End in sight for church’s multi-million-tala project

The multi-million-tala Jubilee Church at Malua should be completed before the end of October. But the cost is expected to be several millions more than the $7million initially budgeted for the project.

The General Secretary of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, confirmed this during an interview with the Sunday Samoan.

Rev. Vavatau was quick to point out that the deadline is dependent on all things going according to plan. 

“This all depends if the materials (from overseas) arrive on the expected time,” Rev. Vavatau said.

“If we can supply (some of the materials) locally then we will go for it. But we’re looking at materials with good quality and that’s what’s causing the delay.” 

Rev. Vavatau, who was recently appointed to the role, said one of his goals is to complete the project, as it has been a drag. 

But he doesn’t want to rush it for the sake of saving face.

“We don’t want to just finish the project, we want to finish this project with high quality,” he said.

“That’s why it’s difficult. For example, if we can’t supply the windows locally, then we have to look further afield to (order) from New Zealand. If we not then China and others (countries).”

In the meantime, Rev. Vavatau said the construction is progressing well.

“If you go to the site, there you see the work is still going.

“There will be another shipment (of materials) expected to arrive before the end of this month. The shipment is bringing the roofing, windows and other materials.”

During the Church’s annual conference this year, Rev. Vavatau said a special subcommittee was appointed to work on the project.

At the meeting, it was revealed that the project has already cost  more than  $10million.

The amount was confirmed during the meeting of the Church Finance Committee at the General Assembly.

The breakdown of the abovementioned cost of $10,107,951.32 include the labour cost of $5,149,630, hirage cost at $628,327, materials at  $2,986,579.76, administration of $157,833.22 with the administration cost of 1,185,581.34.

The project, which started in 2014, was initially estimated to cost $7m. 

At that time, the building was scheduled to be opened in 2015.

 But that did not happen.

Last year, the National Provident Fund approved the church’s loan of $15million tala.

The church is now given 10 to 15 years to pay loan with yearly payments of $1.7million.

According to the Chairman of the Church Finance Committee, Le Mamea Ropati in a previous interview; the loan was for the completion of the church ongoing projects - including the Jubilee at Malua.

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