We should have focused on other priorities than spending $65M on Queen Elizabeth Drive – Prof. Prasad

We should have focused on other priorities than spending $65M on Queen Elizabeth Drive – Prof. Prasad

By Iliana Biutu , Rashika Kumar
Monday 04/03/2024
[Image: File]

We spent a lot of money on projects which were not a priority such as spending $65 million on Queen Elizabeth Drive as opposed to other urgent priorities. This has been highlighted by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad during fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan where he says there is a new guideline on public infrastructure so that they can look at the opportunity cost and see what is more important – building a road or a new hospital, two health centres or more classrooms.

While responding to questions about spending $65 million on a narrower Queen Elizabeth Drive, Professor Prasad says when you have other priorities like building more schools, classrooms, improving the facilities at the CWM Hospital or the Maternity Unit, why would you want to put $65 million into a project no matter how good the objective might be.

He says they do not have an unlimited amount so they have to decide what is more important and there is a criteria to do things.

Professor Prasad further says when they came into government, they realised that the Fiji Roads Authority had spent its budget within the first six months and they not only had no money but they also owed money to the contractors.

He says the government provided additional funding within the existing budget through redeployment and paid contractors where some are not happy with how they have been paid.

Professor Prasad says when they got budget submissions from FRA, they realised some projects were done at exorbitant cost and value for money was never a consideration but they are now getting value for money where the contractors are fixing the roads at a lower cost.

He says they are now making quality roads.

Drua outclassed as Highlanders thrash them 39-3
The Swire Shipping Fijian Drua will now need to win their last match against the Rebels on Saturday to book their place in the playoffs after being th...
3 hours ago
Hindi and Vosa Vakaviti will be taught in all primary schools – Singh
Minister for Employment Agni Deo Singh says Hindi and Vosa Vakaviti languages will be taught in all primary schools, and it may take a bit of time as ...
1 hour ago

Work in progress to safely repatriate 12 Fijians stuck in New Caledonia
Work is in progress to safely repatriate 12 Fijians stranded in New Caledonia as soon as possible. In a statement, the Government says the ...
4 hours ago

Situation in Papua New Guinea 'catastrophic' following landslide, with 4,000 in need of aid
A landslide has hit Kaokalam Village in Enga Province. Around 60 houses – each believed to contain up to 15 people – were flattened when the ...
6 hours ago

3,500 cases of drugs including 4 cases of meth in schools recorded last year
With the increasing concern of drugs being found in schools nowadays, including methamphetamine, the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council is ...
6 hours ago

23-member team expected to conduct about 20 free life-saving open-heart surgeries at Sai Sanjeevani Children's Hospital
A 23-member team of surgeons, doctors, nurses and specialists are here in the country from Australia to conduct about 20 free life-saving open-heart ...
6 hours ago

fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
Motion for Salary Changes of Executive Officers Passed
The motion to change the salaries and allowances of a number of executive offices including those of Members of Parliament has been passed by ...
7 hours ago

Ministry of Home Affairs Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji
The pervasive threat of illicit drugs has emerged as a pressing concern, rapidly infiltrating and destabilizing our society therefore the Republic of ...
9 days ago

Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku says he wants the hearing of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police ...
9 days ago