The Federal Government has approved the retirement of Mr Sylva Okolieaboh, the Acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), based on the notice of retirement which Okolieaboh submitted on April 13, 2023.
Reliable and informed sources at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance as well as the Presidency confirmed to our correspondent that Mr. Okolieaboh sent in his notice of retirement to the Head of Service of the Federation in mid-April in line with established civil service rules.
A source at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation confirmed receipt of the letter and acceptance of same early this month.
Okolieaboh who served in the position for almost a year following his appointment in June last year has also prepared his handover papers in readiness for departing the public service on May 28 when he will attain the statutory retirement age of 60.
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.
Mr. 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.
In his Notice of Retirement, the Acting AGF expressed his gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve.
He also thanked the Chief of Staff to the President, the Minister of Finance and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
During his time in office, Okolieaboh rallied his colleagues to stabilize the nation’s apex finance management office following the 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.
A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. 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, Mr. Okolieaboh 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.
It was also learnt that at the May edition of the monthly Service-Wide meeting of the Head of Service, Permanent Secretaries, Accountant-General of the Federation and Auditor-General of the Federal; the out-going head of the nation’s Treasury informed the august body of his impending retirement from service.
In what a serving Permanent Secretary who was present at the meeting termed as a short but rousing valedictory speech, Mr. Okolieaboh expressed his gratitude to Mr. President, the Chief of Staff to the President, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
Amidst intermittent applause, he poured encomiums on some of his closest Permanent Secretaries associates including the Permanent Secretary Finance, Mr. Aliyu Ahmed; Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office, Mallam Ibrahim Idris Yusuf and Permanent Secretaries, General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Dr. Maurice Nnamdi Mbaeri.
Our sources at the Federal Ministry of Finance also confirmed to us that at the last monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee which was chaired by the outgoing AGF on behalf of the Minister of Finance; the Permanent Secretary Finance, Mr. Ahmed gave a long and flattering valedictory speech in honour of the AGF.
He spoke about Mr. Okolieaboh’s long service at the Treasury House, his intellect and expertise as well as the well documented roles he played in the PFM reforms.