MP Nawaikula’s Debate Time Cut Short
Apoint of order was raised in Parliament last night against Opposition SODELPA MP Niko Nawaikula.
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau raised the point of order, saying Mr Nawaikula was misleading Parliament for making comments on an audit report while discussions were being held on an annual report.
The point of order was raised during the debate for the committee report on the Ministry for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management 2015 annual report.
Mr Koroilavesau said the audit report should be discussed when the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee sits.
Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Nawaikula was a joke. However, Mr Nawaikula was persistent that he continue with his statement and said he was there to help Government do their work
Minister for Employment Jone Usamate waded into the debate, saying MPs were there to debate the annual report of the committee.
He said the Speaker had once ruled during a previous sitting that Mr Nawaikula needed to stick to the report that was under discussion.
Speaker of Parliament Dr Jiko Luveni said she had been advised that they needed to move the motion to debate the report and terminated Mr Nawaikula’s time.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Nawaikula failed to remember that there was a specialised committee known as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC,) whose job is to assess the report of the Auditor General.
He said nobody denied Mr Nawaikula’s right, but MPs needed to follow processes and have constructive debate.
Meanwhile, earlier on, Mr Nawaikula had tabled a letter to Parliament, which was handed to the Government.
Mt Sayed-Khaiyum said Mr Nawaikula’s letter, which was tabled in Parliament last night, was based on an individual from the Maritime Academy who was about to retire and probably wanted to retain his job.
He said that was probably the reason for the letter, which provided no basis.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Certification of Maritime Courses in the Academy was done through the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji under certain standards, which had certain particular requirements not just in-terms of lecturers’ qualifications. He said the letter from Mr Nawaikula was not credible and called on Mr Nawaikula to highlight what happened to the Maritime School prior to the academy being set up.
He said it had been in a terrible condition. Minister for Maritime, Development and National Development Inia Seruiratu in his submissions to the committee report said the ministry was doing its best to address all that was in the report.
From left: Assistant Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Veena Bhatnagar, Assistant Minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment, Lorna Eden and Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa outside Parliament on May 17, 2018.