Lots of our friends and relatives work at Fiji Forest Industries at Malau, out of Labasa so how can they feed their families if they are out of work? Not a good sign for Labasa's development. We had an educational experience with Fiji Forests many years ago when we thought a mataqali project of logging timber on the hills at the back of Wailevu would be a goer, but it didn't work out as expected.
from Fiji Times recently.
Timber mill still closed
Thursday, May 13, 2010
THE future of 347 mill workers at one of the largest timber mills in the country remains in a limbo as several potential buyers denied interest in the plant. The Fiji Forest Industries' mill in Malau came to a standstill last Saturday as the mill was poised for new management control.
But Tropik Woods chairman Lieutenant Colonel Roko Tevita Uluilakeba denied interest in purchasing FFI. He further stated that a media report regarding plans by the Government to buy FFI were also false.
"It's not the core responsibility of government to make such moves," he said. "There is no talk whatsoever of Government buying FFI."
Fijian Holdings deputy chairman Brigadier Mohammed Aziz also cleared the air on any interest by Fijian Holdings. "Fijian Holdings is not party to any deal being made on FFI," he said.
However Roko Ului said a statement regarding FFI would be released soon.
FFI managing director Abigail Chang said the Chang family was still in control but was uncertain about when it would open. "The mill is closed at the moment we don't know how long it will be closed," she said.
And another piece:
This time from Fijilive:
FICAC prepares for FFI probe
May 24, 2010 10:07:09 AMA+ A-| || The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) says it will begin investigations as soon as possible into the allegedly dubious sale of Fiji Pine subsidiary Fiji Forests Industries Ltd (FFI).
FICAC spokeswoman Erica Lee told FijiLive that the commission is doing its best to begin with the investigations at the earliest.
“I can confirm we have received a complaint from Tropic Wood Ltd (TWL) and investigations will begin soon,” said Lee. She would not comment on the details of the investigations.
The investigation follows a complaint from Tropik Wood on the sale of FFI in what it said was a $2.11 million loss making deal to a former board member.
TWL chairman Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara in a statement last week said the previous TWL board had sold the entire shares of FFI for $340,000 without proper diligence.
It is alleged that the transaction took place at a time when the company had total assets of more than $7.4 million and TWL continued to provide a bank guarantee of $3 million to the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) of behalf of FFI following the transaction.
Mara said the sale of FFI had led to a consolidated loss of $1.71 million at TWL and the current board had asked government to suspend FFI’s logging, milling and export licence until the matter is resolved because TWL’s ultimate holding company is the Fiji government.