The growing role by the European Commission in Fiji’s socio-economic development dominated talks on Monday between Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and the EC Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica in Brussels.
Last season’s runners up Namaka FC of Nadi and former champs 4R Electric FC of Ba have progressed to next weekend’s Rooster National Club Championship finals after topping their respective pools in Western zone playoff today.
More than twenty five thousand Fijian households, businesses, schools and places of worship will from today benefit from a government decision to waive the debts owed to the Water Authority of Fiji for years of unpaid water and sewerage bills.
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the waiver ceremony this morning in Suva highlighted government’s commitment towards assisting families around the country in managing financial obligations.
“Nothing is more important to my Government than helping ordinary Fijians provide for themselves and their families. And one of the best ways we can do that is to relieve the cost of living pressures on ordinary people. We will never forget that it is the families of Fiji who come first”, he said.
Water bills incurred by customers have accumulated for various reasons one of which includes leaky taps, pipes and cisterns. This saw total losses of $6.3 million from plumbing leakages.
Bainimarama said that while today’s development addresses the issue of water debts, it will look at educating the public on how faulty pipes can also lead to unpaid water bills.
“So this is not only about forgiving debt. We are embarking on a public education campaign to get people to fix their faulty pipes so they don’t get big bills in the first place”.
“My Government is responding to an issue that we can all relate to. Many of these customers simply could not afford to pay their outstanding bills because they were so high. The arrears had built up over many years. Settling them was beyond their means. And we all know the distress that this causes so many ordinary families," he added.
More than a hundered thousand Fijians across the country will benefit from today’s debt waiver.
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