There is clarification today that the Fiji Airports Limited $106 million finance facility through ANZ is not a Fijian Government borrowing and it is also not a Government guaranteed loan.
Australia, through the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific or AIFFP, has signed the multi-million dollar investment in Fiji Airports.
It says the Australian investment, alongside ANZ Fiji, will help fund capital works at Nadi International and other outer islands’ airports, refinance existing debt, and address several infrastructure priorities of Fiji Airports Limited.
The financing utilises AIFFP’s guarantee mechanism to facilitate a Fijian Dollar denominated loan by co-lending with ANZ.
It has also been confirmed by Fiji Airports Chairman, Geoffrey Shaw that the loan negotiations commenced in July last year.
However, National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the $106 million loan for Fiji Airports Limited comes at a time when the country is fighting a losing battle to win the war against COVID-19 causing record infections and deaths never seen in our independent history.
When asked by fijivillage, Prasad says he has an issue with the timing of the loan and he knows that it is not a Government loan and the Government did not guarantee the loan.
Professor Prasad believes the Government’s priorities are misplaced.
Professor Prasad says the Attorney General and Economy Minister told parliament last week that it would cost Government $1 billion to have a lockdown of Viti Levu and the economy could not afford it.
He says yet we have the Government negotiating with their Australian counterparts a loan for development of the Nadi Airport based on assumptions of economic projections based on the hope that borders will reopen and we will have influx of flights.
We have made calls to Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He has not responded.
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