Former acting Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development
Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Mariel Rae-Omoh, has sent a petition to the
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, protesting her
demotion to the position of deputy director after her removal as acting
Rae-Omoh contended, in the petition titled: “Re: Implementation of the
Report of the NTDC Staff Records Verification Committee: Petition on my
demotion to the post of Deputy Director, GL.16,” dated March 13, 2017 and
sent through the permanent secretary, that she should have justifiably
reverted to her last position of director from where she was appointed as
acting director general on December 28, 2016 for being the most senior
Copies of the seven-page petition, which was obtained in the National
Assembly, were sent to the Office of the First Lady of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head
of Service of the Federation, Chairman of the Committee on Public
Petitions (National Assembly), Director General, National Human Rights
Commission, Chairman of Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism and
Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Tourism, among others.
In the petition, in which she alleged gross injustice in the decision of
the minister to approve her demotion via a March 10, 2017 letter, Rae-Omoh
prayed the minister to “revisit the verification exercise at NTDC to
ensure that justice is not only done but seen to be done to all concerned”
and to “graciously take a look at my career progression chart indicated on
page 4, and direct my reinstatement as director.”
According to her, “I joined this Corporation on Grade Level 12 on 2nd
March, 1992 while Mr Boniface Eboka (Director of Administration, who was
first appointed before her as acting director general of the Corporation)
was on Grade Level 10 at the time.
“Within the 25 years of my career in NTDC, I was denied upward movement
for 5 years because of the conversion I made (see my career progression
chart): 1st promotion- 1995 (GL.13)-3 yrs; 2nd promotion- 1st January 1999
(GL.14)-4 yrs; 3rd promotion- 1st January, 2003 (GL.15)- 4 yrs; 4th
promotion- 1st January, 2009 (GL.16)- 6 yrs; 5th Promotion- 1st January
2015 (GL.17)- 7yrs (Rather than 4 years each, 6 and 7 years respectively,
were spent before I was promoted).”
She claimed in the petition that her current travail was masterminded by
Mr Eboka and a few staff members in his department who, according to her,
busied themselves writing petitions against her for the two months or
thereabouts that she was in the saddle as acting director general.
“The Honourable Minister may wish to note that Mr. Eboka was appointed
acting Director General within the first week of December, 2016. After
investigation was carried out by the Director (Human Resources), I was
adjudged the most senior and was appointed acting Director General on 28th
“Ever since I assumed office, the Director of Admin., Mr Eboka with a few
of his staff, was never in the office. For two months, they were either
in his residence or in a cyber cafe writing petitions against me. The
first thing they came up with was that I have problem with my certificate
for which they went to press.”
She queried, “How can someone whom the Federal Government of Nigeria
granted a scholarship from the Federal Ministry of Education since 1980 to
study abroad be told in 2017 (37 years later) that her certificate is
questionable, just because some elements who are mediocre wrote
petitions?” and cried: “Hon. Minister Sir, my integrity has never been at
stake! Please right the wrongs.”
She also suggested that her investigation into a questionable purchase
under Eboka’s short stint as acting director general was one of the
reasons she became a target of petition writing.
According to her, “During the few weeks Mr Eboka acted as Director
General, he claimed to have bought a bus from Coscharis Motors at the cost
of N27.750m but a refurbished bus was supplied to the Corporation. I set
up a five-man committee to investigate (investigation report is attached
“It was discovered that Mr. Aliyu Mohammed – the Transport officer, the
man who signed the petition to the Hon. Minister, negotiated with the
salesman at the rate of N18m (see pages 8 and 9 of the committee report).
“As soon as this investigation began, Mr. Eboka, with some members of his
departmental staff who were equally absenting themselves at a time from
work, came up with another petition to the Honourable Minister.
“As a result of the pressure mounted on the Honourable Minister by the
petitions, Mr Eboka, through the Transport Officer, petitioned the
Honourable Minister to set up a committee to probe me.
“The same Director (Human Resources) who recommended that I was the most
senior Director in the first instance was coerced into writing that I
should be demoted from my position as Acting Director General to Deputy
Director. This is unfair!”
Rae-Omoh said: “Whereas I graduated in 1983 and finished my NYSC in
November, 1984, having worked in the private sector from 1985 to 1992, I
was engaged in NTDC 25 years ago after due processing of my application
for employment and consideration given to my year of graduation and
relevant cognate experiences in placing me on Principal Tourism Assistant
on GL.12 Step 2.
“Over the years, it is on record that officers have been employed into
this Corporation based on the same criteria in which I was engaged
ab-initio. It has become worrisome why my own case had become different.
The concluded verification exercise in NTDC and the demotions that were a
fall out of the exercise appear selective.”
She cited extant cases of recruitments on high grade levels in other
parastatals to question why she had been singled out for demotion in a
Corporation she has worked diligently in the last 25 years.
She stated: “Evidence abound in other parastatals that people are still
being recruited on high grade levels. At the National Gallery of Arts
for instance, a school mate of mine, Mrs Evelyn Otaigbe-Ikuenobe, who
graduated six years after me is a full-fledged Director as at today.
“She joined that parastatal four years ago. She had never worked in
government and the former Hon. Minister of Culture, Tourism and National
Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, approved her appointment into National
Gallery of Arts on GL.17.
“Another instance is that the present Director of Marketing & Promotion,
NTDC, Mrs. Fibi Ikilama, transferred her service from her state to NTDC on
GL 09 in 1992. Instead of going a grade level lower than GL.09, she was
given a GL.10. Meanwhile, she did her NYSC in 1986 while I served
She pointed out that the present Director of Entertainment in the Ministry
of Information and Culture, Miss Grace Gekpe, whom Chief Edem Duke
promoted and created that Department for, was on Grade level 08 when she
(Rae-Omoh) was already on GL12 in the service.
“Another case in question is that one of the former Confidential
Secretaries here in NTDC, Miss Etima Akpan of Admin Department, was not
affected by this demotion perhaps because she is very close to her
Director, Mr. Boniface Eboka. There are several other cases too many to
exhaust on this page,” she added.
Rae-Omoh said that in her twenty five years of working in NTDC, various
directors general had recruited people into the system on GL.17, listing
such persons to include Mr. J. Onifade –GL.17 (Director, Finance); Prof.
S. Monye – GL.17, (Director, M&P); Dr. Kweku Tando, GL.16; and Barr.
(Mrs.) M. Utande, GL.15.
Explaining that these were people who never had any stint in the Civil
Service before such appointments, she declared: “I see my demotion as a
mere witch-hunting and an agenda of interested parties to bringing me
Describing the move against her as conspiratorial, she said the letter of
demotion did not say she should revert to her former position of director
but down as deputy director, which she was supposed to have been to since
2007 but which she was denied and eventually promoted to in 2009.
“Hon. Minister, Sir, is it fair for me to rise from GL.12 to GL.16 in 22
years, having laboured so hard, and as a professional to the core and a
hard worker…?” she lamented and pleaded “please revisit my career
progression and place me right. I am supposed to have been a Deputy
Director since 2007 and a Director since 2011.”