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Dakwambo, Naiyeju, others urge FG to confirm Okolieaboh as substantive AGF

AGF to ASUU: You can’t dictate payment method to your employer

Past Accountant Generals of the Federation including Ibrahim Dankwambo, who is also former Gombe State Governor, Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla, and James Kayode Naiyeju have all urged the federal government to confirm Sylva Okolieaboh, as a substantive AGF.

According to them, Okolieaboh who retired just recently as the Acting AGF deserve such an honour considering that he worked so hard during his 20 years civil service career at the Treasury and gave his best in ensuring stability especially during recent crisis there.

Appointed last year following the removal of former AGF, over an alleged N109 billion fraud, Okolieaboh served in the acting position for about a year, and exited the civil service on May 28 after attaining the statutory retirement age of 60, handing over to Sakirat Oluwatoyin Madein.

While Naiyeju poured encomiuns on Okolieaboh for the feat he recorded while in office, he called on the federal government to confer a substantive AGF position on him given his outstanding performance within the short period that he held the office in an acting capacity.

According to Dankwambo who is also a Senator-elect, Okolieaboh does not only merit such an honour, there is even a precedence in the Treasury when A.B Ogunsanya who, as a compensation, Goodluck Jonathan’s government had to pronounce him a substantive AGF, having stayed for a short time before retirement.

Based on this precedence, Dankwambo and his predecessor Kayode Naiyeju both appealed to the federal government to consider making Okolieaboh a substantive AGF.

Okolieaboh took over the management of OAGF during what has been called “darkest hour” of the Treasury after his predecessor, Ahmed Idris was accused and being investigated over an alleged N109.5 billion fraud while in office.

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During this time, Okolieaboh rallied his colleagues to stabilize the nation’s apex finance management office following this instability that characterized the tenures of his two predecessors. The nation witnessed his brilliant intervention in the ASUU-FG impasse over the IPPIS. He also consolidated on the reform especially with the roll-out of the bottom-up cash management and enforcing stricter control on the IPPIS.

Besides, he rolled out the TSA for foreign missions; instituted the Treasury Staff Posting policy to make posting more transparent and equitable. The Treasury Management Portal to replace the Remita payment platform is at its testing stage.

Many staff of the Treasury confirm that Okolieaboh, during his short stay, ran the Office with the highest level of integrity.

He joined the Federal Civil Service in August 2000 as an Assistant Chief Accountant, rising through the ranks until his elevation to Acting AGF. Okolieaboh who hails from Uli, Anambra State is the first head of the institution from the South-East in the history of the institution.

He has been a core member of the Federal Government of Nigeria Public Finance Management (PFM) reform team. He was also pioneer PFM Team Leader for the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and author of the GIFMIS Chart of Account which has now been adopted as the National Chart of Accounts.

Okolieaboh was the pioneer Director, Treasury Single Account (TSA) at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Nigeria (OAGF). He is an international expert in Public Financial Management (PFM) and has written extensively on various PFM topics in both local and international journals.

A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Okolieaboh holds a Masters Degree in Public Financial Management from the University of London and has received executive training from some of the world’s most reputable institutions including Harvard Kennedy School; London School of Economics; University of Oxford; among numerous others. In June 2014, he was invited directly by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to participate in a month-long training Government Finance Statistics in Washington DC. He was the only participant from the entire West Africa at the course.

Sources at the Ministry of Finance also confirmed that at the last monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) which he chaired on behalf of the Minister of Finance; the Permanent Secretary Finance, Aliyu Ahmed gave a long and flattering valedictory speech his honour.

He spoke about Okolieaboh’s long service at the Treasury House, his intellect, expertise as well as the well documented roles he played in the the country’s Public Financial Management reforms.