Exactly two weeks to Wednesday, March 31 date for the 2021 edition of Maris Annual Public Service lecture series, Comrade Fidelis Egugbo, Secretary to Maris Trust Council, organisers of the lecture, has said that the guest lecturer, discussants, and moderator were painstakingly chosen based on their rich background and ability to speak authoritatively on the topic.
Egugbo, who spoke with a select group of journalists in Asaba, Delta State, restated that the guest lecturer, Chief Monday Onyeme, who will be speaking on the topic, “Effective Tax Administration For The Delivery Of Democratic Dividends,” has practical experience and as the Chairman of the Delta State Internal Revenue Service, he is abreast with contemporary financial realities occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also noted that the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Delta State, Peter Mrakpor (SAN), the Executive Chairman, Enugu State Internal Revenue Service, Mr Emeka Anthony Odo, Accountant-General of Lagos State, Dr. Shefiu Abiodun Muritala, the Executive Secretary, Delta State Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development Agency (DEMSA), Hon. (Barr.) Orezi Esievo, and the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Delta State House of Assembly, Hon. Tony Elekeokwuri, who are lined up to discuss the topic are personalities who know their onions, based on positions they have held in the past and present. He added that the Moderator, Dr. Kemi Emina, is vast in knowledge as a veteran journalist and an accomplished lecturer.
“My dear colleagues, I want to use this medium to appreciate immensely the wide coverage you have given to the 2021 edition of Maris Annual Public Service lecture. It is clear evidence that you are not just the conscience of the people but determined to make the society better bearing in mind the fact that the topic for discussion, “Effective Tax Administration For The Delivery Of Democratic Dividends” was carefully chosen based on the fact that for any democratic government to succeed, there must be income.
“Exactly two weeks from today, that is Wednesday, March 31, 2021, Asaba, Delta State will host the great event, the Maris Annual Public Service Lecture; and, I want to tell you that all is set for the lecture.
“We are aware of the havoc COVID-19 has wrecked on economies all over the world since 2020, ushering in a “new normal”, which we are yet to adjust fully to.
“Our concern is the sustenance of democracies and this is what this year’s lecture was designed to address, and find solutions to the all-important tax challenge.
“A lot of personalities are expected to come into Asaba – Governors, members of the National Assembly, financial experts from across the country – and the Diaspora because of the topic.
“Let me assure you that adequate preparations have been made in line with COVID-19 protocols; so, there is no fear of overcrowding. As you are aware, Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria is the venue for the lecture.
“We are lucky in Delta to have a democrat, a man who encourages excellence, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as the Governor of Delta State and, by the grace of God, he will be the Chief Guest of Honour at the event, which has aroused many expectations.
“Also, bearing in mind the nature of the lecture, Very Revd. Fr. John Konyeke, which all of us are already aware of, is the Spiritual Father at the event which will have an Abuja-based private sector operator, Chief Kennedy Kanma, as the Chairman of the occasion and the Managing Director of Hellyncom Eye Clinic, Warri, Dr (Mrs) Comfort Omon-Irabor, a successful private sector actor as the Mother of the Day.”
Those who spoke at the event included the Chairman, Correspondent’s Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Asaba chapter, and his Delta Broadcasting Service, Asaba counterpart, Prince Pere Botu; the publisher of Blanknewsonline, Albert Ograka, veteran journalist, Sam Ijeh, Omon-Julius Onabu, Hans Osuyi, among others, thanked Egugbo, who they described as a tested journalist, for giving a day-to-day brief on the preparations for the annual lecture.
They assured Egugbo that journalists in the state will continue to publicise the activities of the Trust Council and ensure adequate coverage of the lecture.
Egugbo used the occasion to unveil the profile of the Accountant-General of Lagos State, Dr. Abiodun Muritala, who is one of the discussants at the lecture.
Abiodun Muritala Ph.D., FCA, is the Accountant-General of Lagos State. He is a dynamic and highly committed Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), who holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management, M.Sc. Finance, B.Sc. Accounting, MBA (International Business) with over 20 years of working experience in Finance & Account Administration, development of Internal Financial Control Systems, Cost Management skills and ability to synergize with overall operations to generate outstanding financial performance.
Muritala had in a message, said, “After a stint in the private sector, I joined the Lagos State Civil Service (Local Government) in 1995 and was deployed to Surulere Local Government as the Internal Auditor and thereafter deployed to Epe Local Government as the Council Treasurer.
“My service years were transferred into the mainstream of the civil service and I was immediately deployed to the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development as Chief Accountant. In 2009, I was later deployed as Project Accountant, Lagos Metropolitan Development & Governance Project (LMDGP).
“As a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN), Associate Chartered Institute of Taxation among others, I attended several local and international courses on financial systems strengthening. I was the General Manager (Finance) of Lagos State Development and Property Corporation before my appointment as the Permanent Secretary/Accountant-General of Lagos State.
“The Permanent Secretary/Accountant-General is the administrative head of the State Treasury Office, Lagos State and I am solely responsible for the delivery of Financial Services of the State Government. Some of my key responsibilities are:
• Maintaining accounting controls by preparing and recommending policies and procedures
• Plan and directs Treasury, Budgeting, Financial Reporting and Accounting functions
• Collaborate with other MDAs heads on budget, commercial opportunity, capital expenditure, investment opportunity, and divestments
• Ensure impeccable and detailed financial records, oversee that revenue, taxes, and all record filing are done correctly and to government standard
• Management of Investment Portfolio for the State Government
• Supervising the accounts of all MDAs in Lagos State
• Collates prepares, and publishes statutory financial statements of the State Government
• Maintains and operates the accounts of the consolidated revenue funds, development fund, contingency funds, and other public funds and provide cash backing for the operation of the State Government
• Managing the Lagos State Government’s Treasury liquidity and mitigating its operational, financial and reputational risk.
• Balancing public expenditure against State resources and its organizational control.
“From June 2015 – October 2019, when I was the General Manager (Finance) Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, Ilupeju, I secured the financial operations of the Corporation by monitoring, approving financial processing, reporting, auditing, and general supervising of staff.
“Some of my key responsibilities were creating long-term finance department’s strategic plans, which align with the corporation’s strategic and business plan; cash supply and management; formulating of accounting policies and maintenance of accounting standards; cash supply and management; assess the financial risk of any and all business operations, investments and innovation; creating and executing the business investment strategy, monitoring and adjusting for risk when necessary; revenue accounting and treasury operations.
“I had earlier held the position of Project Accountant at Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project, Ikeja from 03 /2009 – 03/2014 where I was saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the budget, recording, accounting, and monitoring the progress of the project in a timely manner, investigating variances and approving expenses.
“Some of my key responsibilities as Project Accountant were establishing a robust project accounting system, including reporting and filing in accordance with the project document; maintaining all-cash transaction, preparing payment requests, disbursement of cash and issuing of receipts; managing all banking transactions related to the project, including preparing bank transfers request & monitoring as well as preparing monthly bank reconciliation statements and reporting.
“It is worthy to state that from 11/2006 – 03/2009, I was the Chief Finance and Account Officer of the Lagos State Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development, Alausa.
“As the Chief Finance and Accounts Officer, my objective was to manage key processes within the Finance and Account Directorate of the Ministry, as well as prepare, develop and analyse all management accounting information. Some of my key responsibilities were conducting financial analysis and prepare detailed financial reports and statements; general management of the Ministry’s accounts; ensuring timely and comprehensive period-end close of all accounts; interact with internal and external auditors in completing audits; monitoring the input and handling of financial data and reports for the Ministry’s financial systems; prepare weekly/monthly/quarterly end of year Financial Statements and Management report.
“As stated earlier, I was in Epe local government area where I was the Council Treasurer from 04/2004-11/2006 and was responsible for defining the appropriate liquidity quantum that the Local Government should maintain and the composition thereof, that is, cash, bank facilities, etc. Some of my key responsibilities were managing cash position; review reconciliation schedule for accuracy and recommend advance retirement for processing; ensured all payments and transfers were within established cash limits and approved budget of the Local Government; oversee cash management banking and financial institution relationships; reviewed rates and returns on approved financial instruments; process cash advance voucher and initiate disbursement of cash.
“Also, at Surulere Local Government, 05/1996 – 04/2006 where I was the Internal Auditor, my main objective was to keep stringent control over all activities in Surulere Local Government and some of my key responsibilities were reviewing of the Local Governments business processes; verifying assets and liabilities by comparing items to documentation; ensuring compliance with established internal control procedures as well as all relevant Laws and Statutes; complete all audit work papers by documenting audit tests and findings.
“From 06/1992 – 05/1996, I was the Accountant at SETS Limited, Ebute-Metta, where my interpersonal skills in taxation, analysis, accounting basics, and software were put to work. Some of my key responsibilities were, examining, analyzing, and preparing financial records and statement of the Organization; participated in all levels of journal entry, month-end, and fiscal close processes; experience processing payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash receipt functions; and reconciling general ledger reports and bank statements.
Education and qualifications:
Ph.D (Strategic Management) – Babcock University, Remo – 2019
M.Sc. (Finance) – University of Lagos – 2014
B. Sc. (Accounting) – Lagos State University – 2008
MBA (International Business) – Lagos State University – 2002
HND (Accounting) – Ogun State Polytechnic – 1996
WAEC O/Level – Alaro Community High School – 1983.
Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria – 1994;
Associate, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria – 2016;
Associate, Nigeria Institute of Chartered Arbitrators – 2017
Associate, Institute of Chartered SecretariesØ & Administrators of Nigeria – 2017.
Trainings and workshops attended:
Attended and participated in Transformational Leadership, Critical Situational Analysis, and Corporate Intelligence gathering, organized by CFA Institute in the United Kingdom. (18th – 24th August 2019).
Attended and participated in the Financial Management andØ Disbursement Workshop for World Bank Assisted Projects, organized by the country Office in Enugu, Nigeria. (24th – 27th May 2011).
Attended and participated in Tax Implications ofØ Conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). (February 2011).
Attended and participated in Core Consulting SkillsØ Workshop organized by Public Service Staff Development Centre (PSSDC), Magodo, Lagos. (6th – 10th September 2010).
Attended and participated in the Project Cycle ManagementØ Workshop organized by Crown Agents Training Worthington, UK. (9th – 13th November 2009).