The appointment of Jonah Otunla as the new Accountant General of the Federation, commencing from July 1, 2011 did not come to many as a surprise considering his qualifications and working experience as a chartered accountant in various establishments.
The approval of the appointment by President Goodluck Jonathan was announced by the Head of service of the Federation, Professor Oladapo Afolabi while the then Acting AGF, Aderemi Ogunsaya was confirmed as substantive Accountant General until June 30 when he would have been due for retirement.
Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla was born on June 12, 1955 in Atisbo Local Government area of Oyo state. He had his secondary education at the Baptist High School, Saki 1968-1972 and was at Ibadan Polytechnic 1974-1975 before moving to University of Ife, Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) 1975-1979 for Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences. He also sat for Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria Qualifying Examinations in 1986 where he qualified as a chartered accountant
While in secondary school, he was Gen. Sec. Literary and Debating Society, Member Editorial Board, School Magazine, Class Captain and Food/Labour Prefect. At the university he was Member, Student Representative Council, Man O’ War Club and Accounting Students Association.
Otunla started his working experience as a Mathematics Teacher in Awgu Boys High
School Nnewi, Old Anambra State during the national youth service corps. He later joined the service of Lever Brothers Plc starting off as Trainee Account Management in 1980 before he left in 1989 as the Financial Accountant in the company.
His public service career began in Oyo state when he was appointed Chief Internal Auditor Oyo State Agricultural Development programme (World Bank assisted) in 1989 and left in 1997 as Director of Finance in 1997 when he was promoted to the position of the Accountant General of the state.
In March 2004 he transferred his service to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) in Abuja. His first posting was to National Hospital where he was Director, Commercial and Finance department. He later moved to other establishments as Director Finance and Accounts in Nigerian Immigration Service, Federal Ministry of Defence and federal Ministry of Education.
The new Accountant General of the Federation attended several management development programmes and workshops some of them included: Towards Solving Auditing Problems in World Bank Assisted Programmes – at Agric & Rural Development Institute (STMYI); Micro Computer Application For Agric Development at New Mexico State University, USA;
Study Tour of India/Britain; Total Quality Management programme in South Africa;
Mandatory Training for Federal Directors and African Regional Conference of Commonwealth (CAPAM).
He was a member of the monthly Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting from 1997-2004 where he was once Chairman of the Committee to identify Revenue Constituting Petroleum Income in 2002. He was also a Member Committee on Standardization of Federal, State and Local Government Accounts 2005 and Member, Committee on Fiscal Responsibility Act Draft 2004.
Otunla belongs to some clubs and association including Ibadan Recreation Club, Ikoyi Club, Oyo Tennis Club and IBB Golf Club.
An award-winning farmer and father of three children, reading and playing table tennis and scrabble are his hobbies.