Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has mourned the passing of elder statesman and doyen of Accounting in Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams, who died at age 104.
In a statement, the governor said: “I am immensely saddened by the news of the passing of elder statesman and the doyen of Accounting in Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams, who lived a long and fulfilled life, having made his mark as not only the first Nigerian to qualify as a Chartered Accountant but led an envious legacy as one of Nigeria’s most accomplished professionals in the corporate world.
“A rare breed nationalist, Chief Williams was perhaps one of the few Nigerian professionals, who attained continental acclaim in pre-independent Nigeria, crossed over to the digital age, and kept on with the changes of the times.”
He noted that the late Williams played a key role as a nationalist, as he was a contemporary of key figures in Nigeria’s historical development, including Chief Obafemi Awolowo, fighting together for the independence of our the country and keeping on with the drive to see Nigeria lead the continent on different fronts.
The governor added: “He set up the first Accounting firm in Africa, Akintola Williams & Co., in 1952 upon qualifying as the first Nigerian Chartered Accountant and expanded to other countries of the world. He stood for excellence as a professional, a trait that had kept him going ever since.
“Chief Williams, perhaps, made some of the most consequential contributions to the development of the Nigerian economy through his interventions in the setting up of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
“He was upright, intelligent and cosmopolitan, making an enormous impact in the business community and in promoting probity and good governance.”
He continued: “The business community has indeed lost a beacon of light and direction. Chief Williams’ absence will be strongly felt. It is indeed the end of an era for the Accounting profession in Nigeria.
“He will be remembered for his knack for excellence, his undying quest for truth and justice, and an abiding commitment to the development of our dear nation.
“I commiserate with the Williams family, friends and associates and pray that God will grant all the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
The governor also hailed the late Doyen of the Accounting profession for his philanthropic gestures and contributions to community and individual development and growth, especially in the arts, culture, and tourism.
This is exemplified in his leading role in the building and promotion of the Music Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre, Onikan, Lagos, as the co-founder. A society that has greatly played a key role in growing Nigerian and contemporary music and artistes.
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