Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Finance Professor Biman Prasad has today revealed in parliament that $3.5 million of taxpayers money was used to renovate the Prime Minister's residence in 2017 and 2018 when the residence was occupied by the former Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama.
He highlighted this when questioned by Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs Ratu Isikeli Tuiwailevu on the total renovation cost of the Prime Minister's residence.
Professor Prasad says the contractor was Grace Road Company Limited which had a total cost of $2.472 million and there were 4 variations that was approved by the Government Tender Board.
He also highlighted that the former Leader of the Opposition, Voreqe Bainimarama vacated the government owned residence at Muanikau Road on 10th February 2023 as he continued to occupy the Muanikau residence after the new government was sworn-in.
The Muanikau residence used to be the official residence of the Chief Justice, and the coalition government was also informed that Bainimarama was using the Ratu Sukuna Road residence for meetings.
He says it was sad to see that Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka continued to stay at his private residence in Namadi Heights after being sworn-in as Prime Minister on 24th December 2022.
Professor Prasad further says when the former Prime Minister moved out from the PM’s residence this year, there was no furniture left at the residence and there was no register of furniture with the government as there was an assumption that the furniture was owned by the former Prime Minister.
He says the cost of the recent renovation of the PM's residence in Muanikau was done for $162,865.
Professor Prasad says the cost of the minor maintenance works was $33,000, sliding gate repair works for $8,500, intense cleaning and servicing of kitchen and laundry appliances $580 and procurement of furniture and fixtures for $120,785.
When questioned by Opposition Leader, Inia Seruiratu whether Professor Prasad will conduct an investigation in relation to the renovation, Professor Prasad says if there is a need for an investigation, it will be done.
fijivillage News has sent questions to Bainimarama based on Professor Prasad’s revelations in parliament.
We have asked Bainimarama if he believes that the $3.5 million renovation was justified, what are his comments on Professor Prasad saying that they may investigate the renovation if there is a need to do that, what are his comments on no furniture left at the official residence when he had left, was all the furniture taken away purchased personally by Bainimarama and was that the reason why there was no furniture.
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