Ministry of Finance stands by decision
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Finance, Leasiosiofa’asisina Galumalemana Malielegaoi, says the Government will not open the market to allow more than one fuel supplier for Samoa.
The Chief Executive Officer's opinion was sought on the back of calls for the Government to open up the market so that one company, at this stage P.P.S., does not monopolise the market.
But Leasiosio defend the process, saying the decision to award the fuel contract to the P.P.S. followed a review conducted by independent engineers.
“The on-shore terminal and distribution contract was awarded to P.P.S., the lowest of the three bids received from the three local companies.”
While the offer was one factor, the awarding of the contract also considered experience.
“And plus good performance based on a review conducted by independent engineers resulted in the decision to award the contract to P.P.S.”
In Parliament last month, Member of Parliament for Vaimauga Sasa’e, Sulamanaia Tauiliili Tuivasa called on the Government to consider bringing in other fuel companies to spice up the competition.
The M.P. pointed out the “expensive price” of fuel and said opportunities should be given to other companies to ensure the public benefits from competitive pricing.
“Yet there’s only one company," he said.
"This [means they] monopolise the price of fuel and there should be consideration given to the number of vehicles in the country.
“We need another fuel company in the country to ensure there’s competition and the price of fuel is fair."
However Leasiosio does not agree.
“On comments from Afioga Sulamanaia to open up the market for more suppliers, this was the practice in the past and our prices were very high compared to countries in the region,” said Leasiosio.
He concluded the Samoan model is now attracting interest from close Pacific neighbours to adopt the On-Shore Terminal and Distribution arrangement.
“Our prices (Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene) are amongst the lowest in the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand.”