For sale: Kuwaiti nationality
Authorities in the country are suspecting some Kuwaiti citizens of selling their names to newborn children.
January 4, 2009 1:51 by Aarti Nagraj
Authorities at Kuwait’s interior ministry are currently looking into allegations of illegal trading of Kuwaiti nationality in the country’s villages, reports Kuwait Times.
Security sources told the paper that some Kuwaiti citizens were registering newborn children under their own names for KD 10,000-20,000 per child. “The real fathers of these children believe that doing so ensures that their children will get Kuwaiti citizenship in the future and will benefit from the many privileges given to Kuwaiti citizens such as health care, loans and other things,” said one of the officials.
“Some of the reported mothers were only 22 or 23, yet they had eight to nine kids registered in their names with less than eight month intervals between one baby and the other,” the authorities added.
Sources also told the paper that authorities at the Nuwaiseeb land exit had been noticing the arrival of newborn children with very old Kuwaiti parents, who claimed that the kids were theirs.
Becoming a Kuwaiti national is quite tough; the country’s latest census report revealed that just 50,000 people became Kuwaiti nationals between 1992 and 2008, the local daily Al- Watan reported in December.
But if you are one, then you get a huge bag of goodies; retirement income, marriage bonuses, housing loans, free medical services, and education at all levels. The government also occasionally gives a portion of its budget surplus as a grant to Kuwaiti citizens.
To encourage Kuwaitis into the private sector, the government has also introduced the Manpower Restructuring Program. The scheme pays all monthly benefits, including marriage benefits, a per child allotment, as well as a KD 120 cost of living increase for Kuwaitis employed in private companies.