20 Jun 2007

Fiji hampered by poor governance and leadership for 30 years - leading Fiji academic

2:21 pm on 20 June 2007

One of Fiji's most senior academics says the country has not been able to achieve its full potential over the last 30 years because of a lack of good governance, an absence of ethical leadership and a general lack of ethical standards in the community.

The Fiji Times reports that the comments come from the vice chancellor of the Lautoka-based University of Fiji, Professor Rajesh Chandra.

Professor Chandra says if good governance and ethical leadership had been present in Fiji's leaders in the past, widespread corruption that resulted in Fiji losing millions of dollars would not have happened.

Professor Chandra says Fiji's economic growth has lagged far behind those of more dynamic countries in similar situations such as Mauritius.

Professor Chandra points out in as an example, Fiji's economic growth in 2005 was 0.7% while Mauritius experienced growth of 4.5% and Trinidad and Tobago grew by 7%.

He says Fiji would not have lost 157-million US dollars in the collapse of the National Bank nor would widespread corruption prevail in society if the country had good governance and higher ethical standards.