Nauru Government pays $500K to widows

The Government of Nauru has announced the payment of half a million dollars to widows who lost money when the Bank of Nauru closed in 2006.

This forms part of the total $40 million Nauruans lost in the banking collapse.

An initiative of President Waqa, Parliament approved the payment during the last sitting, and Finance Minister David Adeang revealed the funds were deposited into recipients’ Bendigo Bank accounts last Thursday and Friday.

Mr Adeang said many Nauruans lost large amounts of money, which people never expected to see again, particularly after the previous administration wrote off ninety per cent of the total amount.

“The Waqa Government did not agree with previous governments who preferred to put the issue into the ‘too hard’ basket, and we were determined to pay people back what they lost, so we wrote these debts back onto the books.”

“Since we were elected we have made several payments to those most in need including our elderly citizens, and our goal is to continue to pay as funds are available.

“We prioritised widows because they are some of the most vulnerable and our society has a responsibility to look after them.”

The minister said good economic management, and the crackdown on the corruption and cronyism of previous Nauruan administrations, enabled the Government to be in a position to start paying the money.

“The journey down the path of greed and mismanagement by successive governments is well documented, and the Waqa Government is determined to change history, redefine culture, and put Nauru on a fresh path to prosperity, accountability and fiscal responsibility.

He said economic growth has been central to the Government’s priorities since being elected in 2013.

“We have established the Intergenerational Trust Fund with the support and oversight of other nations, repaid government workers and landowners, created higher wages and full employment, and ensured the money we receive benefits all the people of Nauru.

“We are future-proofing our small but great nation, so that future generations will also be strong.”

“I hope this payment will be a blessing to our widows and bring them added security and peace of mind.”