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About The Rotten State

"One man's quest to provide regular commentary about the rotten state of affairs in Fiji via this blog."

43% Administrative Costs !!

The NLTB (Native Lands Trust Board) must be providing the best service imaginable when compared to other similar organisations around the world. Surely when someone is charged 43% of their earnings as Administrative costs, the resulting service must be better then that which you get from our 5 star holiday resorts.

Then again, why am I surprised? Which such exorbitant fee structures, it no wonder has managed to create the rift between the landowners and the tenants. It is a perpetual problem. The landowners are never satisfied (and justifiably so), with what little they get from the tenants. However, can we really blame the tenants? The NLTB is not in the business of passing on the earnings of land onto the owners but creating political problems which perpetuate the myth that the Indo-Fijian tenants are the ones at fault. It is an organisation although entrusted with the land of the Indig-Fijians, is more interested in starting up IT companies and filling the coffers of the rich executive management of the organisation....

Below is an article which in the fijitimes.com on Monday, February 07, 2005. The bold bit is what I am referring to.

PRIME Minister Laisenia Qarase has condemned the illegal takeover of properties by landowners but admits that ministries and departments could have compounded the problem by not doing their jobs.

Reacting to the forceful closure of Nawaicoba Public School at Nadi last week by landowners, Mr Qarase said his government did not condone anyone breaking the law. "The Government will never support those taking the law into their own hands," he said yesterday.

"But in some cases lack of communication or failure by some civil servants to perform their duties result in the unfortunate circumstances."

Mr Qarase said while there were rules in government departments to resolving conflicts, there was no guarantee that such problems would not resurface. "Take the coup for instance. We all thought that it wouldn't happen again after 1987. There are some things that you just cannot control," he said.

The landowners from yavusa Lewevunaniu of Yako Village took over the school after the Ministry of Education failed to pay them the agreed premium of $55,000.

Classes resumed when the ministry gave $30,000. The Native Land Trust Board told the clan they would only receive $17,000 because $13,000 would be deducted for administrative costs.

Now, the clan is threatening to close the school again if they do not get the full sum.

Assistant Police Commissioner Crime Kevueli Bulamainaivalu said takeovers by landowners were becoming common now and the police force would no longer tolerate it. "If they have grievances, there are channels to follow like the NLTB and the Ministry of Education in this case. But when they don't, then we will investigate, arrest and take them to court to face the music," he said.

He cited three cases in the past where landowners were charged for illegally taking over property or trespassing.

At Vitogo in Lautoka, landowners were arrested and charged when they tried to repossess a property before the lease expired.

At a resort in Yanuca, landowners were arrested and charged with trespassing and uprooting plants and root crops.

And at Sabeto, Nadi, landowners were arrested and charged after they threatened to close down a school if the lease payment was not made.

"These incidences are becoming common and we are not going to tolerate them," ACP Bulamainaivalu said.

"For Nawaicoba we are monitoring the situation very closely and will be charging people as soon as investigations end."

Education Minister Ro Teimumu Kepa said the ministry should have been more proactive in checking its records on land leases and the payment of premiums to avoid situations the school there now faced.

And that, she said, was something the ministry would emphasise this year.

"Both sides have to play their part," she said. "The Government started paying premiums from 2002 in accordance with the Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua's manifesto launched in 2000.

"The schools themselves should be paying the balance.

"But some of them think they can claim for lease payments for the years before 2002.

"That is something that should be clarified."

NLTB spokesman Nimilote Naivalumaira said he would be able to comment today.

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  • Blogger Kaline says so:
    10:46 am  

    "Classes resumed when the ministry gave $30,000. The Native Land Trust Board told the clan they would only receive $17,000 because $13,000 would be deducted for administrative costs." ...UNBELIEVABLE, but unsurprisingly expected.

    Administrative costs should amount to half of the 1% of the payouts total value ... Why do they continuously abuse their offices, outrageously hurting innocent people without much of a conscience??? Who is allowing this to happen???

    It's embarassing ... They are worse than Venture Capitalists, who insist on a 60/40 ... The body is merely management with administrative duties ... No wonder landowners have trust issues ... The body continues to prove their doubts right, by blatantly disrespecting them and theirs.' top

  • Blogger laminar_flow says so:
    3:04 am  

    Cha ching!

    Landowners need to file a motion through their Parliamentarians to push for phasing out N.L.T.B control and management of their assets and hand them over to other professional ones.

    I don't see why the landowner can't shop around for a better deal. These colonial era institutions are just throwing their weight around forgetting who their clients are. The land management monopoly with N.L.T.B needs to be opened up for competition.

    Fiji's land laws also first requires changing. top