Mohammed Hakim, 57, of Nakasi was emotional when he received his Energy Fiji Limited shareholders certificate from the Acting Prime Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday.
Mohammed Hakim with his share certificate on June 23,2018.
Mr Hakim was among the 100 other recipients who received their shareholders certificate at the Rups Mega Plaza in Nakasi.
He said he was thankful because it was the first time for him to witness ordinary Fijians being given the opportunity to own shares in Fiji.
“Such things have never happened in Fiji before and I am so thankful that now it did,” he said.
“Before only well-off people could buy shares but now anyone can become a shareholder.”
He added that the returns would be a major aid for him.
While delivering his speech, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged recipients to hold on to their shares and not to sell it to anyone because next year they could sell their shares to the South Pacific Stock Exchange.
They could also start trading.
He said many Fijians do not know much about shares.
“It is also a form of asset like owning a property which issues returns,” he said.
“Try and hold on to it because this is your asset and every year the dividend is going to be paid to you and you can pass it on to your children and grandchildren.
“If you sell it, it is gone and if you keep it, every year when EFL makes money, you will get dividends.”
For people with salary under $30,000 they were given 250 shares, while those above that threshold were given 150.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also urges the public to register and get their EFL shares. He said so far 40,000 customers had come forward to register for shares.
Another recipient Vani Ganilau, 50, after receiving her certificate said dividends received from this should be re-invested into the economy rather than meeting immediate expenditures.
The Nakasi resident believes that this step will ensure some level of security to people’s future as well.