Akintola Williams

11.09.2023 Extra Akintola Williams, Nigeria’s Father of Accounting, Dies at 104

Published 11th Sep, 2023

By Sodeeq Atanda

Pa Akintola Williams, Nigeria’s foremost chartered accountant, has breathed his last in his Lagos residence a few hours ago, a source who chose to remain unnamed told reporters on Monday.

Williams was a symbolic African having been the first man on the continent to become a chartered accountant.

So many things were to Williams’ credit in the contemporary history of Nigeria. As a distinguished man of letters, Williams pioneered significant milestones in the field of accounting on both the local and global scenes.

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FIJ took a look at Williams’ incredible history and curated some important facts about the man.

Williams was born on August 9, 1919. By the measure of time, Williams was born into the distinguished Williams family. Thomas Ekundayo Williams, his father who was a legal clerk in the colonial administration and went on to set up his own legal office in Lagos upon finishing his training in the United Kingdom, was born to Z.A. Williams, a prince from Abeokuta, Ogun State.

On the African continent, Williams earned the spot as the first African to be become a chartered accountant certified by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He achieved this feat at the age of 30 at the University of London, UK, in 1949. Williams returned to Nigeria a year after and joined the civil service working with Inland Revenue as an assessment officer where he committed his acquired professional knowledge practice.

Prior to his UK education, Williams had obtained a diploma in Commerce from Yaba Higher College on a scholarship.

The celebrated accountant was an older brother to Rotimi Alade Williams, a prominent Senior Advocate of Nigeria during his lifetime, and the late Rev. James Kehinde Williams, a Christian priest.

Rotimi Williams. Source: Google.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN) and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Other than playing a pivotal role in the creation of ICAN, Williams was its pioneer president.

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With a Midas touch, Williams also founded Akintola Williams & Co, the first indigenous accounting firm in Nigeria that has now transformed to a multinational with the name Deloitte & Touche and boasts of about 1,000 staff, in 1950.

He was profoundly celebrated for his accomplishments and placing his home country on a higher pedestal. With two distinct honours of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (1997) and Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1982, the world recognised Williams as a man of great influence. His achievements also reflected in the large pool of accountants he impacted with his knowledge.

Along with Obafemi Awolowo, Williams was also a founding member of Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a socio-cultural Yoruba group, that eventually transformed to Action Group, a political organisation that pushed for an independent constitutional government in Nigeria from the colonial grip.

For his many contributions and trailblazing career path, he was regarded as the father of accounting in Nigeria.

Williams was 104 years old.

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Published 11th Sep, 2023

By Sodeeq Atanda


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