* There is no worker representation on FNPF Board;
* All are appointees of Government. Probably the only workers superannuation fund where workers have absolutely no say and has been hijacked by Government;
* Board member Sanjay Kaba is the chief fund raiser for FFP;
* There is conflict of interest. Houng Lee Kaba engineers for FNPF owned Momi Bay Resort, GPH, Natadola, Ellery St FNFF building; Sanjay Kaba was the engineer who made errors in engineering drawings for FNFP Plaza and HQ while employed for another engineering company;
* Interesting that Government has directed the FNPF to relax withdrawal of funds to up to $5,000 for poor workers to rebuild their homes;
* This means workers will be drawing from their retirement funds to rebuild;
* Already this retirement fund is insufficient for a decent retirement nor is it an option for these people to opt for the lousy Pension scheme that FNPF is offering;
* We are again placing the burden on poor workers to rebuild and condemning them to poverty after retirement;
* Government must take greater responsibility to rebuild and assist these workers. We are prone to these cyclones. Not a surprise by any measure. Government still do not put aside a budget for such disasters
ABOUT $4million was paid out yesterday afternoon by the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) to its members under its Cyclone Winston Natural Disaster assistance.
FNPF chief operating officer Jaoji Koroi said more than 51,000 applications had been received by the Fund as of last Sunday.
He said most of the payments were for those members applying for the $1000 assistance.
"Additional resources have been sought to meet the operation challenge given the high number of applications received," Mr Koroi said in a statement yesterday.
To put into perspective, the Fund stated it received a total of 65,000 applications (average of 2500 a week) for the 12 months to June 2015. For the Cyclone Evan assistance provided in 2014, the fund received 8164 applications and paid out $7.4m.
"In one week, we have received about 51,000 applications and expect a similar number to be lodged at our offices within the next two weeks. We have diverted all of our resources to Cyclone Winston natural assistance given the enormity of the exercise," Mr Koroi said.
"We are pleading for our members' understanding and patience in regards to delays that they may face in relation to payments."
FNPF teams are currently deployed in Koro, Levuka, Naigani, Ra, Tavua, Navua and Tailevu North. Mr Koroi said they would review and pull back from some of those areas early in the week to ensure they covered other areas that need their assistance.
The fund hopes to cover Vanuabalavu, Taveuni, Laucala and Naitasiri in the next couple of days.
Mr Koroi emphasised the need for members to fully understand the implications of accessing their retirement savings.
"Any withdrawal from your general eligibility will affect future withdrawals and your total balance. It may mean that you will have to forego some other assistance provided by the fund, especially for those with low eligibility." Source: Fiji Times
It is amongst continuous transformative reforms in the 52-year-old fund.
Pursuant to the Fiji National Provident Fund Decree 2011, the Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has appointed Directors of the FNPF Board.
Ajith Kodagoda has been retained as Chairman of the Board and Tevita Kuruvakadua will also serve a second term. The new Board members are Makereta Konrote, Sanjay Kaba and Bhavna Narayan. Their appointment is effective from January 23, 2016, for a period of four years. The Fund also acknowledged the enormous contributions of outgoing directors Tom Rickets, Sashi Singh and Taito Waqa. During their tenure, these members displayed and upheld crucial trustee roles that covered the critical period of FNPF reforms to ensure the sustainability of members’ hard earned retirement savings..
A brief on the FNPF Directors are as follows:
Ajith Kodagoda – is the Group Chief Finance Officer and Finance Director of CJ Patel Co Ltd. He has extensive experience in finance, accounting and investment. He also serves as Board Director and Chairman of a number of corporate entities. He holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Post Graduate Institute of Management at the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. Mr Kodagoda is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Fiji Institute of Accountants. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka. Mr Kodagoda has over 24 years of working experience in Fiji.
Tevita Kuruvakadua – is the General Manager of the iTaukei Land Trust Board. Mr Kuruvakadua has extensive knowledge and experience in Finance and Accounting, Auditing, Corporate Governance and Risk Management. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting and Financial Management from the University of the South Pacific. He is also a member and Chairman of a number of companies. He is a member of the Fiji Institute of Internal Auditors, Fiji Institute of Accountants and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Makereta Konrote – is currently the Acting Permanent Secretary Finance. Ms Konrote has worked in Government at a senior level for many years and as Senior Advisor to the Executive Director at the World Bank. She has extensive experience and knowledge in economic policy formulation, Financial Management and public sector reforms. Ms Konrote is a member of a number of Boards and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Master of Environmental and Resource Economics qualification from the Australian National University, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Public Administration from the University of the South Pacific.
Sanjay Kaba – is currently Managing Director, principal Structural Engineer and Projects Director at the Houng Lee Jacob Kaba Limited. He has worked as project and Design Engineer in Oil and Engineering firm. Mr Kaba has extensive experience in as Project Development Manager, Project Management and Planning, Structural Engineering. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Engineers and Member of Fiji Institute of Engineers. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Bhavna Narayan – is currently a Partner in the Lateef & Lateef Law firm. Ms Narayan holds a Bachelor of Law from the University of the South Pacific and Diploma in Legal Practice from USP’s Institute of Justice & Applied Legal Studies. She has extensive experience in general/commercial litigation and advice including debt recovery.