Plans for market in the works
The Chinese businessman whom the government has chosen to run the $5.7million Vaitele Market remains uncertain about what he plans to do.
The businessman was approached by the Sunday Samoan to follow up what he is likely to do now that he has won the tender for the multi-million-tala project.
“I can’t confirm anything at this stage,” Tu’itu’ioaiga told the Sunday Samoan.
“As of today, I’m still trying to figure it out what kind of business that we’re going to set up at the Vaitele Market."
“I’m still working on it now. That is all I can say until the next time.”
In the meantime, a source told the Sunday Samoan that Tu’itu’ioai’ga will take over the market in May.
Last month, Prime Minister expressed support for Tu’itu’ioaiga’s winning bid.
“Remember we have been advertising this market for so long but people hesitated to go there because they say it’s far from the main road,” Tuilaepa said.
“So the Minister appointed to look after this portfolio has been trying and working really hard to find ways in order to make money out of this market."
“His main goal is to get money out of this market.”
The Minister Tuilaepa was referring to is Lautafi Selafi Purcell, the Minister of Public Enterprises.
“He is very active and a strong advocate in making sure that we get something out of this market,” Tuilaepa said.
Tuilaepa said because of numerous reports submitted in Parliament about the failure of the Vaitele Market to make a profit, Lautafi had to stand up and act quickly.
“That’s why the Minister has been trying so hard to look for avenues and ways to make this market work."
“He had to do it in order for us to get money out of this market. And that is an example of a good Minister who is willing to do things for the benefit of our people."
“He saw that we weren’t getting any profit from the market, so he had to do something about it. And he didn’t stop until he found a way."
“So this Chinese businessman approached him with a proposal.”
The rest is history.
Tuilaepa said he is confident the government will make a profit from the venture.
“Right now, we only get $23,000 tala a year from the market at Vaitele,” he said. “But from this proposal and the new plan, we will get more than $250,000 (quarter million) a year."
“That is a lot of money compared to the money we are getting now."
“This is also a great way to turn the market into something very useful.”