[Samoa Observer] Samoa Opposition Leader Labels Government As Careless
Palusalue slams price of redrafted market design
By Niccola Hazelman-Siona
APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, April 17, 2013) – The leader of the Opposition, Tautua Party’s Palusalue Faapo II, is frustrated by the poor decision-making of Samoa’s government.
He has cited the ongoing saga surrounding the building of a new Fugalei Market as an example of this which has led to further costs to the taxpayer, delays in construction and an unhealthy and unresolved situation for growers and sellers.
“Government is careless, the minister is careless, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is careless and it is the people who are suffering for it; all because of bad planning and poor management,” he said.
Palusalue says he has done the math on the estimated three million tala [US$1.3 million] that was spent on drafting the layout of the market.
“The market that was approved before was something like 30 million tala [US$12.7 million]. When the architect does his billing for the draft it is 10 percent of the approved tender and 10 percent of 30 million is three million.”
“The price for the building of the market has now been renegotiated so what we would like to know is, what about the taxpayers whose money has been spent? Three million is already lost in the drafting of the market structure.”
“Three million for the first draft of the market – before it was renegotiated! Three million is a lot of money and it has just gone to waste. Who will pay for it; who will pay back the taxpayers’ money that has been wasted?”
“What the Tautua Party is asking for is simply for government to get on with it, make a decision and get going,” he said.
Palusalue dismissed the idea that it was a personal choice of the people to stay at the makeshift markets at Fugalei.
“The government has the power to move people to Vaitele as well as stop all these other little markets from opening up.”
Some of these little markets have been set up on the property of HRPP Members of Parliament who are collecting rent money.
“Yet they come up with all sorts of excuses and these people are still getting money but the little people are the ones suffering it out.”
“I know that this must make your ears sore,” he said while addressing members of the media, but it is something that must be brought up again.”
“While the matter of the Fugalei is being brought up during Cabinet meetings and more discussions are being held, plans are being canceled, and our people are still out there in the sun trying to make a living.”
“Day and night, in the wind and rain, the heat, the dust, they are there, everyday while our government plays around with the plans for the market.”
“It is not easy,” said Palusalue. “These farmers slave in the rain and sun to grow their produce and then they have to suffer the same thing when they come to sell it. Government needs to think fast now and get things done.”
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