The sugar industry circus continues unabated while harvested cane rots at the Rarawai and Penang Mills.
The state of the industry has never been so disastrous, says the National Farmers Union.
“It is unbelievable that the Prime Minister is least concerned about the doldrums into which he has placed the industry since he took over the portfolio eight years ago.
“His imported advisors and executives have failed to check the downward spiral of the industry,” says the Union.
Former Executive Chair Abdul Khan was removed following disclosures by the NFU of alleged financial impropriety on his part but was quite astonishingly appointed CEO. He was replaced as Chair by Vishnu Mohan, former head of ANZ Bank’s Pacific Operations who now resides in Canada.
He was here last week to attend a Board meeting convened in Labasa. He slipped out of the country as quietly as he had slipped in – there was no statement after the meeting to inform the farmers as to the steps he was contemplating to revive the troubled industry.
Meanwhile, Abdul Khan is now talking about FSC’s “backup approach” (FT 7 Sept) while some 2000 tonnes of cane lie rotting at Rarawai. He talks about deversification after having fouled up the Labasa cogeneration project with a $17m FDB loan about which FSC remains mum.
He talks big about building a sugar refinery and other value adding ventures when all indications point to the real possibility of the industry going down and under.
Bainimarama must explain why Khan is still on FSC payroll after confirmed reports of serious corporate malfeasance on his part, which have cost FSC millions.
He must also explain why FSC has not had its AGM for the past 2 years. Its last annual report and audited financial statements relate to its financial year ended 31st May 2014 and was presented together with the reports for the years 2012 and 2013 to FSC’s AGM held on 2 March 2015.
No responsible Minister would employ a CEO with such a shocking record.
But we all know that almost anything is possible in the corrupt FF Government.