• IS provokes sea-change

    It has been a grave mistake to defy both Russia and France, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Nene's SAA nemesis

    No political figure seems to have the guts to speak out against Dudu Myeni, says Solly Moeng.

  • The mp3 revolution

    Ian Mann takes a look at the war between digital music and the compact disc.

All data is delayed
See More

Nigeria finance minister's mom kidnapped

Dec 10 2012 07:54

ABUJA, Dec 09, 2012 (AFP) -The mother of Nigerian Finance Minister and former World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was kidnapped on Sunday from her home in the country's south, a statement from her ministry said.

"Earlier today, Professor (Mrs) Kamene Okonjo ... mother of the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was abducted from her home in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State," the statement said.

"At this point, it is difficult to say whether those behind this action are the same people who have made threats against the coordinating minister in the recent past or other elements with hostile motives. No possibility can be ruled out at this point."

Okonjo-Iweala has pushed to clean up corruption in one of the world's most graft-ridden nations, particularly related to a fuel subsidy programme alleged to be riddled with graft.

Kidnappings for ransom have occurred frequently in Nigeria's southern oil-producing Niger Delta region, but rarely with such high-profile victims.

The minister has been struggling with fuel importers over payment of subsidies, with government officials delaying payments to allow for verification of claims.

"This is obviously a very difficult time for the entire Okonjo family," the statement said. "But the family is hopeful of a positive outcome as it fervently prays for the quick and safe return of the matriarch."

The respected Okonjo-Iweala was earlier this year a candidate to head the World Bank, where she previously worked as a managing director. The job eventually went to Korean-American physician Jim Yong Kim though the Nigerian minister was viewed as a strong candidate to break the US lock on the post.

Her father is a traditional ruler in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer with some 160 million people.


Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

ngozi okonjo-iweala  |  nigeria



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote