LTA PAVING THE WAY TO MEET SAMOA’S TRANSPORT NEEDS

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By Nanai Taofiga Laveitiga Tuiletufuga

During this administration, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has delivered and performed exceptional well under daunting and challenging circumstances which includes unpredictable flooding due to climate change and COVID-19 world pandemic.

But overall, the Minister of Transport Papalii Niko Lee Hang is content with the LTA’s performance under these circumstances.

Elaborates Transport Minister Papalii;

“Government’s long-term reconstruction program is to build more resilient infrastructure and to promote economic recovery.

“The plan not only targets roads and bridges repairs damaged by recent natural disasters but will also upgrade, rehabilitate and reconstruct existing road infrastructure to strengthen its resilience to climate change and extreme weather events.

“There’s been a lot of progress and improvements made by government to address our transport needs,” he added.

“But with continued population growth, we’re experiencing that our transportation needs are ever increasing.

“Fortunately government has developed a long term plan to address our air, land and sea needs now and for the next 50 years.”

LAND TRANSPORTAT AUTHORITY (LTA).

In the last five years, the Authority has tar sealed and widen access roads to all of the 50 electoral constituencies in both Upolu and Savai’i. And work is continuing based on funding available.

Despite the international border closures due to COVID-19, LTA with the support from Contractors has continued works on major road projects to safeguard any income disruptions to the workers during these trying times.

Government has also encouraged utilizing of local contractors and local materials for major funded projects to enhance knowledge and skills of our local people in implementing multi million dollar valued projects and contributes significantly to  our economic growth. Furthermore, our local people will have the necessary skills and knowledge to maintain these large infrastructure.

 FISCAL SPENDING IN THE LAST 5 YEARS

  • FY ending June 2016: $29,568,343
  • FY ending June 2017: $27, 923,182
  • FY ending June 2018: $28,535,677
  • FY ending June 2019: $28,277,273
  • FY ending June 2020: $41,575,152

(The funding totalling close to $130 million tala does not include grant funding from Samoa’s Development Partners.)

GOVT. FUNDING PER FISCAL YEAR

  • FY 2016-2017; Total Cost $$5.1 MILLION for 7 Capital Works
  • FY 2017-2018; Total Cost $11.1 MILLION for 16 Capital Works
  • FY 2018 -2019; Total Cost $13.5 MILLION for 20 Capital Works
  • FY 2019 -2020; Total Cost $31.1 MILLION for 25 Capital Works
  • FY 2020 –to date; $28.8 MILLION for 19 Projects in progress with 22 other projects (14 Upolu, 8 Savaii) schedule to commence construction before June 2021.

The total capital works above for each Financial Year is included in the overall fiscal spending in the last 5 years.

CAPITAL WORKS (Grant funding)

  1. Leonē Bridge and Crossing road financed by Grant Funding of $10 million tala provided by the World Bank and the Government of Australia.
  2. Vaisigano Crossing Road financed by grant funding of $44 million tala provided by the Government of Japan.
  3. Renewing Crossing Roads at Moamoa, Nu’usatia and Aia Sopoaga funded jointly by the World Bank and Government of Australia.
  4. New Lotosamasoni Road to connect to Vaitele Street and Ma’agao funded by Australian Government
  5. Upgrade and Rehabilitation of the West Coast Main Road extended from Saina to Malua funded by World Bank, Government of Samoa and Government of Australia.
  6. Widening and deepening storm water drainage in the Apia Town Area funding by the Green Climate Fund under UNDP
  7. Maliolio Bridge, Samalaeulu Savai’i financed by grant funding of $7.6 million tala provided by the World Bank and Government of Australia

FUTURE ROAD PROJECTS

  1. Lelata Crossing Road grant funding secured from the Green Climate Fund
  2. Lano and Sapapali’i Crossing Roads grant funding secured from the World Bank and Government of Australia
  3. Afega Crossing Road grant funding secured from the World Bank and Government of Australia
  4. Tanugamanono to Siumu Cross Island Road grant funding secured from the Asian Development Bank.
  5. Next Phase for West Coast Road from Malua to the Faleolo International Airport grant funded secured from the World Bank
  6. Research options and secure funding to address landslides East Coast of Upolu with grant funding secured from World Bank and Safotu-Manase, Savai’i, grant funding secured from Asian Development Bank
  7. Refurbish the Alafa’alava Road from Aleisa to Tanumalala with grant funding secured from World Bank

ALL funded projects from our development partners are 100% grant, a direct result  of our Government’s consistent compliance with our development partners grant terms and conditions and our Government’s excellent performance in utilising the grant funds within the set timelines and budget.

The LTA achievements has also received praises from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi saying it is a testament of Governments’ resolve to meet the country’s transport needs.

“Under no circumstances are the bridge and all other Government initiated infrastructural projects (such as new roads, schools, water, etc.) designed to be used as a campaign strategy by Government, as a lead up to the 2021 General Elections,” says the Prime Minister.

Labeling the political rhetoric as a “cosmetic smokescreen” by critics to belittle Government, Tuilaepa reiterated that since the HRPP came into office 42 years ago, their party is more than a political party but a Party of statesmen and stateswomen.

“A politicians’ prioritizes his or her re-election while a statesman is a visionary planning for the benefit of future generations of Samoa. That is the HRPP motto,” he concluded.