Salelologa Market revenue drops further

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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POOR PLANNING: The under-used top floor of the Salelologa Market.

POOR PLANNING: The under-used top floor of the Salelologa Market.

Returns from the Salelologa Market continue to dwindle causing Government to looking into various ways to breathe life back into this investment. 

"It's been very slow other than when it was initially opened. It's been going downhill; almost running at a loss,” admitted the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Fiu Purcell. 

Fiu Purcell said the downhill momentum of sales on a daily basis is worrying and attributed part of the loss of sales to poor management.

“One problem is that people just come and go without paying their outstanding balance so it’s just debts that we are looking at without the good returns."

But it has given pause for the government to reconsider other measures in order to find a way to boost revenue. 

One of the ideas already offered up that he is looking at, is the use of space available and trying to put the stalls together instead of the design where they are spaced out. 

“This would make more room available on the other side of the market for other business types to use,” he said. 

“This would be an idea similar to how other markets are being designed. 

In addition, Savaii residents themselves have offered various reasons for the failure of the market to attract sellers and buyers.

They include poor planning by Government, the fact that it is situated away from the township of Salelologa and that the goods offered there are the cheap items found in other shops in the town centre.

“The benches are mostly used for people to sleep on,” laughed one Salelologa resident, “and public transport is not regular.” 

Lautafi is the minister responsible for re-developing townships.

As a result, he thinks ‘By the time the work is in process (townships development) then there will be time to focus on building businesses and other shops around, to attract more business to the market here.”

 “There are other options like relocating the market somewhere but build the town in here (where the market's located) as a centre like T.A.T.T.E. for all the government services, " he said.

“The other side would be business and a bus terminal so there would be a smaller market . These are just some of the things that I’m thinking of now.

“If all of these things are done, where businesses cover the other side and people come to work here every day, then I think that would be a fresh start for the market ... but that’s for the near future."

In the Samoa Land Corporation’s Annual General Report for 2014-2015 which was submitted  to the Speaker of the House in March 2016, income from the Salelologa Market had dropped from 543,556 tala in 2014 to 369,926 tala in 2015, a decrease of 173 630 tala.

The market at Savalalo showed a small increase from 2014 - 726,420 tala to 2015 - 785,438 tala while at Vaitele, 2014 income was recorded at 161,900 tala in 2014 and a small increase in 2015 to 178,863 tala.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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