Monday, May 26, 2008

Ratu Osea Denies Lease Transfer by NLTB

Chief denies lease transfer
Last updated 5/26/2008

The transfer of the land development lease from Natadola Land Holdings Limited to the Fiji National Provident Fund Investments Limited was fabricated, says Vanua Nahoqo spokesman Ratu Osea Gavidi.
Ratu Osea yesterday said most of landowners of the Vanua of Nahoqo in Sanasana village in the province of Nadroga/Navosa were never informed about the lease transfer and neither did they give their consent to the transfer.
NLTB spokesman Nimilote Naivalumaira claimed that “the new lease or change was thoroughly explained to the landowners in a meeting with them in June last year.”
Ratu Osea said a meeting at Sanasana village on June 21, last year was chaired by the then Minister for Fijian Affairs, Ratu Epeli Ganilau.
“It was held to resolve the problems and difficulties the Natadola Development project faced with landowners.
“And in that meeting the landowners through their spokesman, reiterated verbally and in writing that they did not like what FNPF had done to disturb the amicable relationship between them and APRIL (sacked development manager),” Ratu Osea said.
He said the question of an alternative leasee or change to FNPF Investments Limited was never raised because the Foreign Investment Certificate of Natadola Land Holdings Limited had not been cancelled at that stage.
“This Foreign Investment Certificate was cancelled later in July 2007. Hence the request by the majority of landowners to NLTB in August, 2007 to cancel the land lease and transfer it to the Vanua O Nahoqo Trust.”
He said the only reply from NLTB to the landowners request in August was made by the late NLTB general manager Semi Tabakanalagi in December last year.

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