The National Federation Party says the former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama must answer why he prevented scrutiny of Abdul Khan’s financial dealings and mismanagement as head of Fiji Sugar Corporation.
In a statement by the NFP General Secretary, Seni Nabou said these revelations about salaries of Fiji Sugar Corporation Executive Management especially its former Executive Chairman and CEO Abdul Khan receiving $840,000 in salary and allowance per year for four years totalling over $3 million, has shocked the nation but not the National Federation Party.
Nabou has also claimed that the former Minister of Sugar Voreqe Bainimarama lied to Parliament in saying an investigation had commenced and was ongoing into the alleged mismanagement of executives of Fiji Sugar Corporation.
“This was the former Prime Minister’s response to a question by the National Federation Leader, Professor Biman Prasad. NFP had also called for a forensic audit of FSC’s finances to ascertain the conduct or otherwise of mismanagement and financial abuse in October 2016, when the then FSC CEO Abdul Khan decided to resign.”
“A few days later back then, the then Permanent Secretary to the PM’s Office also responsible for Sugar (Yogesh Karan) announced an investigation had commenced,” she added.
The NFP also highlighted that in 2019 Prof Prasad asked about the progress of the investigations.
Nabou said that Bainimarama said it wouldn’t be prudent to discuss the probe as it was ongoing, and now we know he lied to Parliament.
“As Minister for Sugar, Bainimarama is responsible for the demise of the industry and payment of exorbitantly high salaries and allowances to FSC executives, notably Abdul Khan.”
“That is why, as PM and sugar minister, he strongly opposed a forensic audit of FSC’s finances and salary payments.”
She said to add salt to injury, his government fleeced cane growers around $15 million in three years by not fulfilling a promise to pay them a guaranteed price of $85 per tonne of cane.
The National Federation Party is calling on the Bainimarama to tell the people of Fiji, particularly cane growers, why under their leadership of the sugar industry, FSC executives were getting more than half a million dollars annually that was being funded by the taxpayers through government grants to a bankrupt entity.