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'Acting for change’

19 July 2022

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USP unions call on Fiji Govt to stop inquiry demands and pay debt

Friday 22 July 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Fiji, Regional

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USP unions call on Fiji Govt to stop inquiry demands and pay debt
Pal Ahluwalia Photo: USP

The two unions representing staff at the University of the South Pacific are calling on the Fiji Government to honour the decisions of their parliament and pay the outstanding subsidy due to the university.

The Fiji Goverment has withheld what is called a grant but is in fact a subsidy on the student fees at the university.

The unions, the University of the South Pacific Staff Union and the Association of University of the South Pacific Staff, in a statement, said the Fiji Government owes the institution $FJ78.4 million dollars.

The money has been withheld because the government failed in its efforts to remove Vice Chancellor, Pal Ahluwalia.

They wanted Mr Ahluwalia gone because he had identified significant corruption committed by the previous administration at the USP - many of the accused people were close to the Fiji Government.

There have been five inquiries, costing the USP more than $FJ one million, and designed to try and remove Mr Ahluwalia, but they all exonerated him.

However the Fiji Government last week called for yet another investigation.

The unions have condemned the government's ad nauseum demands for inquiries and say it should abide by its obligations, honour the decision of its own parliament and pay the USP what it owes.