S.N.P.F. Savai'i office expected to be opened in May
The Samoa National Provident Fund's (S.N.P.F) state-of-the-art office complex in Savai'i could be open in May this year.
This was confirmed by the caretaker Minister of S.N.P.F., Sili Epa Tuioti in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
The construction work for the project was initially set to be completed in January this year.
However, the closure of international borders causing difficulties in the shipments of materials needed to complete the project is why the opening date has been pushed back, said Sili.
"The main reason there has been a delay in getting some of the essential materials needed for the construction work of the project is the closure of our borders," he said.
"So realistically, we are looking at the end of April or the beginning of May, depending on when we get the resources from Europe.
"So we are waiting for the resources to arrive, then it will be quicker for the workers to finish and complete the work.
"Unfortunately, we were aiming for February or March, the latest, but then some things are out of our control and we hope that the international borders will sort of open soon and the materials needed will arrive in the country so we can finish the construction work.
"We are disappointed that it got delayed, but we are hoping that we will open soon."
Sili confirmed that the ST$7,806,698 project is still on track, financially.
"We may not be on track with the plan we initially had for the timeframe of the work and the opening date, but financially, we are still on track.
"The work is still on budget and there will be no additional cost to the work that is carried out."
At the groundbreaking ceremony of the work in May 2020, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the need for the S.N.P.F to have a Savai'i office is critical.
"The Samoa National Provident Fund was established some 48 years ago in 1972 when the Government saw the need for our people to have an avenue to save money for retirement," he said then.
The Fund, according to Tuilaepa, has grown from humble beginnings to what it is today, which is a Provident Fund with assets exceeding T$815 million.
"However, there has been one thing that has been missing all along and that is the fact that S.N.P.F. has never, in its long history, owned an office of its own in Savai'i," he added.
"That is why, with Cabinet’s blessing, the Fund will be building a state-of-the-art office complex on this very land where we are gathering this morning."
Tuilaepa went on to say that once the work is completed, S.N.P.F will be "better equipped to serve our people in Savaii with their member contribution payments, withdrawals, loan applications and assist our senior citizens with their pensions and other benefits."
Cabinet awarded the building contract to Schwartz Construction company.