Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Weekend Reading. Scroll down to see •The Fiji Media Environment • The Military and the Civil Service • Growing the Service Industry
• The Head that Wears the Crown • Faith in the Future

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.

Passport Shortage
Many times I have been asked the question – why do we run out of passports? There are 800,000 of us in Fiji and if all of us were to be given a passport each it wouldn’t take five years. But as it is almost each year we run out of passports. As shown on TV, Director of Immigration Nemani Vinuwaqa said that the company that makes them is to blame because they print passports according to priority.

Now we have 164 emergency passports and counting down, soon that too will run out. Now the $180 question why can we get our passports made from somewhere that can produce them faster. And I am curious as to why so many people have applied for passports. Are we all gonna go over seas? I am told that many people who will not even travel in their life time have made passports for themselves. I wonder why, is it for identification purposes? If it is so, then I think its an expensive exercise because it has to be renewed at certain periods. The authorities should now consider getting all citizens proper ID cards that will serve its purpose for banks, hospital, FNPF, drivers license, job applications, school and whatever more.

And for people who are applying for passports just so they have one, can we deter them, because when some genuine travelers apply we have run out. ?


running out of money said…
The only reason the passports did not arrive in Fiji on time is because the Government was late paying the invoice.
Truth said…
Mr. Lockington
Apparently you have forgotten to ask why every other government in the world is perfectly capable of balancing supply and demand for passports. Could there perhaps be a tiny bit of incompetence involved in this?

There is also a commonly used term to explain what you see in Fiji: People are voting with their feet!
Anonymous said…
@. Truth

How can you vote with your feet if you have no valid passport? In years to come these Emergency Passports will become Collectors Items: like Mein Kampf they will be sought after? It is very obvious why. In a Gulag Archipelago the weirdest things gain value.
Wither Away! said…
Why ever should anyone NOT have a passport if they so wish and are prepared to pay the required fee? This is what The State is for? To be as little directly involved in people's lives as possible but to ensure that all citizens have SAFE PASSAGE WHENSOEVER AND WHERESOEVER they choose to go. If this basic duty is not fulfillable, then the State should wither away!

One of the most reputable companies in the entire world printed Fiji Passports. Would they prefer not to now? Because if so, that is an indictment in itself.

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