“How much is the Samoa Airways aircraft lease?” MP asks


The Alataua West MP and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’u’au

BY Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 24 JANUARY 2018: The question as to how much the Samoa Airways aircraft is costing the country was asked in parliament tonight.

The question was posed by the Alataua West MP and Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Ali’imalemanu Alofa Tu’u’au to the Minister of Finance while speaking on the 2018 Supplementary Estimates.

“I was expecting the allocation in the Supplementary Estimates,” she asked. “If it’s funded through the finance lease, how much is it as it’s now two months since the airline has been operating?” she asked.

Ali’imalemanu supports the dream of the airline having two or more aircrafts “so that shortfalls on one route can be covered by better performing routes.”

Address the cause of offending rather than a nice prison
The MP is impressed by the new prison under construction at Tanumalala and its “serene location overlooking the mountains of Savaii island.”

The overall cost of the prison as the Minister of Prisons told parliament yesterday was $20 million talā.  While the $3.8m as allocated “is well spent” Ali’imalemanu asked the Minister whether it would be better to address the cause of offending as some prisoners may find the nice prison facilities an attraction to remain in prison. “It means we will have to spend another $20million in the next 20 years to build another prison,” she said.

Paperless Parliament
A long time Finance Controller for the regional environment programme, SPREP, Ali’imalemanu she declared her support for the environment. She urged parliament to save the trees and the environment by using technology more rather than paper reports used in the work of parliament.

“I look on my desk, reports on the floor and wonder how many trees have been killed to produce these reports and photocopying when I was expecting to have many of the reports on my laptop.”

Speaking on the separation of powers of three pillars of democracy, she emphasized the role of parliament and urged MPs to play their role in explaining government development projects and expenditure to their constituents.

“It’s what I’m doing in my constituency and now they understand as there are a lot of reports implying misuse by government.”

As Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, she was the last to speak on the Supplementary Estimates before the floor was handed over to the Prime Minister and Cabinet to respond to issues raised by the Members.