LAMA Chairman conveys dissatisfaction

February 3, 2024 12:22 pm

[File Photo]

The Landowners Committee “Lomani Au, Maroroi Au” has expressed deep disappointment with the Fijian government’s handling of discussions regarding the renewal of the Namosi Joint Venture Prospecting License (SPL 1420).

LAMA accused the Minister for Lands, Filimoni Vosaroga, of mishandling the matter and criticized the lack of proper consultation.

In a statement, LAMA Chairman Sipiriano Nariva conveyed the committee’s dissatisfaction with the government’s approach.

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Nariva highlighted that despite an initial meeting with the Minister in December, where assurances were given for another meeting in January 2024, the landowners received no official confirmation through the usual channels.

Many landowners only became aware of the intended meeting through local media outlets less than 24 hours before the scheduled discussion on January 31.

He criticized the short notice given for the meeting, noting that it coincided with the first week of the school term, raising questions about the minister’s intentions.

In response, Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources Filimoni Vosarogo says the Ministry’s intention to meet with Mataqali Nabukebuke as a follow-up to the meeting in December 2023 was conveyed through the appropriate channel, that is, through the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs, Roko Tui Namosi’s office.

He clarified the government’s protocol for arranging meetings and emphasized that the meeting would be rescheduled to accommodate the landowners’ availability.

Vosarogo also highlighted that LAMA is an NGO, and the Ministry is not obliged to inform LAMA directly of the meeting, as the Ministry liaises with the Ministry of Itaukei Affairs through Roko Tui Namosi’s office on behalf of the Land Owning Unit, Mataqali Nabukebuke.