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North Fiji Pine landowners reap bonus $2.8m payout

May 1, 2018 7:14 pm

259 Pine Landowning Mataqali’s or clans in Vanua Levu yesterday received their bonus payment from Fiji Pine Limited.

Totalling a massive $2.8 million, the pay-out has been highly praised by pine landowners.

Ratu Josaia Ryder of the Mataqali Naita of Lekutu, in Bua says they have never received such payments before.

The Mataqali Naita has two Tokatoka’s or sub – clans with a total of 70 members.

They received their $48,000 from the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at Vesidrua Village yesterday.

Ryder says they will use the money to set up a business venture in the village as well as for their children’s education

“We are very thankful to the government for what he has done to the land owners today. Landowners have not been receiving this much money from the previous government.”

Lease security bonus payments (LSBP) had started off at 50 cents per hectare before it grew to $11 in 2012.

It’s grown to $21 per ha in the past two years.

From this year, the payment is now $168 per hectare.

Fiji Pine Limited Chair Faiz Khan says a total of seven million dollars is being given to pine landowners in bonus payment this year.

$4.2 million was paid out to landowners in the Western Division, yesterday.

“Seven million dollars is a lot of money – from nothing to give seven million dollars. How that seven million dollars is used for the community as a whole is also as important. We cannot directly have a say how the money should be used but we hope that money is invested well.”

Khan adds seeing the happy smiles on the faces of landowners is worth it given that only seven years ago company was insolvent and on the brink of bankruptcy.

Today, the Fiji Pine Limited has managed to upgrade all their factory assets and pay off all their debt.