Madein: The Rise of Nigeria’s First Female AGF

For a country like Nigeria where female professionals seldom get appointed to positions of governance, having the first female Accountant General of the Federation was so exciting.

Dr. Oluwatoyin Sakirat Madein was appointed as the Accountant General of the Federation after the suspension of Ahmed Idris, the then Accountant General of the Federation, by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ahmed Idris was appointed as the Accountant General of the Federation on June 25, 2015, to succeed Jonah Oguniyi Otunla. Idris was reappointed for a second four-year term in June 2019; the first Nigerian in recent times to be appointed as the Accountant General of the Federation twice.

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Chukwuyere Anamekwe was appointed as acting Accountant General of the Federation after the suspension of Idris from office. Anamekwe was replaced by Sylva Okolieaboh, also in an acting capacity, before the appointment of Dr. Oluwatoyin Madein as substantive Accountant General of the Federation on May 18, 2023.

Dr. Madein made history after she was appointed as the first female Accountant General of the Federation out of the nineteen candidates that were shortlisted for the top job. Prior to her appointment, Madein was the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. As an accountant, financial manager, and internal auditor; Madein brought over three decades of financial experience on board.

Review and Implementation of Financial Management Reform Initiatives

On assumption of office, Dr. Madein pledged her commitment to the implementation of the Public Financial Management Reform Initiatives of the Federal Government. She assured that requisite steps would be taken to permanently resolve observed and potential threats to the efficient and continuous implementation of the Financial Management Reform Initiatives.

The administration of President Buhari, with Ahmed Idris as the Accountant General of the Federation, recorded appreciable successes in the implementation of the Financial Management Reform Initiatives; especially, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), and Assets Tracking Management Project (ATMP).

For instance, the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has been adjudged nationally and internationally as one of the best reform initiatives of the Buhari-led administration.

The Federal Government has been able to save billions of naira and cut down the number of ghost workers since the introduction of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
The adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) has aided the country to transit from cash basis reporting to an accrual basis, while the implementation of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) has centralized government’s budgeting and expenditure.

Despite this great effort in the implementation of the reform initiatives, greater effort is required by the current administration of President Bola Tinubu, with Dr. Madein as the Accountant-General of the Federation, to achieve all-around success in the implementation of the reforms.

Since her assumption of office, Dr. Madein has undertaken an in-depth review of the financial reforms and is determined to inject new ideas and strategies into the projects so that the gains so far recorded would be sustained. She had a meticulous engagement with IPPIS Service providers, where fundamental issues affecting the operations of the payment platform were discussed. The result has been an appreciable improvement in the operations of the IPPIS payment platform.

The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) is at present working on the Public Finance Management Bill that will give legal backing to the Public Finance Management (PFM) Reform initiatives and the operations of the Treasury of the Federation.

While giving a hint on the proposed Bill at the 2023 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) Retreat in Asaba, Delta State; Dr. Madein said the Finance Control and Management Act of 1958 which is currently the principal legislation in operation, has become obsolete and inadequate to support the Public Finance Management (PFM) Reforms.

She said the Public Finance Management Bill, when passed into law, will repeal the Finance Control and Management Act 1958 and will provide a legal framework for the operations of the Treasury, institutionalize the Public Finance Management (PFM) Reforms, and regulate the management of public funds.

Publication of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC)

Dr. Madein has undertaken to sustain the policy of publishing the details of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) revenue distribution to the three tiers of government. She opined that publication of the revenue distribution would keep Nigerians abreast with the revenue generation and distribution effort of the Federal Government and also help interested individuals and stakeholders balance government performance with revenue inflows at all levels.

“A government can only thrive if the citizens are carried along in the management of public funds. Nigerians need to be aware of the inflows and expenditures. With this, they can compare revenue collected with the developments on grounds to ascertain whether the government is performing or not”, she noted.

The AGF has repeatedly declared that she would continue to uphold the checks and balances that have been put in place to ensure accountability and transparency in the administration and disbursement of the Federation Account.

Staff Capacity Development

On staff capacity development, Dr. Madein has voiced her conviction that capacity development was essential for efficient performance and promised that she would pay utmost attention to staff training and will take the necessary steps to ensure staff become fully acquainted with modern work techniques.

According to her, “challenges abound in every position one occupies and every task has its demands. The complexities will keep increasing and the ability to overcome and achieve the desired result will definitely rely more on the exposure, in terms of skills and knowledge of global trends”.

She assured that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) would sustain a deeper collaboration with ASCON and other approved training institutes to provide capacity development training for OAGF staff. The AGF also has her focus on the Federal Treasury Academy at Orozo, Abuja, in furtherance of the vision to make it a premier institution for developing human capacity in public finance management.

Revenue Generation

On revenue generation, the AGF has revealed that of recent there has been a remarkable increase in government revenue and expressed optimism that the trend will be sustained. Madein said her office would ensure prompt and continuous release of funds to the MDAs and the three tiers of government so that development efforts would not be hampered.

Dr. Madein however decried revenue collection in cash by Revenue Agencies, a practice she said promotes leakages in revenue collection. She advised Revenue Agencies to devise more efficient revenue collection strategies to forestall leakages.

OAGF Cooperative Society

Amidst reports of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds and other anomalies by Cooperative Societies, Dr. Madein recently tasked Cooperative Societies in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of government to entrench prudence in the management of funds and also evolve strategies that would boost members’ confidence and aid the growth of the Cooperative Societies.

She said Cooperative Societies are supposed to provide financial and allied support as well as encourage members to prepare for retirement through savings; advising that Cooperative Societies in MDAs should live up to expectations.

Dr. Madein expressed delight at the OAGF Cooperative Society, which she described as a model for others. According to her, the OAGF Cooperative Society has set a high standard with the efficient and prudent management of funds, an action she said has put them at the forefront of Cooperative Societies. She said the Association should endeavor to maintain the standard they have set.

While commissioning a water processing factory project executed by the OAGF Cooperative Society, Dr. Madein applauded their initiative in embarking on the project and advised that the same zeal should be employed in the execution of ongoing or proposed projects by the Association.

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