FNPF Pays $8.753m Lease Premium for Denarau Properties

The Fiji National Provident Fund handed over a premium of $8.753 million to the I-Taukei Land Trust Board today, for the reinstatement of the expired lease term for the 50 acres of land where Sheraton Fiji Resort and Westin Resort are located in Denarau.

This enabled the issuance of new 99 year term leases, effective from January 1st, 2018.

Present at the cheque handover were the Attorney General and Minister for Economy Hon. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, iTLTB Board Director Ro Epeli Mataitini, TLTB General Manager Tevita Kuruvakadua, FNPF Board Chairman Ajith Kodagoda and the FNPF Chief Executive Officer Jaoji Koroi.

Mr Koroi said the calculation of the premium was based on competitive market rates for i-Taukei leases atDenarau.

“The premium is for the reinstatement of the expired term to ensure that new 99 year lease terms are given for both Sheraton and Westin. Part of the conditions was to renew the term of the lease, which is in line with the TLTB tourism lease conditions with more benefits to the landowners.” 

He stressed that the FNPF and TLTB had to ensure that the new lease arrangement was beneficial for landowners, as well as FNPF members.

Mr. Kuruvakadua acknowledged Government and FNPF’s support in terms of the renewal of the two leases, and emphasised that the distribution of the lease money will be done in accordance with Schedule 11 of the TLTB Act.

He added that these new terms have also opened up doors to re-negotiate some of the conditions under the previous lease terms, which would tackle certain areas that had been highlighted by Government.

He said that the three landowning units – the Yavusa-e-Tolu – have approximately 1,779 members and the TLTB will take into consideration Government’s advice to ensure the landowners receive maximum returns for their asset.

“These particular leases have set a new platform for us. It’s locally owned, for the benefit of the members and also we see a lot of potential in the unlocking of value of the land within these two leases,” said Mr.Kuruvakadua.

“I think this is something bright for the landowners future and we are thankful for the support fromGovernment as well as FNPF.”

Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum stressed to TLTB the importance of creating awareness amongst landowners and landowning units, to ensure that the returns they receive are a reflection of the market value of their land.

As part of the new lease arrangement, the members of the Yavusa-e-Tolu receive other benefits which include a one-off development fund, annual education fund, as well as employment and business opportunities.

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