By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Nigeria’s first female Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein, assumed office on Friday, with a vow that her administration will not tolerate corruption of any kind.
The new AGF who received hand-over notes from retiring Acting AGF Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh, at the Treasury House, in Abuja, said that she was determined to raise the bar at the Treasury House, which has recently suffered negative publicity, following the alleged multi-billion Naira fraud against the last substantive holder of that office.
“The out-going Ag. AGF has just mentioned how he was able to stem the tide. I pray to continue from there to ensure that this Treasury House moves from strength to strength.
“We will move back to the glorious days of our forefathers but I need your cooperation. We must be guided by the general principles of zero-tolerance to corruption in discharging our statutory responsibilities so that we can diligently redeem the image of this great office”, she said.
The new AGF who was until her appointment the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, said that she would also fully digitalise the management of the finances of the federal government.
In his remarks, Mr. Kayode Naiyeju, a former AGF, poured encomiuns on Mr. Okoliebah, who is retiring from seevice this weekend upon reaching the statutory age of 60 on Sunday.
Mr. Naiyeju called on the federal government to conferr a substantive AGF position on Mr. Okolieaboh, given his outstanding performance in the eleven months period he acted in that capacity.
The former AGF noted that there was a precedent in that regard, as such an appointment been made of a retiring Acting AGF in the past.
Mr. Naiyeju charged Dr. Madein to hold a crucial, closed- door meeting with all the directors of the OAGF where the truth must be freely told in the quest for a greater ethical values in the discharge of their duties.
He revealed that he and another former AGF had to intervene for the federal government to appoint one of the directors from the Treasury House because there was a position being canvassed that no one from the OAGF should be appointed AGF due to recent happenings in the organisation.
He noted that the office had been in the news for the wrong reasons in recent times and that the new AGF must build on what Mr Okolieaboh has achieved to fully redeem the image of the Treasury House.
Earlier, out-going Acting. AGF said that he implemented a series of policies aimed at making the management of the federation revenue more transparent.
According to him, given the circumstances of his appointment, he was faced with a daunting task of restoring a positive image of the OAGF and that he worked hard to achieve that goal.
His words, “We intervened in the resolution of the protracted ASUU strike; swiftly concluded the 2020 general purpose financial statements; rolled out Bottom-up cash management policy; reined in the abuses of IPPIS; rolled out the TSA for foreign missions; instituted the Treasury Staff Posting policy to make posting more transparent and equitable; etc. The Treasury Management Portal to replace the Remita payment platform is at its testing stage.
“At the risk of sounding immodest, we ran this Office with the highest level of integrity. At no time did vengeance and vendetta form part of our policy. I am available to defend every single decision or action taken by me for the period I headed the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.”