P.M. firm on Tia’vea airport land offer
The Government will stand by its original offer of $30 per square meter to the village council and families of Tia’vea for the land to build the country’s newest airport.
This is according to the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi during a recent press conference at his office.
Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, told Samoa Observer recently that the Government will not pay $5.58 million and the project could be cancelled if the villagers continued to push for $60 per square meter.
Last month, Ti’avea village mayor, Sola Si’uele Seiuli, told this newspaper that the Government is offering $30 per square meter but the families from the village want $60 per square meter.
The Prime Minister said the Government has many other options in terms of securing land for the proposed project.
“However the priority is given to Ti’avea given its close proximity to Tutuila and the Government will stand that by that decision,” he said.
Papali’i has indicated that the price that the villagers are asking for the 23-acre size land is beyond the Government’s budget.
“They stand to benefit from this airport with the developments in their village yet they want a ridiculous… that is not going to happen. The Government will not pay that amount, may as well not build that airport,” he said.
Attempts by this newspaper to get comments from Sola have been unsuccessful.