Need for ports to compensate units

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Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau says there is a need for Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd to pay compensation to Tui Suva and the three landowning units linked to the harbour area. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

There is a need for the Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd (FPCL) to pay compensation by way of annuity to the Tui Suva and the three landowning units linked to the harbour area, says Opposition MP Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

He said this during debate on the review of the Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd 2018 and 2019 annual report in Parliament on Monday.

Ro Filipe said the Suva Harbour was now under FPCL’s control. “Tui Suva and his people have recognised the necessity to transfer such control of the harbour of Suva to FPCL,” he said.

“The indigenous people of Suva have recognised and appreciated the reason for the shift of control of the harbour and fully accepting it. However, there is a need to pay compensation by way of the annuity by FPCL to Tui Suva and the three yavusa.”

Ro Filipe said the submission was made in accordance with the provision of the constitution and the concept of fair play.

“Indigenous people of Suva shall be paid a fair annual compensation by way of annuity a sum equal to 10 per cent of gross shipping levies of Suva modern harbour and equal to 3 per cent of gross cargo levies of Suva port and harbour. Since the reclamation of Suva Harbour and construction the indigenous people of Suva have never received any compensation for this reclamation and constructional work particularly the construction of the wharf area.

“The authorities realised good revenue both come from the shipping and cargo levies. ”

It is universally accepted that when a person is receiving revenues from another’s resources, it is only fair and proper that the person pays certain sums such as rent charges, annuities or compensation or to the other person which is the owner of the resources.”

Ro Filipe said the proposed annuities in his opinion was fair and reasonable bearing in mind that FPCL would still be enjoying total control over the Suva harbour.

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