26 Mar 2010

American Samoa's governor plans government-owned cannery

7:35 am on 26 March 2010

American Samoa's governor Togiola Tulafono has told the Senate he plans to seek non-government funding for the development of a government owned tuna cannery plant in American Samoa.

The governor's revelation was outlined in a letter yesterday to the Senate, before a scheduled hearing on the administration's 5 million US dollar appropriation bill to purchase assets of the now closed COS Samoa Packing cannery.

The funding for the measure comes from the government's insurance proceeds account held with the investment firm of Smith Barney in New York.

Togiola says he no longer has interest in the bill pending in the Fono, but he is currently in talks to proceed with the development of a government owned tuna canning plant utilizing non-government sources of funding.

He says the insurance proceeds account is been reserved for the government's matching funds to federal aid provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency following last September's disaster.

American Samoa is expected to provide 8 million dollars in matching funds.