Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said Monday that her mother told her the kidnappers repeatedly talked to her about her decision not to pay some marketers for importing gasoline.
The minister later released a press statement Monday evening.
The statement reads in part: ‘While she was in their custody, the kidnappers spent much of the time harassing her. They told her that I must get on the radio and television and announce my resignation.
When she asked why, they told her it was because I did not pay “Oil subsidy money”.
They also said I had blocked payment of money to certain components of the SURE-P programme.
These statements are, of course, not true. In the case of subsidy payments, we have been paying all marketers whose claims have been verified by the Aig-Imoukhuede Committee after going through the necessary processes.
For marketers whose transactions are proven to be fraudulent, the position of the Jonathan government is also clear: we cannot and we will not pay. We will not back down on this. We will continue to stand firm.
In the case of SURE-P, there is a totally different process that I have no control over.
This is the right thing to do. And this, I believe is what the Nigerian people want.’