Akintola Williams, the first Nigerian chartered accountant and founder of the country’s oldest indigenous accounting firm, Akintola Williams & Co., died on September 11, 2023, at 104.
Williams was born to a wealthy family in Lagos on August 9, 1919. He attended Olowogbowo Methodist Primary School and CMS Grammar School in Lagos. 1941 he was awarded a Diploma in Commerce from the Yaba Higher College.
In 1944, Williams went to the United Kingdom to study accounting. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of London in 1946 and passed the final examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1950.
Williams returned to Nigeria in 1950 and founded Akintola Williams & Co., the first indigenous accounting firm in Nigeria. The firm grew to become one of the largest professional services firms in the country, providing services to businesses, government agencies, and individuals.
Williams was also a pioneer in the development of the Nigerian capital market. He was a founding member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and served on its board of directors for many years.
In addition to his business career, Williams was also active in public service. He served as chairman of the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners, the Coker Commission of Inquiry, and the Lagos State Government Revenue Collection Panel. He was also a member of the board of trustees of the Commonwealth Foundation and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.
Williams received numerous awards and honours, including the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) and the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). He was also named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Williams was a true pioneer and a national builder. He was a man of great vision and determination and made significant contributions to the development of Nigeria. He will be remembered as a giant in the accounting profession and a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and dedication.
Williams was married to Efuntiloye Mabel Williams and had children.
Some of his notable quotes include:
“Accountancy is a profession that demands high ethical standards.”
“The accountant is the conscience of the business world.”
“The Nigerian capital market has the potential to be a major driver of economic growth.”
“Public service is a noble calling.”
“We must all play our part in nation-building.”