#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Wadan Narsey: Helping FNPF despite media censorship

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wadan Narsey: Helping FNPF despite media censorship

FNPF WEBSITE PIC: A charade. Below: Natadola and Narsey.

By Professor Wadan Narsey 

Can FNPF contributors and pensioners assist FNPF to become more viable?
With a stagnating economy FNPF revenues have been severely constrained. Few new jobs have been created and existing incomes have not grown; many loans are non-performing; returns on FNPF investments have been declining;  and large amounts of capital values have been written off because of mismanagement.

But collectively, FNPF contributors and pensioners remain the largest group of spenders in the Fiji economy.

Here is the challenge: can FNPF contributors and pensioners direct their consumption expenditure towards FNPF investments, and change FNPF policies for the better?

Can FNPF management encourage this by providing financial incentives and changing their management structure?

Can all FNPF stakeholders (FNPF itself, unions, pensioners, civil servants etc) conduct marketing campaigns in the aid of FNPF assets and loans?

If such campaigns work, others may lose: but given the current pressures on FNPF,  FNPF contributors and pensioners must look after our own life savings first.

FNPF investments and loans
What are the FNPF investments and loans?  By far the largest disposition of FNPF funds is in the form of loans to the Fiji Government.

Then there are other investments and large loans: the giant ATH, the Intercontinental Hotel and Golf Course at Natadola, Fiji Sugar Corporation,  Home Finance,  Holiday Inn, the Grand Pacific Hotel (currently used by backpacking soldiers), Penina Ltd (Tappoos City), and numerous others on which there is little information in FNPF’s 2010 Annual Report.

How can FNPF contributors  and pensioners encourage these loans and investments “come good” for FNPF?

The easy nuts to crack

To which FNPF investments and loans can FNPF contributors and pensioners direct their spending, so as to improve returns to FNPF?  Some are quite easy to see.

Home loans may be taken from Home Finance Corporation (HFC), rather than giving the business to other financial institutions, many of which are foreign owned enterprises which export their profits.

Holiday Inn facilities could be used wherever possible, for conferences, food, and leisure activities.

The accommodation, conference, golfing facilities at the Intercontinental (Natadola) could be used wherever possible rather than the alternatives which are often used. (Can we renegotiate a restoration of Vijay Singh’s endorsement of the Golf Course?)

FNPF consumers could, wherever possible, use the Tappoo City retail outlets to which more than $40 million of FNPF funds have been lent.

Workers at FSC (lent more than $50 million of FNPF funds) must do all they can to ensure that the mills work efficiently, producing maximum sugar output, with minimum break-downs.

Those large unions with entrepreneurial abilities (FTUC, FPSA, FTU, FTA) can assist FNPF investments in GPH and Momi “come good” instead of the disasters they seem destined to be under this military Government.

What can FNPF management do?
If FNPF gets around to issuing ID cards to FNPF contributors and pensioners, then FNPF investments or receivers of FNPF loans could be encouraged to give discounts to FNPF card-holders.

There could be special discounts on interest rates for Home Finance loans.

There could be discounts on bills at Holiday Inn.  [FNPF management could get some commercial advice on how to make Holiday Inn become the gold mine that it should be, taking advantage of the glorious location, overlooking the harbor and the mountains, with more attractive prices for drinks and food].

There could be serious discounts on accommodation, food, and golf fees at the Intercontinental Natadola to ensure that it operates close to 100% capacity, by attracting more business from Suva and other population centres.

Tappoo City outlets could offer discounts on all FNPF card holders but the City Council can also help.  Look out the top floor windows of the Tappoo City building, and admire the mountains, the beautiful bay, and then right below your eyes, is the garbage on the roof of the Nabukulou Fish market, and the Garrick Hotel roof, reducing the value of FNPF’s multi-million dollar investment in Tappoo City.

What are all the other Fiji investments where FNPF revenues may be directly or indirectly encouraged?


The tough nuts to crack
Loans to Government will be repaid to FNPF more easily if there is healthy economic growth, allowing Government tax revenues to grow healthily.

For this to happen, each and every FNPF contributors and pensioner needs to seriously consider all the political and legal factors that are constraining investment by foreigners and locals.

We all need to try and restore a credible and widely acceptable government which operates without the divisiveness that has existed in previous years.

The less said the better, about making ATH more profitable- we FNPF contributors are between the Devil and Deep Blue Sea here.

How to organize FNPF contributors and pensioners?

To make any difference, FNPF contributors need to be organized over this issue. That should not be difficult as the bulk of FNPF contributors are wages and salaried persons.

Public and private sector unions must mount campaigns with their members, making them aware where their FNPF investments are, and where they should direct their spending.

Large groups of contributors who don’t have unions, such as Fiji Military Forces and the Fiji Police Force  must discuss and organise themselves.

Wherever possible, government-funded or sponsored conferences organised by regional and international multilateral bodies and donors (SPC, Forum, SOPAC, ADB, AusAID, WHO, UNDP, NZ Aid, etc) should be held at FNPF investments- such as at the Intercontinental or the Holiday Inn. 

But ultimately, it all boils down to who sits on the FNPF Board.

Representation on FNPF Board

It has long been recognized that the FNPF Board must be completely independent of the Fiji Government and the Reserve Bank of Fiji, who may have some representation, of course, but not over-riding control, as at the moment.

There must be democratic elections to the FNPF Board, by FNPF contributors and pensioners separately, of a reasonably large number of representatives.  To ensure that solid professional persons are elected, strict criteria may be set, for who may stand for elections to the board.

The Chair must be drawn from these elected representatives.

The FNPF Board must ensure that responsible representatives are nominated on the committees to guide the GPH and Momi projects, with some co-funding from unions to ensure commitment.

Such representatives do not have to be FNPF Board Members.  Why indeed do some at the moment continue to hold multiple board membership, often with conflicts of interest?

Note current study
FNPF has recently commissioned an independent Australian team to advise how the FNPF Act and management structure should be reformed.

This study team will no doubt want to recommend that the FNPF Board becomes more if not fully independent of the Fiji Government and the Reserve Bank of Fiji.


Let us hope, for the sake of the FNPF contributors and pensioners, that this independent study is allowed to make its recommendations freely.

FNPF members should also ask why there is so little information on all of FNPF’s investments in the 2010 FNPF Annual Report? 


Why does the FNPF management refuse to make public the ILO, World Bank and other recent Reports on the financial sustainability of the FNPF?


Where indeed is the “accountability” and “integrity” that is boldly stated in the FNPF Vision?

Despite the reassuring noises coming from the unaccountable FNPF executives and Board, FNPF Members have a long way to go before they can breath any sigh of relief over their life savings, investments and pensions.

If they do not discuss these issues and organize to protect their life savings they will end up weeping buckets of tears.

And please, don’t blame the Bainimarama Regime’s senseless media censorship for your continued silence and inaction.  The Internet is here to stay.

Footnote: Why would the Bainimarama Regime ban this article from a daily paper? What greater damage is being done to our people’s welfare which the papers are stopped from reporting, every day?  Why do we Fiji citizens continue to suffer this daily loss of our basic human right to freedom of expression, without even a whimper?  We are pathetic. (Article released January 12)

22 comments:

  1. Well Wardan if you cant beat them join them then maybe you can make a difference.

    It is very dificult being on the outside and not wanted especially when Bai and his team hire outside expertise.

    This doesnt say much for the likes you and many other detractors so why not bite your tongue and be quite.

    May be on the outside chance Bai just might have a change of heart and consult with you he's good like that.

    Jake

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  2. RATU SAID.
    WELL SAID DR NARSEY.
    BANI AND AG TALIBAN WONT LET YOU IN
    .THEY JUST WANT ALL YES MAN IN HIS CABINET.
    TIME FOR FNPF TO PRACTICE ITS SLOGAN .
    WE NEED ALL FNPF REPORTS PUBLISH IN LOCAL MEDIA.
    WE DONT WANT TO LOOSE OUR FNPF SAVING TO THIS GOVT AND FLY BY NIGHT INVESTORS AND DEVELOPERS.
    WE HAVE NBF WENT DOWN IN SCAM.
    I FEEL FNPF WILL COME DOWN TOO IN SCAM..

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  3. Jake,

    Why don't you bite bai's & Aiyaz balls.

    You illegal cohots, idiots.

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  4. Not bad Dr Narsey, but I am not about to make Tapoos the slimy crook become even more rich by shopping in his crooked city. Let him rot even if I lose all my money that he has stolen. The Lord God I serve will make him and his cohorts pay. "Vengeance is Mine", He said.

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  5. Bored with Boards.January 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM

    Change FNPF board? You mad?

    RBF still hasn't accounted for the misplaced $200 million (Kings Wharf)- Board that oversaw this is still there.

    FSC spent excess $80 million on a mill refit disaster - Board that oversa this is still also there - some cases actually promoted.

    Sorry Dr. Narsey - obvious you've lost touch with reality so far as Viti & Boards are concerned.

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  6. Jake

    You are a cretin. Frank and his minions once referred to "hiring outside expertise" as another example of the corruption that they were *cleaning up*.

    Yet you claim that they are *now* trying to use outside help?

    Everyone they have promoted to senior positions tries hard, tries to do a good job, tries to advise Frank, gets railroaded, blamed and fired. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

    The list of past "advisors" to this kindergarten government is embarrassing - no wonder they stopped advertising who they keep putting in the new positions.

    I think we should put a list of the those that have joined, then abandoned the military regime in disgust - Coup4.5? I think we should start a running list in the sideboards starting with say, Justice Nazhat Shameem - anymore contributors?

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  7. Has anyone of you considered the fnpf logo? Its one of the many freemasonry symbols. That means "your" money aint yours. Its theirs to do with as they please. It has always been that way.

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  8. Well, Wandan Narsey has certainly delivered a curve ball from left field. His idea seems like a semi socialist nationalisation campaign driven by consumer spending through coercions. Whilst this idea of members spending only on their investments with FNPF is a novel one it would not exactly make a difference on the balance sheet. The reason being is that here, the spending habits of FNPF members are being suggested by Wandan as the only variable affecting their investments... other factors being equal. But unfortunately they are not.
    There are many variables to business success and failures and these stem from both internally and/or from natural and artificially occurring events in the market. We can confirm that Voreqe’s selfish and misguided grab for power in 2006 is the single major factor that has significantly constricted the market and the performances of the Fund. Sadly, it was all avoidable.
    Internally the Fund experienced a violent and totally unlawful change of its board of directors. New directors implanted by Voreqe were either unqualified or had a conflict of interest. That the interests of the coup were always paramount to that of the FNPF members and this scared away co- investors in FNPF’s portfolio companies and even new investors. Poor corporate governance is always bad for business.
    Externally, the negative effect of this coup has been significant and devastating to the market and investor companies. Existing investments lost their share value and new investments dried up given the uncertainty of the politically situation and the GFC....a double whammy!!

    Given the benefit of the doubt concerning Wandan’s ideas, if existing members spent only on failed FNPF investments,this would still create a negative impact for many of them. The danger here is that many other competing businesses would certainly be negatively affected and these companies provide employment for thousands of FNPF members. For example, all those FNPF members who are bank employees associated with lending for home packages could be out of a job if they and everyone else only took out loans from the competing Home Finance Company. The same applies to all the other sectors suggested by Wandan. This type of activity would be devastating for singular product or service companies who are directly competing against FNPF interests.

    The end game of the Narsey model is that Fiji will end up almost like Cuba where there is state regulated human consumption behaviour and where there are no varieties for shoppers due to the lack of competition. The difference in this case is that as FNPF become more profitable and widen its portfolio then the economy will be controlled only by FNPF members. But again there are no gurantees because the dark spectre of this misguided coup is the proven variable which destroys investor and consumer confidence in the market

    Voreqe and his misguided cohorts know all about freebees courtesy of the taxpayer and there are doubts whether they will take kindly to others having a share of the booty in this coup. After all dictators do not create their opportunities they just steal them.

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  9. RATU SAID.
    WHY COULDNT FNPF MAKE 100% INVESTMENT ON ITS OWN.
    ANS.THE BOARD AND MANAGERMENT WONT HAVE ANY ONE TO BLAME FOR ITS FAILURES.
    LOOK AT NATADOLA COST TO BUILT 289 MILLION AFTER COMPLETION VALUED AT 84 MILLION.
    MOMI PROJECT ANOTHER FAILURE.110 MILLION.
    TAPOOS CITY MALL WAS TO COST 28 MILLION.NOW 48 MILLION.
    NOW GPH.WILL BECOME ANOTHER FAILURE.
    HOLIDAY IN WAS VALUED AT 10.4 MILLION .FNPF PAID 19 MILLION PLUS.
    FNPF BOARD AND STAFFS MADE KICK BACKS.
    SAD TO SEE A SRI LANKAN HEADING FIJIAN MONEY IN FNPF BOARD.

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  10. Radio GaGa.

    Its people of your ilks that brought the nation of Fiji to its knees allow me to expound this a bit further since Fiji’s independence Fiji and its citizenry have enjoyed a mediety of what some claims to be a full Democracy.

    Yet a certain coterie of people and their off springs you included have fully enjoyed the benefits of taxpayer funded education which for all intent and purposes was to be used on the betterment of our people.

    But the latter is farther from the truth if as you say you are very concerned about Bainimarama and his team and that of the economy than be my guest and make your way back to Fiji and put that education to good use instead of being inert and collecting Australian tax funded benefits.

    Now to this spurious article you like that of this vacuous author obviously has an axe to grind this guy is grasping at straws in fact this article deviates from or perverts the truth.

    The truth is thus the world isn’t (sic) out of recession yet the author fails to mention various western countries are borrowing millions of dollars a day to stay afloat Fiji on the other hand seems to faring a lot better.

    Stop your childish bleating and be constructive or work positively to advance Fiji rather than be a traitor to your country only feebleminded idiots like you have nothing better than to besmirch Fiji.

    Do not attack the country of your birth grow some spine you spineless git.

    Jake

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  11. @ anon 4:38pm, Kaila, you said it right LOL, but don't forget that this idiot jake the shake and bake jumping jake has been doing that from the get go, so thanks for reminding him.
    Anyway he seems to be doing a thorough job because he has lasted this long, all the rest have been thrown out...driti, ului, aziz, etc...hahahahaha.

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  12. Very interesting points of view being expressed here.

    But I think what Prof. Narsey is suggesting is valid IF we want to make sure our superannuation fund still has something left for us for our twilight years.

    I do take the point that either way we're shafted -- we bail them via their shoddily thought out investments but we still lose out by Govt's continued unfettered access to our funds.

    No wonder they're having a restructure (which almost always means they need to let folks go) -- they must be beginning to feel the pinch.

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  13. Well said Mr Narsey.While we all continue to lamblast VB and Co for the current mishaps and state of econmy,where were you prior to 2006when all Projects like Momi Bay,Tappoos and others took off the ground.Where were your advice to the public than.First of all all past and the current administration has never sought public consultation to take place of how their hard money is being used.The cat is already out of the bag so please stop harping your strong economic reotics.I would suggest that there should be other players in the supernuation market where people can decide where they want to contribute.At the moment FNPF has become an indirect Bank for any Government of the day.Once people get the opportunity to decide where they want to put their supernuation into than FNPF will be forced to reconsider its business strategies.Lets open the Supernuation market in Fiji like other developed countries which will than have minimal State intervention.
    One word of advice for Dr Narsey.While I have respected your views,you seem always to be talking from the side lines.Why dont you write to VB and express your ideas with facts and figures rather than taking a swipe at the government through this blog which is becoming more of a stumbling block between you and the state.

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  14. A rip off is a rip off, a thief is a thief. The NFPF coffers have been raped and pillaged by incompetents and opportunists. Change the board? Hell, yes! Change this illegal government, hell yes!!

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  15. Anon@11.23 Like has been said by other bloggers, why don't you military people go back to camp and slurp your tea? You already soil camp and elsewhere.

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  16. @ Jake

    So it was my failure to help Frank that "brought the nation of Fiji to its knees"?

    Funny, I don't remember organising a coup, overthrowing an elected government and behaving like a complete asshat. Frank and his coterie of cretins have done all they can to annoy and isolate themselves from the international community and financial aid. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Also, when does anyone wander around "inert and collecting Australian tax funded benefits". Are you serious? Why would the Australian government send me money? Maybe this is how you get paid? Lucky for me, I *still* have a job.

    I don't attack my country. I attack the criminals that have hijacked our future and perverted our nation's government and institutions for the sake of their own skins.

    Why don't you put the blame where it lies instead of boring everyone with your inane ramblings about how everyone else is not doing enough to help poor Frank with his problems. Frank doesn't need my help. Frank needs psychiatric treatment.

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  17. Radiolucas i could not agree with you more.

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  18. Radio Gaga.

    It’s always a pleasure to see people find terra firma rather than floating around in a void the latter describes a voice shouting in the emptiness, like most weaklings tis the only medium to which they propagate their insidious utterances.

    What’s got me befuddled is the fact you inveigh against this regime with total depreciation but you are not prepared to take a stand like man ought to and actually confront Bainimarama.

    If you and your ilks oppose the system of society in which you live than put your spine where your mouth is for you see my boy one must have the courage of his convictions something that is absolutely lacking.

    Don’t you think time is upon you to apologise to society at large for the weakness that you and your ilks have demonstrated thus far and for your immoral behaviour.

    Society awaits your Mea-Culpa.

    Jake

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  19. @ Jake

    It is strange that your argument is that I should take a stand against Frank? Do you really want this? Do you know what happens when anyone tries do this?

    Frank understands one thing: Ally v Enemy. He is a soldier, not a governor, a bully, not a leader. He only holds power by virtue of the simple fact that he has a gun.

    If you or I, like many have, try to take him to task on these issues, he will react as he has always has - he has the attitude that if you are not licking his flanks and telling him what a wonderful person and leader he is, you are his enemy.

    The evidence is overwhelming: he got rid of the judiciary, censored all the media, deported emissaries, acted like a petulant 5 year old in front of the USA, Australia and NZ, threatened private citizens, tortured private citizens and engages in arbitrary arrest without any review or censure.

    And he still expects to be given respect as a leader of our nation. It is laughable. Moreso, it is insulting.

    If you are so derogatory about this "void" that YOU are shouting in, why are you here?

    I know the reason. It is because noone in Fiji trusts the military or the censored news to tell the truth. So we now have to rely on the coconut wireless to find out about what is going in. Yet you also have to get involved and try to "explain" or "excuse" the military and their incompetance.

    Further, you treat honest discussion and criticism with such disrespect and derision - when have you considered whether the military are doing a "good" job, say when compared to any elected government? Can you speak without thinking about the money in your pocket? Or your friends in power? I think perhaps that you owe the apology.

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  20. Radio Gaga.

    Yes I would definitely encourag you to not only take a stand but be very vocal in his face.

    Tis time to be counted amongst men.

    You and your ilks must find within yourselves the strength to confront what the minority call the beast.

    We on the other hand look upon Bainimarama as the saviour of Fiji.

    Jake

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  21. @ Jake

    Thanks for your vote of confidence in my "manly" prowess. I would be sure to think of you when the army trucks arrived.

    I also didn't realise that the minority called him "the beast"? Catchy name I guess.

    I call him that "graceless, pinheaded, halfwit". The rest of the majority of Fiji call him a variety of names, most of which involve swearwords and genitalia. Perhaps you could start a blog on that?

    "Saviour" is not a word that I have heard in connection with the word Bainimarama. I am sure you misheard. Maybe the word was "liar"? Easy mistake to make.

    So what do you call him? Maybe you have a special pet name for him?

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  22. Jake is nothing but Bai's faithful dog.

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