Member of Parliament questions fuel contract
The Member of Parliament for Vaimauga Sasa’e, Sulamanaia Tauiliili Tuivasa, has questioned a Tenders Board's decision to award the contract for the supply of bulk fuel to one company.
Sulumanaia expressed his concerns in Parliament on Tuesday during the discussion of the supplementary budget.
The Government M.P. took issue with 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."
Petroleum Products Supplies Ltd (P.P.S.) is the current fuel supplier in Samoa and is the first local company to run and manage the fuel distribution system when it won the contract in 2003.
The Minister of Finance and the Tenders Board Chairman, Sili Epa Tuioti, in response clarified that the contract with the fuel company is only for four years.
“During the last tender [process], three companies entered bids and the company [P.P.S.] gave the lowest bid.
"In going forward, we are also looking at increasing the number of tanks that can store fuel in case of natural disasters, and fuel vessels won’t be able to deliver fuel and we have supply," he said.
“We are also looking at installing two tanks at Salelologa. The Government sends fuel to Salelologa every two weeks."
The four-year contract comprises offshore supply of bulk petroleum fuels to the country, management and maintenance of the fuel terminal and depots on behalf of the Government, and the local distribution of bulk petroleum fuels to all customers.
Meanwhile, M.P. Sulamanaia has also asked the Minister of Police and Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, for a portion of land at the Fagali’i Airport to be given back to his village for use as a sports field.
“Fagali’i has always assisted the Government in terms of lands, we have the golf course, the government housing and what was once known as the airport," he said.
“And my village wanted to take back the land, but I advised against it and our request to the Minister of Police, if the Government can allocate a lot to be used as a sporting field for village's purpose."
Last month, the Fagali’i Airport was shut by the Government with aircraft now operating out of the Faleolo International Airport.
The Police have taken over the airport and will turn the area into a driving range and vehicle registration inspection site as part of the Government's broader efforts to address the rising road toll.
Tuilaepa said at the time that the increasing deaths on Samoa's roads is the rationale behind the Government's decision to shut the airport and move air services to Faleolo.
The Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, said the Fagali’i Airport failed to meet international safety standards and had to be closed down and handed over to the Ministry of Police.