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Leasiosiofaasisina defends Board Chairmanships

The Ministry of Finance Chief Executive Officer Leasiosiofa'asisina Oscar Malielegaoi has defended his appointment to two Government boards. 

As the Ministry's C.E.O. Leasiosio oversees the Government's $947 million budget and also sits on several committees. 

He is the Board Chairman of the National Provident Fund (N.P.F.) and the Development Bank of Samoa (D.B.S.) and also sits on the Samoa Airways' Committee. 

Within the M.O.F., he chairs the National Revenue Board.

“I can handle [the job],” he said. 

Leasiosio was among several public board directors revealed when the Samoa Observer published a complete copy of the previously confidential list earlier this month.

Traditionally the C.E.O for M.O.F. oversees Government finances. 

“Like the N.P.F. the Government (M.O.F) oversees [its board] gives the public the assurance it is being monitored given the fund’s investments are quite significant," he said.

He said the public’s expectation is for the N.P.F. to do all that’s possible to increase their investment. 

In meeting that expectation, the fund has expanded its investment overseas. 

“The N.P.F. is investing with the Fiji [National Provident Fund] and other commercial partnerships and this is to ensure there are dividends paid back," he said. 

“It’s all possible due to healthy investments [but] given the significant amount of monies involved, there is a huge risk hence the Government’s involvement.” 

He said his involvement is critical to the projects and huge investments made by the S.N.P.F.

“Being on the board assists the S.N.P.F. as I have a broad understanding of our finances and that is the same with the D.B.S.,” he said. 

Leasiosio explained that, after the tsunami, a stimulus package with low concessional loans was given by the D.B.S. to the business community.

“The same was done during the global crisis and after Tropical Cyclone Evan and therefore it is vital for the M.O.F. to be part [of the board] given the vast knowledge and understanding with such as the state of the economy," he said. 

“I provide the background over the state of the economy and it is an added value and contribution to the [board]for S.N.P.F. and D.B.S. so they can make sound and critical decisions that will benefit everyone." 

Leasiosio stressed he was carrying on the responsibilities of the previous C.E.O. of the Ministry. 

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