Has the IG raided the FNPF again? Will it all be lost?

Fiji Sun has reported that the IG has claimed that the Fiji Government has stepped in to provide $120 million to stop FSC from closing down.

The IG  needs to assure the workers of Fiji that he hasn’t taken this money from Fiji National Provident Fund.

If banks won’t lend to FSC,  FNPF should not lend the money either. This is not the IG’s money. It’s the life savings of our workers.

If FSC goes bankrupt, all of the FNPF money will be lost and the Government won’t be able to help because they’ll have to pay the banks back for loans they guaranteed in the past.

$120m help to FSC from govt

Government will pay for the $120 million that it guaranteed for the Fiji Sugar Corporation, Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama revealed yesterday.

In March, Cabinet had endorsed a Government guarantee to the FSC to allow the FSC to borrow short term to meet its working capital requirements from March 16, 2010 to May 31, 2012.

“We are paying for that money,” Commodore Bainimarama told the Fiji SUN.

“Government is taking care of that,” he added.

Government, on May 5, 2009, had approved a government guarantee for $70m, which expired on May 31 2010 before the FSC sought an increase to this Government guarantee to $120 million effective from March 16 2010, to May 31 2012.

This was to meet the increased working capital deficit arising largely from high levels of capital expenditure associated with the Mill Upgrade Programme, and poor milling performance at the three larger mills due to commissioning issues associated with the newly upgraded plants.

Government was to have given $30 million to the FSC against this guarantee in early March this year to meet its working capital requirement and to make the third cane payment to the growers. An additional $20 million was required in the early part of the 2010 crushing season to meet FSC’s operational expenditure and growers advance delivery payment before sugar proceeds for the 2010 crush begin to flow in.

FSC chief executive officer Deo Saran this week said that mill upgrading is continuing in all the mills across the country.


Your FNPF earnings are going down

This graph says it all. Since the coup of December 2006 the earnings of the Fiji National Provident Fund, your life savings, have headed downwards at an increasing pace. The really bad thing about this is that the economy shows no signs of life. Most of the FNPF investments are in Fiji. If our economy doesn’t recover, our FNPF holdings are not going to increase.

The FNPF wasted $20 million on loser movies

Losses by the FNPF in property dealings are not the only scandal that can be laid at the feet of the board appointed by Interim Government after the 2006 coup.

The 2008 FNPF Annual Report lists movies in which the FNPF invested. The report says that all had been invited to be “made” in Fiji under the sponsorship of the Fiji Audio Visual Commission and received generous incentives including 150% tax deductions.

The 2008 Annual Report also advised that substantial amounts of the $21.9 million invested in the movies had been written off as “impairment”.

These movies which have sunk without trace are: “Straight Edge”, “”Smiladon”. “The Great North Pole Elf Strike” and “Pirate Islands 2”.

The 2009 Annual Report states that the balance of the money “invested” in the movies had been written off, meaning that the $21.9 million of hard earned savings from FNPF contributors had gone down the drain.

Not a lot is known about these movies but one British reviewer who was sent a copy of “The Great North Pole Elf Strike” said :”There’s nothing much I can say about this strange film to either exonorate it or criticise it. Quite frankly it’s dreadful.”

It’s ‘set’ partly in Fiji even though it’s an animated movie. The British reviewer said: “The jokes are terrible, really they are painful, and the story plods along a rather predictable path, once the bizarre setups are out of the way.”

Who made the decision to invest our savings in movies?

If tourism and property development make a recovery in Fiji, investments in Momi Bay and Natadola will recover their value, but these B Grade movies are worth nothing and never will be worth anything.