Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has refuted criticism from members of the public following media reports on the possible closure of the Matautu wharf from August to October.
Reports stated that the wharf was likely to be closed for the installation of the Tui Samoa Internet Cable.
This has raised major concerns especially from the business community.
However, Prime Minister has moved to re assure the nation that nothing of the sort will happen.
He said we have nothing to worry about, as the government has already done what’s needed to be done in order to avoid trouble.
“We’ve already talked to all the shipping agents in relations to this.
“The vessel is expected to arrive in August, and while it’s in Samoa, no other boat can dock at the port during this period.
“I’ve seen reports from the media and the criticism in relation to this problem. I don’t know if it’s because they (media) don’t understand or maybe they don’t want to understand.
“The thing is, the plan for this vessel to come to Samoa wasn’t something that was decided overnight.
“This has been in the planning for some time. That’s why we’ve consulted other shipping agents so we can come up with a solution to avoid any possible disruption in the future.”
Moreover, Tuilaepa said this also has proved why he has so many times, raised the issue that we need to extend our wharf.
“We need to extend our wharf because it is small. It is getting to a point where we no longer have enough space for the big vessels.
“That’s why we are looking at extending it and having a bigger port.”
Nevertheless, Tuilaepa wants to remind people that Samoa can profit from this project.
“People always look at the negative side of things.
“But we need to also look at the brighter side of things.
“You see the other thing is, the company who is responsible for bringing this vessel is one of the biggest companies in terms of installation and repairing of submarine cables.
“It is our hope to attract this business here in Samoa to monitor and look after submarine cables not only in Samoa but also in the Pacific.
“When that happens, it can create job opportunities for our people and also this can guarantee that nothing can ever go wrong with our submarine cable once it is installed.
“We will get money from it. People are complaining now without knowing that the main reason we consulted with the shipping agents now is so that we can find a solution and to make sure that there will be no problems in the future.
“We need to remember that for every problem, there is always a solution. And for every sickness, there is always a cure.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, Lemauga Hobart Va’ai also shared the P.M.’s positive spirit.
He said the Chamber has been working proactively to engage all parties who are directly affected to seek a solution.
“It is with this due respect, that the Chamber is facilitating high level dialogue with members of the Samoa Submarine Cable, Samoa Ports Authority, Samoa shipping agents – stevedore companies and business leaders and our major importers for a mediation session to seek solutions to this issue.”
“We understand the complexities of the issue and long term benefits the cable will bring for our country and the disruptions to our economy if shipping delays occur.
“Our main aim is to ensure in these talks that there are positive outcomes to ensure no disruptions and any harmonious affects to our business community and community at large.”