The landowning unit of Fiji’s first bauxite mine in Nawailevu, Bua yesterday clarified this issue that Lands Minister Faiyaz Koya earlier described as “one that will benefit the future generation only”.
In an earlier interview with this newspaper, Mr Koya said only the three generations emerging within the 99-year lease duration of the Nawailevu bauxite mine would be eligible for the Future Generation Fund.
Mr Koya said the funds were meant for the future generations of the three landowning units of Noro, Nalutu and Naicobo in Nawailevu.
However, in their response and speaking on behalf of the landowning units, Vilikesa Kaidawa said the Future Generation Fund derived from the royalties of bauxite mining would also benefit current landowners.
This, he said, included the elders of the three landowning units.
Mr Kaidawa said landowning units had a workshop with representatives from the Land Bank Unit who assured them that current generation would also benefit from the revenue generated from investments of the FGF.
“We had a workshop with the unit on the first week of last month where we were told that the fund would be put in investment institutions to grow the fund of $600,000,” he said.
“Revenues generated from the investments will benefit current members of the LOUs while the $600,000 will be set aside for future generations.
“The workshop was also attended by representatives from investment banks and talks had been held during the workshop on putting up investment projects such as the purchase of a home, hotel and so on to bring in revenue.”
Mr Kaidawa said they had asked for part of the funds to invest and make money.
But the Ministry of Lands has made its stand clear that the FGF would not be released at any time except for the three generations born during the 99-year lease period.