Pa Akintola Williams, doyen of the accounting profession and pioneer chartered accountant in sub-Saharan Africa, has passed on at the age of 104 years old.
Pa Williams became a chartered accountant after he passed the qualifying examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1949.
The accounting titan played a leading role in the development of the accountancy profession in the country by facilitating the establishment of the Association of Accountants in Nigeria, which metamorphosed into the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Only recently, On August 9, President Bola Tinubu rejoiced with the doyen of accounting in Nigeria and Africa, Chief Akintola Williams, on the joyous occasion of his 104th birthday.
A statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity on that occasion said, “Tinubu shares in the special moment with all friends and professional associates of the elder statesman, whose vision and resilience has altered the history of Nigeria for the better,” He said Tinubu noted that the celebrant established the first indigenous accounting firm in Africa, Akintola Williams & Co., in 1952, which has extended services to many countries.
According to Ngelale, the President affirmed the historic role of Williams in the establishment of several private and public institutions in the country as well as his contributions to democracy and good governance.
BRANDPOWER reports that the institutions include the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN)
A seasoned administrator, Williams was an outstanding accountant, management consultant and serial entrepreneur in his active working days.
Pa Akintola worked for the Inland Revenue as an assessment officer from 1950 to 1952, when he left the civil service and founded Akintola Williams & Co., the first indigenous firm of chartered accountants in Africa (now Deloitte & Touche Nigeria).
Mr Joshua Oderinde, a former Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Ikeja District, has described the late Chief Akintola Williams as a blessing to the accounting profession in the country.
Oderinde said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the death of Williams, who died in his sleep on Monday morning at the age of 104 years.
“Williams has much impressive performance during his lifetime and the memory of him is full of positive impacts.
“He was a father to all and a good example to follow. We called him doyen of accounting profession in Nigeria and Africa at large.
“He was full of words of encouragement to both young and old in the industry.
“As a young man, Akintola Wiiliams inspired me to go into the accounting profession .He was the first man to qualify as a chartered accountant in Nigeria.
“His enormous contributions to the development of accounting profession cannot be overruled.
“May God grant his soul eternal rest and comfort his family,” Oderinde said.
Dr Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), also said that Williams was a great accountant and a trailblazer.
“Being the first indigenous professionally qualified accountant, he was was able to set up a standard accounting firm, comparable to most international one.
“He was noted for his high integrity on the job”, he noted.
NAN reports that Williams was the country’s first indigenous chartered accountant, who pioneered Nigeria’s accounting profession.
Born in 1919, he was instrumental in developing the country’s financial sector.
The renowned accountant studied accounting at the University of London and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1947.
He returned to Nigeria and later set up his accounting firm, Akintola Williams & Co., now Deloitte & Touche, in 1952.
Williams was also a strong advocate for developing the accounting profession in Nigeria.
He was a founding member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and was president from 1963 to 1965.