Dear Editor – There’s been a lot of good news and some bad as well about NPF in the newspapers lately.
As a member, I am excited that the NPF Board in their wisdom have come up with lots of exciting investment plans for the fund.
Whilst I may not be able to reap some of the benefits the fund is planning in my term as a member, I like to congratulate them for looking forward and allowing our future generation to benefit from these investments.
I just like to make mention of something the Board might like to look into so that the fund can be inclusive and take all Solomon Islanders on board.
In 2002, whilst I did my studies in Fiji; the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) employees came to our school to assist the students fill in their FNPF form to become members.
Later on I found out that almost anybody in Fiji is an FNPF member. Whether he/she sells produce at the market, a taxi driver, a student, an employee, an employer or just a villager is eligible to be a member.
Twelve years later, I am back here in Fiji and see that those who filled out their FNPF forms the last time I was here are able to obtain loans for their school fees and for their kids’ school fees and some other needs the FNPF provides for.
I know our Board members are aware of this, but can we take this approach so that it eases the burden of budgeting from us? You know well that we are not good at budgeting let alone saving with the commercial banks. With NPF the member understands that he/she is owning the fund making it a must for he/she to be committed to the fund.
Forget about credit unions because almost all of the credit unions we have are either not up and running or those managing the funds are still looking to find out where the money has gone to. There is little investment, thus little return by way of dividends.
The current net profit reported in the Fiji times for FNPF is in billions. If not all but most of the Solomon Islanders are involved, we can see a lot more than NPF is currently achieving.
So can the SINPF Board explore this so that everybody in Solomon Islands can be brought on board.