The plan by the Samoa Shipping Corporation (S.S.C.) to build a bed and breakfast accommodation facility is still in the “talking stages”.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said this during his recent weekly media conference while emphasizing that these types of projects are approved by Cabinet and it is yet to make a decision on the S.S.C. project.
Last month, S.S.C. General manager, Papali’i Willie Nansen, told Samoa Observer of their plans to invest in an accommodation facility to utilise a vacant space at the wharf.
But the Minister responsible for the S.S.C., Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, vowed to oppose the project and urged the corporation to focus on its core business of providing shipping services.
He said he did not agree with the plans and added that government agencies have a poor track record when it came to managing publicly-funded hotels.
Early this month the Minister said he disapproved of the project and will ensure that no public funds are spent on it.
“So long as I am the Minister, I will not allow the Shipping Corporation to invest in an accommodation or hotel, it doesn’t matter what it is but the fact remains that we will not compete with the private sector,” he said.
But Prime Minister clarified that such a decision is left to the Cabinet
“The project at hand is in the talking state and the S.S.C. is looking at utilising the old building, but they have not finalised any plans.
It was suggested by members of the public to have an accommodation at the Mulifanua wharf for the travelling population’s convenience and again the final decision whether the plans is a go or not lies with the Cabinet.”
The S.S.C. board is currently considering a number of options including leasing out the place, but a decision is yet to be made, added the Prime Minister.