The Commissioner Northern, Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu, announced at the Microfinance Expo in Labasa, that his office had completed a Development Plan for the North. The Plan works on a partnership between Government, the business community, NGOs, donors and surrounding communities; a partnership, which he added, was critical to developing Vanua Levu.
The Commissioner thanked the Reserve Bank (RBF) for bringing the Microfinance Expo to the North saying that this was an opportunity for many citizens to see and talk to RBF staff and officers from financial institutions and government agencies on their specific needs and requests. He also added that the financial literacy seminars being conducted by the RBF and ANZ Bank were
“eye openers” for many who attended and requested that this initiative be continued.
Businesses and people of the North were challenged by the Commissioner to work together to realise the potential that the North had in the fisheries, forestry and agriculture sectors, to name a few. At the same time he called on the financial services sector to ensure that their services were accessible to people in the rural areas of Vanua Levu – a sector that was cash-rich but poor insofar as access to basic financial and other services were concerned.