Government clarifies plan to purchase local business’ heavy equipment

Tonga’s Ministry of Infrastructure’s plan to purchase used heavy equipment from a local business owner was made as one of the government’s move to increase road maintenance and construction.

The prices of the equipment were cheaper and affordable when compared to second-hand equipment in New Zealand.

The owner  has planned to give government free three heavy equipment if it purchased his equipment.

The Secretary for Finance Tatafu Moeaki has told Kanva News the government was in the process of procuring road maintenance equipment owned by Tomifa Paea.

Moeaki said they were waiting for the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) to provide them with ownership documentations of the equipment.

The cost was expected to be at TP$500,000 and Moeaki said it was above the thresholds and because of that it has to go through government’s procurement process.

He said his Ministry was ccurrently engaging ASCO Motors, a reputable local Toyota company to provide valuation of those equipment to consider against the value brought up by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

“As part of this work, we will be interested in the equipment utilizations to date, maintenance records and ASCO’s independent valuation.

“Our assessment will have to be satisfied with the value for money of the purchase, and that the purchase will be a good deal to commit Government to on the condition that, the Ministry of Infrastructure complies with our requirements by regulations,” Moeaki said.

In a statement MOI said road maintenance was one of the public huge demands that had been raised in Parliament from time to time and in letters of petition they received from the people.

In the past only Tongatapu the main island has proposed and regular scheduled road maintenance programmes and nothing for the outer islands, the MOI said.

The main problem the Ministry was currently facing was lack of equipment for the work and some islands including ‘Eua, Tongatapu and the Niuas have equipment but they were outdated and apparently no longer working.

MOI said they sent two mechanics to New Zealand last month to see if government could purchase second hand equipment for the work but they found out the prices were too expensive compared to the prices offered by Tomifa Paea.

If the government would go ahead and purchase Paea’s equipment he would give three heavy equipment free, the statement said.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

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