The new Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, had an inkling that he could be given the job but nothing prepared him for what transpired on Friday.
The new Member of Parliament for Faasaleleaga No. 1 was thrilled to be sworn in as a M.P but to be appointed as a Cabinet Minister was icing on the cake.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Sili reiterated that he believes all callings are from God.
“I want to thank Him for using me as one of his servants. I am indeed very grateful and humbled,” he said.
“To me, I think it’s important that we acknowledge his blessings because he has made this possible for us. We shall not lean on our own understanding and knowledge, but we should all give back the glory to Him.”
Although he might not be new to the area of Finance given his background as a former Secretary of Finance, Sili said he will just “listen and observe for the time being.”
He is looking up to those Parliamentarians who have been in Parliament longer to get a few tips.
“At the same time, I am looking at continuing the good work and development done by the government for the past years and work on the areas which really needs improvements,” he said.
“I am grateful to God for all His blessings; because of the skills that he had instilled in me, there is really no need for me to go and study all the reports.
“I have the knowledge and experience of what the Ministry does and how it operates. And I am bringing that with me to this new role.”
Moreover, Sili said he would try his best and leave the rest to God.
“I will leave everything to Him to help me out with this new role.”
Inclusive development is what Sili aims to promote as the new Minister of Finance.
“It is imperative to have developments that will benefit everyone.”
Looking forward, Sili said it is important for all Members of Parliament to work together.
“As the Prime Minister said today, it is very important for all the Member of Parliaments to work together. That’s the key to a successful country.
“We are all servants, and we work for the same purpose and that is to bring prosperity for Samoa and for all.”
He highlighted that it is time to start planning and work for a better Samoa.
“The aim is to broaden our focus onto the next 20-30 years and think about the kind of government we want to have.
“We need to start planning now and work really hard so that we will have a wealthy Samoa for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
Sili added that he believes it is vital to communicate with people and listen to their needs.
“This is very important so that we do developments based on what our country needs; because we should do everything for the benefit of our people.”
Sili acknowledged the support of his constituents, his family and friends.
Sili Epa Tuioti hails from the village of Sapulu Salelologa.
The 63-year-old is married to Pearl Tuioti and they have six children. He is a deacon of the Methodist Church and a graduate of the Rhema Bible College.