Prince (Dr.) Jonah Oguniyi Otunla , a Chartered Accountant, consummate Administor and Manager of men and resources was born on the 12th of June,1955 into the family of Late Chief Thomas Olakunle and Madam Wuraola Ayanbola Alake Otunla of Irawo in the present day ATISBO Local Government area of Oyo State. The young Jonah attended Baptist Primary School, Irawo-owode.
Thereafter, he proceeded to the famous Baptist High School (B.H.S ), Saki, also in Oyo State, for his Post Primary Education. His early education achievements include a Division One (Aggregate 13) in WAEC. On account of this feat, he was appointed a Laboratory Attendant by the Authorities of the B.H.S.
This was in tandem with the School’s mentoring programme for its best students. Apart from that, Jonah Otunla also emerged as the second overall winner of the Old Western State’s maiden edition of the children’s day Essay Competition held on 27th May, 1972.
In 1975, he proceeded to the University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University ), Ile Ife, from where he obtained B.SC (Hons.) in Economics in 1979. He became a Chartered Accountant in 1985 and was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Account of Nigeria (FCA) and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (FCTI) in 1998 and 2011 respectively.
Jonah Otunla has attended several in service training programmes, seminar and workshops at home and abroad. Over the past three decades, Prince Otunla’s diligent service to Nigeria as a seasoned professional and consummate Public Servant traversed Private and Public sectors as well as all tiers of Government.
His career as an accomplished Accountant began in 1980 with his appointment as Accounts Management Trainee (Audit) by Lever Brother PLC where he rose to the position of Financial Accountant in 1987. He joined the Public Service in 1989 as Chief Internal Auditor under the Oyo State Agricultural Development Programme (OYSADEP), where he rose to the position of Director of Finance in January, 1992.
Chief Otunla’s emergence as the Accountant-General of Oyo State in June,1997 marked a turning point in his public service career. In this sensitive position, Chief Otunla proved his mettle as a President, honest,selfless and dependable Public Finance and Treasury Administrator. He weathered the huge transition challenges usually associated with regime changes whilst his tenue cut across the Administrations of four consecutive Military/Civilian Governors of Oyo State. This rare feat of tenure traversing various regimes and political climates in Oyo State underscores his success as the Accountant-General of the State.
The month of March 2004 marked a new phase in the public service life of this amiable personality. In mainstream Federal Civil Service of Nigeria as Director of Finance and Accounts. In his capacity,he served diligently in five (5) key MDAs ;the National Hospital, Abuja, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Ministry of Education and Finance.
This and the earlier engagements not only exposed him to the dynamics of efficient management of public finance but it also afforded corresponding experience through which he was eventually elevated to the exalted position of the Accountant-General of the Federation in July,2011.
On assumption of duty as the Accountant-General of the Federation, Chief Otunla, an excellent team player keyed perfectly into the Transformation Agenda of the President and Commander-in-Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR. He immediately commenced an inclusive progression for a complete transformation of the nation’s accounting system.
Under the leadership of Chief Niyi Otunla, the accounting operations of the Federal Government of Nigeria became efficient, effective, foolproof and corruption free, in consonance with best practices world over.
The World Class accounting system which Nigerian MDAs now run is a dividend of Otunla’s patriotic efforts at entrenching cutting edge treasury reform measures which include the following :
i. The Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) which has streamlined the Federal Government Payroll and considerably Checkmated the ghost workers syndrome.
ii. The Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), that has brought about expenditure and receipt discipline among MDAs.
iii. The adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS);
iv. Institutionalizing International Best Practices in Nigeria’s Public Accounting System ;
v. Institutionalizing International Best Practices in Nigeria’s Public Accounting System
vi. The modernization of the Internal Audit System, through the upgrading of Internal Audit Units of MDAs to full-fledged Departments in addition to the introduction of automation and pre-auditing for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of the Internal Control mechanism.
It is note-worth, particularly, that Prince Otunla has been an exemplary Civil Servant who ventured into farming in line with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has contributed significantly towards the realization of the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating hunger and Nigeria’s desire to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
In this regard, he was celebrated by Oyo State Government as the Best Civil Servant Farmer in 1998, while his farming activities have contributed to wax strong. Learning from his humble background, Prince Otunla does not have only cherish education as a vehicle for development,he has also been a silent supporter of Education Institutions and donor of Scholarship Awards to several indigent students, thereby contributing immensely to capacity building in Nigeria. Prince Niyi Otunla is an acknowledged illustrious Nigerian and a worthy National Honors Award Winner.
Recognizing his selfless service to Nigeria and enormous contributions to national development, an appreciative Nation decided to honour him with the National Honour Award of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR).
The Award was conferred on him by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, on 29th September,2014. He was also honoured by the Rotary International with the Award of Excellency on 31st October,2014, in recognition of his outstanding performance in the accounting profession as well as his commitment to philanthropy and humanitarian servicesi the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes similarly recognized his great virtues and positive Community disposition and contributions,on account of which the Council honoured him with Distinguished Fellow Awards on 9th November,2014.
Like a typical golden fish that has no hiding place, Prince Otunla was again acknowledged and honoured by the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists as Public Officer of the Year (2014) at a ceremony organized by the Union of Ibadan on Friday,13th January,2015. Prince Niyi Otunla was also honoured with an Award of Doctorate Degree by Oduduwa University Ile-ife on 17th October, 2014. In his leisure time, Dr. Niyi Otunla enjoys reading,
farming, playing scrabble , golf, table and lawn tennis. This accomplished Accountant, a Consummate Civic Servant, an Epitome of Selfless Service, a Celebrated Farmer as well as Committed Community and Family Man is happily married to Mrs. Franciscal Foluso Abeke Otunla. The Union is blessed with three Children.