Companies also won approval without any real oversight. In one case, two businessmen who made a pitch to handle waste management at the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. instead applied to become importers and got a $12.4 million contract in 2011 for fuel they never supplied, according to the report.
In recent months, Okonjo-Iweala has again said the subsidy must be entirely removed because the country cannot afford it. That has led to panic gasoline buying and fuel shortages around the country as importers have held back from bringing it in. Citizens also believe the fuel subsidies represent the only benefit they see from the country's oil production, which has benefited the nation's kleptocratic ruling class for decades, according to many reports.
Speaking Monday, Okonjo-Iweala said her mother's kidnapping would not change the government's stance.
"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," she said. "We will not back down on this. We will continue to stand firm."