Police Ministry gets new vehicles

By Talaia Mika 16 March 2023, 11:00PM

The Ministry of Police Prisons and Corrections Services will receive 14 new vehicles courtesy of the Japan Government, as local authorities continue preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

The funding agreement to formalise the purchasing of a new fleet of vehicles was signed at the Police Headquarters in Apia by the Minister of Police, Faualo Harry Schuster and Japan's Ambassador to Samoa, Senta Keisuke.

The Minister and the Ambassador signed the grant contract valued at USD$353,988 (SAT$967,900) for the procurement of police vehicles.

The signing ceremony was followed by the provision of 10 new Toyota Land Cruisers through the funding which will go into strengthening the Ministry's daily operations to boost the security of the public and prevent crimes and threats.

Responding to questions from the Samoa Observer, Faualo said the Ministry will foot the maintenance cost of all the new vehicles, but the Government of Japan will fund the purchase cost of the vehicles.

According to the Minister, his Ministry had always paid the maintenance cost of their vehicles, including other vehicles which the Ministry is expecting.

He added that the Ministry will also be receiving more vehicles from the Government of Australia through the Australian Federal Police with their maintenance cost to also be footed by the Ministry.

The vehicles are both for Police preparations for the next year's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) as well as for the use of the Ministry, as their current fleet of vehicles are either old or in need of major repairs and are no longer roadworthy. 

"It's replacing the fleet but also all the new vehicles will be used by the Ministry for the CHOGM conference as they will be greatly needed and so we'll be looking for more," Faualo said.

Before Faualo became the new Police Minister in August 2021, the initiative of getting more vehicles for the Ministry before the CHOGM was already confirmed and on the table following discussions within the Ministry.

The Ministry's initial target is to obtain 30 more vehicles by the end of this year before the start of the CHOGM in Apia.

The signing ceremony on Thursday between the Minister and the Ambassador was for two separate projects, which are all funded by Government of Japan. 

The second grant valued at USD$312,937 has been allocated for prisons and corrections services at Tanumalala Prison where a new prison hall with a stage, kitchen, storage as well as four toilets and four shower rooms will be constructed. 

The grant will also cover the cost of the installation of a 5,000 litre water tank for Vaiaata Prison in Savai'i and the provision of two brand new Toyota Land Cruisers, one Toyota 30-seat Coaster and one Isuzu cargo truck. 

Speaking on behalf of the Ministry and the Samoa Government, Faualo expressed his appreciation to the Government of Japan for their timely generous assistance.

 The signing ceremony formalised the new grant assistance from Japan’s Grass-Roots Human Security Projects, while also marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two governments, with the Government of Japan continuing to assist and commit to improving its relations.

By Talaia Mika 16 March 2023, 11:00PM
Samoa Observer

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