“Under the leadership of the former SVT Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka now leader of SODELPA, we lost our only National Bank. Under this PM we have regained our Fijian-owned bank HFC – that is the difference, that is the marked difference.”
Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Opposition expects a SODELPA Government under the same leader who was the SVT leader when the National Bank of Fiji collapsed.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy in Parliament said yesterday the NBF went bankrupt when the current SODELPA Leader, Sitiveni Rabuka was Prime Minister then.
“Under the leadership of the former SVT Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka now leader of SODELPA we lost our only National Bank.
“Under this PM we have regained our Fijian-owned bank HFC – that is the difference, that is the marked difference,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He said during his right of reply in the Budget debate that Parliament publicly disclosed the debts owed by the then National Bank of Fiji under the ‘Soqosoqo Ni Vakavulewa ni Taukei’ (SVT) government.
He said the Opposition heavily criticised the current national debt but did not consider the ones owed by previous governments like the Soqosoqo Duavata Ni Lewenivanua (SDL) and SVT.
The Opposition, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, said that in their responses they had made heavy criticisms on debts.
The Shadow Minister for Economy, Aseri Radrodro, in his response had stated that Fiji’s current national debt was $5.2 billion.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the truth was that the current debt level stood at around $4.7 billion.
At the end of 2006, he added they inherited a debt of $2.9 billion.
“The truth is this Government is also repaying the debt of previous Governments,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
He added that a dollar borrowed 10 or 20 years ago was not the same as a dollar today.
“The $2.9 billion in 2007 is equivalent to $4.9 billion in today’s value, we need to compare apples to apples,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“The then SVT Government borrowed $209.1 million to bail out the National Bank of Fiji, NBF as we knew it in 1996 to 1997.
“This borrowed amount in today’s price is almost $415 million purely because of mismanagement; apart from this the interest paid in today’s value terms is a total of 200 million dollars.
“The total cost of the NBF saga cost the country a staggering $615 million in today’s terms.” Fiji Sun, 12/7/17
Fijileaks: In 2010, our Founding Editor-in-Chief VICTOR LAL had published his lengthy investigation into the collapsed National Bank of Fiji; shockingly, many of the debtors had rushed to join the post 2006 Bainimarama regime, some even becoming Interim Cabinet Ministers. Below are a few debtors