PFL sale raises concerns

TAUTUA: Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi. [Samoa Observer]

The Tautua Party Member of Parliament, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi has hit out with doubts, questions and advice regarding the purchase of the Pacific Forum Line by the government of Samoa.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Pacific Forum Line (PFL),Fonotoe Nuafesili Pierre Lauofo, confirmed yesterday that the government has purchased 100% share capital of PFL and the takeover will be completed tomorrow.

However Lealailepule wants to know where the government will get the money from to pay out more than 90% plus to other shareholders given that Samoa’s share is only 8%.

In an email yesterday, the Chairman of Cabinet Samoa Shipping Services Taskforce, Tupuola Oloialii Koki Tuala, said he was unable to disclose the purchase price as part of the sales agreement and until the sale is completed this week.

“The funding is coming from government,” he said

“The shareholders of PFL decided to sell the company because it no longer serves all the requirements of each of the 12 member countries,” he said.

“Members were not willing to support any future developments of PFL because of the priorities in their own respective countries,” he said.

And while Lealailepule agreed that a reliable and affordable service to link Samoa to the outside world was vital because of Samoa’s relative isolation, he bluntly said that he didn’t think Samoa could operate the company on its own.

However Tupuola expressed confidence pointing out that PFL still has its own management and staff as well as resources to manage and operate its own business activities.

He said that all shipping companies in the region and the global shipping market are facing financial difficulties.


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