The new Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries Lopao’o Natanielu Mua with CEO Tilafono David Hunter and CEO of SROS Dr. Seuseu Tauati
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 31 AUGUST 2017: The Member of Parliament for Vaisigano No.1. Lopao’o Natanielu Mu’a is the newly appointed Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS).
The appointment was announced by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi and followed by the swearing in of the new Minister.
Lopao’o replaces Laaulialemalietoa Polataivao Fosi who resigned from the post last week.
Tuilaepa said it was not hard to determine someone to take over this important position in the development of Samoa, as all Human Rights Protection Party MP’s were qualified.
He highlighted the importance of the Ministerial role, where a person has to work hard and not just rocking on his chair in the air conditioned office.
Of the 52 parliamentary seats, 47 are held by HRPP of which 20 are from Savaii and 27 from Upolu.
“In Cabinet and with the exception of the Prime Minister, 5 seats are held by Savaii and 7 in Upolu,” said Tuilaepa.
“There is no law as to how many Ministers are from Savaii or Upolu, however, to keep the unity and balance within the party, a member from Savai’i should replace the former Savai’i member,” said Tuilaepa.
Tuilaepa also acknowledged and thanked Laaulialemalietoa for his time as Minister.
He reminded Lopaoo that the oath he took before His Highness the Head of State is also before God, and he encouraged the new Minister to serve Samoa and her people honestly.
He also cautioned him to hand over any business interests he has to family, and concentrate on serving the country.
Lopaoo was still in shock and was struggling for words when he addressed the audience.
He acknowledged the appointment and thanked Tuilaepa for the trust and that he will serve the post to the best of his ability.
Lopao’o said that as a farmer, he attends to his plantation three times a week, and he was in Savaii yesterday and only arrived in Upolu this morning.
“Last night I played the EFKS hymn, “Ave L’ou Ola ia Aoga” which is my favourite hymn in my phone, and I was surprised when the choir this morning sang the same song although to a different tune,” said Lopao’o.
He said he was thinking about the coincidence when he heard his name called out by the Prime Minister.
He also asked the media to give him two weeks before approaching him with any questions, as he tries to familiarize with his new job.