Alleged conflict of interest or nepotism?

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Dear Editor, 

Conflict of interest is one of the real cause of corruption in Samoa. 

I am thankful that the Prime Minister in one of his press programmes emphasised the need for people holding government positions, whether C.E.Os in Ministries, Corporations or Directors in Government Public Enterprises, to either declare their interest or stay out of holding such positions, when it comes to decision making where public assets, are tendered for lease or sale. 

At the same time, the concerned public enterprise should ensure that such asset is advertised publicly. What amuses me is the latest transfer of two prime land properties owned by N.P.F. in the Vaitele Industrial Area. 

The first one is a block of land behind the Yazaki buildings, which has now been fenced off.

The second area is another block of land behind the defunct Desico Warehouse, which I believe has also been transferred to the same people.

I would like to ask these questions for the Management and Board of N.P.F., to explain for the sake of all contributors who own N.P.F.: 

1. Did you advertise these lands publicly or not?

2. Are these lands been sold or leased?

3. How did you end up giving all these prime lands to one family/Contributor?

4. How did you know that no one else is interested in these lands?

5. Why is this one family/Company being enriched through ownership of public assets owned by N.P.F. contributors? 

6. Is the new owner of these lands, still sitting in as Director of N.P.F. Board?

I believe the same person was given 100 acres of land at Lalonea without public tender. 

This block of land was used to be a farm for the U.S.P., for their research work. 

It has existing houses/improvements worth hundreds of thousands tala. This Lalonea land is located on backyards (fanua galue) of Faleata district and Faleata residents should be given a fair opportunity to bid for it only if that land was publicly tendered under government policy. 

I can go on and on with a list of lands being given to this one person, and is totally unfair. 

Please Hon Sili Epa Tuioti, as Minister concerned, I request that you look into these issues, and do something before it is too late. 

If these lands were not advertised publicly, please do the right thing. 

Let somebody else (contributor) who is looking for an opportunity, to own a piece of land, whether it’s leasehold or otherwise, to establish a business. 

That is transparency, which the present government is preaching. 

Fa’afetai tele, 

 

King W.

Concerned Faleata Resident

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