NFP claims Bainimarama misled Parliament saying an investigation had commenced into alleged abuse of office by former FSC CEO

NFP claims Bainimarama misled Parliament saying an investigation had commenced into alleged abuse of office by former FSC CEO

By Krishneel Nair
Thursday 02/02/2023
NFP General Secretary Seni Nabou and former Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition Voreqe Bainimarama

National Federation Party General Secretary, Seni Nabou says former Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Industry Voreqe Bainimarama allegedly misled Parliament on 14th February 2019 by saying an investigation had commenced and was ongoing regarding alleged financial abuse and mismanagement by the former Chief Executive Officer of the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Abdul Khan.

Nabou says Bainimarama stated this in Parliament in response to a question by NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad.

She says the revelations about the salaries of FSC's Executive Management especially former Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Khan receiving $840,000 in salary and allowance per year for 4 years totaling over $3 million has shocked the nation but not NFP.

The General Secretary says Professor Prasad had also called for a forensic audit of FSC’s finances in October 2016, when the then FSC CEO Abdul Khan decided to resign.

She says a few days later, the Former Permanent Secretary to the PM’s Office and PS for Sugar Industry Yogesh Karan announced an investigation had commenced.

The General Secretary further says when Professor Prasad asked a question on the 14th of February 2019 on the progress of the investigations, Bainimarama went on to say that investigations had commenced and were ongoing.

She adds Bainimarama said it wouldn’t be prudent to discuss the probe as it was ongoing and now they know he misled parliament.

Nabou also says Bainimarama is responsible for the demise of the industry and the payment of exorbitantly high salaries and allowances to FSC executives, notably Abdul Khan.

She claims this is why as the PM and Minister for Sugar Industry, he strongly opposed a forensic audit of FSC’s finances and salary payments.

Nabou further says his government fleeced cane growers around $15 million in three years by not fulfilling a promise to pay them a guaranteed price of $85 per tonne of cane.

She calls on Bainimarama to answer why he prevented scrutiny of Abdul Khan’s financial dealings and management as head of FSC.

Nabou adds he must tell the people of Fiji, particularly cane growers, why under his leadership of the sugar industry, FSC executives were getting more than half a million dollars annually that was being funded by the taxpayers through government grants to a bankrupt entity.

We have sent questions to Bainimarama.

He is yet to respond.

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