Koya: New MSAF Pac Harbour office in line with decentralisation of government services

The opening of the new Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji office in Pacific Harbour, Navua, is in line with the Government’s aim of decentralising its services to positively impact communities.

Officiating at the opening of the new office, Minister for Transport Faiyaz Koya said in decentralising services such as ship clearance to outer stations, they were determined to increase the effectiveness of service delivery.

“It also provides MSAF with the early signs of potential challenges faced by Fijians in areas that we serve in for a quick remedial action,” Mr Koya said.

“Fiji is a maritime nation and there is a need for better surveillance of ships, especially in our coastal areas, to protect our border from unwanted immigrants and to protect our valuable marine resources.

“As you may be aware, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport is responsible for the Government Shipping Franchise Scheme, which is a Government subsidised service.

“The Fijian Government allocated a budget of $2.6million to private vessel operators and government shipping services this financial year to serve 10 uneconomical routes – more than 80 franchise ports.”

Mr Koya said they intended to connect as many Fijians and goods and services across Fiji.

“This is why we introduced an additional route – Beqa, Yanuca and Vatulele, which began its maiden voyage in February this year.

“So, you see we are not only focusing our efforts through MSAF, but also through the provision of shipping services in surrounding islands in the Lami to Serua corridors and we must look at it holistically to ensure all arms of the maritime sector work and complement each other.”