THE death has been announced of Chief Akintola Williams, reputed as the pioneer of Nigeria’s accounting profession, who was instrumental in developing the country’s financial sector. Aged 104, he was said to have passed on at about 9 a.m. on Monday, September 11.
He had last month celebrated his 104th birthday, and was widely eulogised for his contribution to Nigerian society, especially through his beloved profession of accounting. On the occasion, President Tinubu had expressed his belief that his presence and wisdom will continue to inspire the younger generation toward imbibing the timeless values of integrity, hard work, and long-term vision, especially with respect to national development.
Born in 1919, he 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. He was also a member of the National Board of Accountants and Auditors.
He received many awards and honours, including the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) and the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM). He was also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
A founding member of Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà, along with the political sage, Obafemi Awolowo and others, Williams was also a co-founder of the influential Musical Society of Nigeria, MUSON, and led the process that led to the construction of the prestigious MUSON Centre at Onikan, Lagos Island. Egbé Ọmọ Odùduwà was at the forefront of the struggle for Nigeria’s Independence, which eventually translated to one of the first political parties, the Action Group.