In a shocking turn of events, the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) is embroiled in controversy as the promotion of Dr. Rebecca O.J. Oamen, the Director of Administration and Finance, has been reversed by the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) three years after it was granted.
The conflict centers around Dr. Agnes Asagbra, the Director General of NBMA, and Dr. Oamen, who are on one side of the dispute, and several other top civil servants on the other.
According to sources, the disagreement began when Dr. Asagbra allegedly facilitated the appointment of Mr. Ehikhamenor Steve Ehiochoya from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF) as the agency’s Director of Administration and Finance.
According to sources, Dr. Oamen had voiced her concerns regarding the appointment to several government offices, including the OAGF, the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Ministry of Environment, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offices Commission.
However, in a document obtained by our reporter, Dr. Oamen was redeployed to the FCSC as an accountant in the deputy director cadre, implying a demotion. This transfer is contradictory to Dr. Oamen’s previous promotion to a substantive director by the NBMA board.
Documents from 2016 and 2020 confirm her initial appointment as deputy director of finance and subsequent promotion to director, both under the tenure of former NBMA Director General Dr. Rufus Ebegba. However, the FCSC claims that her transfer to the agency was an error and directed her immediate recall to her previous position as Chief Executive Officer (Accounts) GL. 14.
As a result, Dr. Oamen’s salary for December 2023 has allegedly been withheld, according to an anonymous source within the agency.
This development has prompted calls for intervention from prominent figures, including President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to address the perceived injustice.
While Dr. Asagbra was not available for comment, Ugo Agwu Nnachi, Head of Human Resources Management at NBMA, and Gloria Ogbaki, Head of Communications, denied any wrongdoing on her part. They emphasized that the DG has no authority to reject postings made by the OAGF and that the agency cannot be faulted for the actions taken by the FCSC.
The former NBMA Director General, Dr. Rufus Ebegba, supported Dr. Oamen’s promotion and commended her professionalism.
However, Dr. Oamen herself declined to comment on the matter, redirecting inquiries to the appropriate authorities.