$117m loan agreement to ‘improve the resilience of bridges and roads’ in Fiji

Fiji’s Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Tuesday’s signing of a $117 million loan and grant agreement with Australia would bring better resilience to bridges and roads in Fiji.

“Sometimes there seems to be an insatiable appetite to get things done almost tomorrow,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“You can’t do it tomorrow.

“It’s better that we take a few more days and build resilience into the infrastructure we’re building.

“If we want to do something, we have to do it well, to build it back better.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they wanted to build a solid infrastructure.

“In other words, the next time there is a cyclone, it will not be damaged.

“The bridges that are currently under construction, if you look at the standards, whether it’s a Velovelo bridge between Lautoka and Nadi, whether it’s the bridge near Malevu, if you look at the particular standards they’re being built to, they’re in makes very resilient bridges and they are really stable bridges and they will be able to support the loads in the trucks currently on our roads.

“All rolling infrastructure, whether it’s pathways, bridges, street lighting, we have to make sure we’re building it to a particular standard.”

The funds will come from the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP).

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said AIFFP was now ranked third in terms of the concessionality loans it obtained.

Leslie M. Gill