

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