The owner of one of the fastest growing businesses in Samoa, Coin Save, is remaining tightlipped over reports the government has given him the nod to run a part of the $5.7million market at Vaitele.
Contacted for a comment yesterday, businessman Tu’itu’ioaiga Teeking Weng, was reluctant to confirm or deny the reports.
“I can’t confirm now,” he said.
Told that the Samoa Observer has been informed that he has won the tender to run the market, Tu’itu’ioaiga said he couldn’t comment.
Attempts to get a comment from the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell were unsuccessful.
His Secretary said he busy with meetings all day.
Lautafi is responsible for the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C.), which runs the market. The Chief Executive Officer of S.L.C., Ulugia Petelo Kavesi, was also unavailable.
But a source told the Samoa Observer Tu’itu’ioaiga was already working on plans to turn the largely empty market into a profit-making venture.
Last month, Minister Lautafi, confirmed that the market had been tendered with the government looking for someone to develop it.
It was a last desperate attempt from the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C.) to recover the money spent on the multimillion-tala project opened in 2011.
“It’s being advertised and open to be used for businesses because the market is not functioning,” Lautafi told the Sunday Samoan in January.
“We have enough markets in villages and on the roadsides and people don’t need to come here."
“We all know (the market) is not strategically placed for our people who like to jump out of the car and get back in without having to walk distance.”
According to Lautafi, some businesses have already expressed interest. The winner of the tender was to be announced this month.
“I’m sure the businesses (tenderer) will come up with much better use of space and return for government leasing land.”
Lautafi added that he is also looking at a solution for the empty market at Salelologa, Savai’i.