Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

Cutting Corners

From BBC reports, BP Oil has published a report on why the oil well in Gulf of Mexico blew up and sank killing eleven men. According to the report, they have spread the blame. The report says it is a “sequence of failures involving a number of different parties" was to blame for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP says. Ok fair enough but lets the experts analyse the report. Survivors of the disaster were interviewed on BBC radio it has been established that the operators were cutting corners to save costs. How far that is true will soon be found. Forensic investigators will also look into the matter and then have their say.

But I bring you back home. The recession has hit us pretty badly. Only one country in the world did not get affected by the financial recession, which was Poland. I hope we can find out how they did it and learn from them. But that’s another story. Many companies in Fiji have taken precautions to keep themselves afloat. They have made people redundant, shortened working hours, people took pay cuts because at least they will have something to take home. For the employees they will now cut corners at home. Some luxuries will be forgone; some may even go by bus and leave the car at home on alternate days. Ice cream and soft drinks will be out. Going to the usual restaurant will be out. Bills will be held to the last minute and then paid. People will be buying the inferior but cheap mutton curry pieces. Oh believe me I have seen the packets in peoples shopping carts. Cheap foods will be bought health will be at risk.

From world reports it has been established that some companies will capitalize on the recession, send home employees who have experience and on decent wages and rehire people with no experience and pay them less. Some will even stoop lower and employ people who are desperate and accept any wage because they would have been earning nothing and probably destitute.

Can a survey be done here in Fiji to determine what impact cutting corners to save cost will have on Fiji as a whole?  I bet we will find a lot of interesting things.


Deteriorating economy said…
Thank you for letting us know about Fiji's collapsing economy - although most of us are well aware of it over the last 4 years as we struggle to feed and educate our children. In your insightful piece of writing you mention the global recession - but you do not mention the devastating impact of the coup? Why is that? Are you in denial or do you actually think coups bring prosperity?
Give it a break said…
@ Deteriorating Economy, your comment is gratuitous and unfair. What do you expect Allen to do? Launch into a full blown assault on Frank Bainimarama for staging the 2006 coup? From his impregnable stronghold in Lautoka? This guy is a small businessman and part-time writer whose strength lies in giving us an insight into how ordinary people are faring in Fiji. Do you honestly expect him to morph into Netani Rika and come out with all guns blazing? Doubtless Allen has his own political views like anyone else. But for you to suggest that he's in denial or a coup supporter says more about you than it says about him. If you want to attack the regime from your armchair abroad, go for it. But leave the ordinary people in Fiji to get with life as best they can. I certainly don't need the estimable Allen Lockington to play martyr or hero on my behalf. And I don't care whether he supports the regime or not. He's doing a fantastic job just being himself.
Allen said…
Bula Deteriorating economy ...
The coup had a huge effect on the economy. No doubt.

For the record, our company closed down leaving 8 people unemployed and the company owner almost bankrupt, with bills to pay. Multiply that by 3 per average family and the number quadruples. Overseas clients stopped investment, our local clients stopped importing, some actually closed down. I was unemployed for quite a while together with my 8 work mates and their families. But I'm not going to sit back and twiddle my thumbs. Yes, we struggled for a while because of the sudden loss of my income.

But I'm going to stand up and move again because moaning and groaning wont move the government and wont get me anywhere. I am just an individual trying to stay positive in these hard time. My family and I suffered because of the coup.

And of course I live in Fiji, not overseas! Dwelling in the negatives of life is not a good way to live! We are getting back on our feet and our investors are staring to return. Things are looking up.

And yes Deteriorating economy, I can also see things from your point of view. But I'm moving on.
Well said said…
Vinaka Allen Lockington. You're the man!
Anonymous said…
Let's leave the past behind us and focus on the future. What has happened has happened....we cannot change that...the more we dwell on the past, the more hurt and anger we will experience within our inner selves. No one supports the coup, but lets try and be positive, focus on ways of trying to instil hope on the minds and hearts of our children and members of our community. Lets unite and show the world that "we are still the way the world should be"...
Cicero said…
@ Allen's sound observations at the blunt end:

It would be dishonest to deny that Allen's observations are correct. Any severe upheaval of any kind (natural, manufactured, global) will affect business stability and the order and stability of everything else. That is a 'known' and is fully understood by most informed business owners. This is exactly why all investors will require political and economic stability of the countries in which they invest. Opportunistic and vengeful investors and business owners may seek to capitalise on unfavourable events: that is their moral and ethical dilemma. But it must never be discounted that if a Five Year Business Plan is the ideal: how would one ever be able to come up with this in the current global climate let alone in the national climate? Yet, the Gurus of Business and Consultants who may profit, will continue to advocate such nonsense. Allen and his observations are a far better determinant of conditions on the ground. Let the consultants "Go Hang"! Job losses will not easily be assuaged. That is what must be remembered. If they are lost, they may go for a very long time. Ask President Obama as he faces Mid-Term elections. He knows this and so do all his staff. Rahm Emmanuel (Obama's Rottweiller Chief of Staff)recently left the White House to stand as Mayor of Chicago. He knows that conditions are dire. "Read the runes" - is the maxim.
Thanks Allen said…
@ Allen

Thanks for the very real and robust snap shot on the economy and the devestating impact the coup had on it. Of course the PM and his team continue to deny all of this.

I understand your need to get on with life and remain positive. I also thank you for the courage to tell it like it is.

Popular posts from this blog

Lessons from Africa

Fijian Holdings Scandal: Betrayal by their trusted sons