Editor's note: A public affairs analyst, Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi has advised the newly appointed overseer of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF), Mr. Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku, to among other things, focus on the industrial actions of the Academic Staff Union of University due to payment concerns.
A new era was set in the country's financial sector when the federal government announced the appointment of Mr. Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku as the overseer of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).
This was necessitated following the suspension of the erstwhile Accountant General of the Federation, Malam Ahmed Idris by the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmad upon his probe by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, for an alleged fraud of N80 billion.
However, it was noted in a letter dated 20th May 2022 and signed by Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary (Finance), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, that "the appointment is pending the outcome of the investigation.”
Nonetheless, in this position as the most senior director in the office, Mr. Nwabuoku is expected to supervise the activities of the OAGF and carry out his duty in strict compliance with extant rules and observe the highest sense of professionalism which he was known for since he made a foray into the financial sector.
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Recall that the Accountant General of the Federation is the head of the federal government accounting services and treasury and his office is saddled with the responsibility of general supervision of the accounts of all ministries and departments within the federation, and prepares the annual financial statements of account of the nation, as may be required by the ministry of finance.
The moment Mr. Nwabuoku was called to serve as the overseer of this prestigious office, the seasoned celebrated financial expert is already crystal clear that his job has already been cut out for him, especially when looking at the circumstances that warranted his appointment as well as other issues confronting the smooth and overall functioning of the office.
Notwithstanding, knowing about his decades of experience in the field coupled with his antecedents and the indelible marks of success stories he left behind at various working places where he served, the minister obviously knew that Nwabuoku is the right and perfect man for the job.
This is evident when briefly looking at his vast rich profile to understand how he was able to accomplish tonnes of milestone achievements throughout his spell in the industry.
Mr. Anamekwe, an indigene of Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo state was born on October 15, 1962. He obtained a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accountancy from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu, and a Master of Science (M.Sc) in Financial Management from CommonWealth University, Belize.
Mr. Anamekwe began his civil service career with the Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS) and rose to the position of Principal Accountant between 1992 and 1995. He was deployed to the Office of the AGF, Abuja from 1996 to 2001 as assistant chief accountant.
Furthermore, he served at the National Assembly, Office of the Senate President from 2001 to 2003 as Special Assistant to the Senate President on Public Affairs, and his duties included Advisory Services to the Senate President on media and other issues.
He assumed duty as chief accountant in the ministry of defence headquarters, Abuja, and served as head of accounts administration.
Following his promotion to assistant director accounts, he was placed in charge of funds in the ministry from 2009 to 2012. He became a deputy director (accounts) in 2012 and was deployed to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) as supervisory officer of ecological funds accounts and other related matters.
Again, he was promoted to director (accounts) in 2017 and was posted to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. He was the director ( finance and accounts) ministry of defence, headquarters, Abuja from May 2019 to March, 2021.
Presently Mr. Anamekwe is the director, inspectorate office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and presently overseeing the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
One of the most challenging issues that Nigerians will look up to the new overseer to provide solutions is the federal government anointed payment platform for the public service workers, that is the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). A lot of civil servants have been complaining about the inefficiency and inconsistency associated with the platform as their monthly salary is being deducted unnecessarily due to faults within the system.
Recall that this payment platform has been top among the list of the reasons responsible for the persistent industrial actions of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) since 2019 when President Muhammadu Buhari directed the capture of all civil servants under this payment platform.
The IPPIS project, which commenced in 2007, is responsible for the payment of salaries and wages directly to the bank accounts of federal government employees. IPPIS also appropriately deducts and remits third-party payments from the salaries of federal government workers.
However, as noted by the lecturers, the platform is not well suited to address the payment procedures in the academic setup. For example, the system does not capture the remuneration of staff on sabbatical, external examiners, external assessors, and earned academic allowances. It does not address the movement of staff as in the case of visiting, adjunct, part-time, and consultancy services, which academics offer across universities in Nigeria among other issues.
To that effect, Nwabuoku is therefore expected to tap from his wealth of experience in rallying around this issue so as to provide a lasting solution capable of addressing all the grievances from both sides.
On the other hand, the efficiency and success of every organization whether private or public are surely dependent upon how the staff cooperate and work in synergy toward realizing and attaining its assigned goals and objectives. Thus, Mr. Anamekwe should not forget to pay attention to the staff's welfare as they remain the only tool that he can utilize in achieving success during his stay in office.
On the other hand, looking backward at the circumstances that triggered his assumption of this office, the new overseer should leave no stone unturned in ensuring the doctrine of practicing transparency and accountability while running the affairs of the office. This is necessary as it will go a long way in blocking any form of corruption-related matters.
As stated earlier, of course, a new dawn was set and all that remained is for Mr. Anamekwe to write his name in gold on this patriotic national assignment he was entrusted with.
And believe me, without an iota of doubt, the man will surely deliver beyond expectations. He is on course to prove himself and do the wonders again.
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