Govt. owes $29.6 million in domestic loans

Aside from loans taken from overseas banks, the Government also owes $29.6 million in terms of domestic loans.

The money is owed to the Samoa National Provident Fund and the Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.). 

The loans are detailed in the Public Account for financial year 2017, where it indicates that one of the loans to U.T.O.S. is paid for by Samoa Airways. 

For financial year 2015, Samoa Airways paid $12.6 million and in Financial Year 2016, another $9.6 million was paid to U.T.O.S.  

The financial report further says that in the Financial Year 2017, Samoa Airways paid out $6.3 million. 

Last month, Samoa Airways has sought another $12 million loan with U.T.O.S. 

Minister of Public Enterprise, Lautafi Selafi Purcell, confirmed the loan noting that “every starting company must have a backup plan and that calls for additional funding in case of an emergency and the company does not scramble to look for money, hence the loan with U.T.O.S. 

“With any starting company especially an airline, which is very costly, during its first 24 months will operate on a loss. 

“However, for the Samoa Airways that has changed and our flights have been full since last month.”

While the Minister denied the airline was in a financial conundrum, he admitted that the Government is paying the wages for its pilots and cabin crew until a local crew is hired.

The Samoa Airport Authority’s loan paid to S.N.P.F. for Financial Year 2016 was $1.19 million and in 2017 they paid $823,857. 

The Development Bank also owes U.T.O.S. and repayments were $11.3 million for Financial Year 2016 and $9.7million was paid for Financial Year 2017. 

The Pacific Line Forum is also paying a loan to U.T.O.S. from Financial Year 2016 in the amount of $15.4 million and $12.0 million in Financial Year 2017. 

The Samoa Shipping Services is also paying a loan, but to the S.N.P.F. and this is in the amount of $1.08 million in Financial Year 2016 and $456,779 for Financial Year 2017, says the Public Accounts report.

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