A piece of land in American Samoa that belongs to the Samoan government has been allocated for the use of the American Samoa Taxi Owners Association (T.O.A).
This is according to the public notice by the Board and trustees of Taxi Owners Association in American Samoa. The land is located in Petesa, in the Tualauta District.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi approved the use of the land, according to the notice.
Signed by T.O.A President, Tuitama E. Ulberg on behalf of their Association, the notice acknowledged the assistance of the Samoa government.
“I acknowledge the kind assistance of the Prime Minister of Samoa, Honorable Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi for the approval of Samoa’s land to be used for this purpose.
“I would echo the same spirit of gratitude to Samoa’s voice in American Samoa, Honorable Consular Ausuegaefa Va’asatia Poloma Komiti for your continuous support over the years, in liaising with many government departments and agencies.
“I sincerely thank Honorable Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Governor of American Samoa for consideration of our services as an association dedicated to serving our community,” said Tuitama Ulberg in his notice.
The issue regarding the land swap was initiated back in 2012 as part of the two Samoa Talks. At that time, the Samoa government informed the American Samoa Government the land allocated for them is in Vailima.
At the initial agreement, news reports indicate that during a news conference, Tuilaepa said having an American Samoa office in Apia, makes it easy to address issues that arise in the event of an emergency situation. He says that having the Samoa Consulate Office in Pago Pago is doing the same for Samoa nationals in the territory.
However in 2014 the Memorandum of Understanding was amended, duing the two Samoa talks which was hosted in Apia, at the T.A.T.T.E building, as reported earlier,
Prime Minister Tuilaepa said the M.O.U is to reword the previous agreement already signed between Samoa and the former American Samoa administration.
“The previous agreement was between Samoa and Governor Togiola Tulafono’s administration.
The M.O.U signed was to “reword the last agreement” in accordance with the new administration standards.
The agreement is for both countries to lease out one acre of land for the operation of each other’s Consular offices in their respective countries.
Samoa has already allocated a parcel at Vailima for American Samoa but American Samoa has yet to finalize the land for Samoa.