By Daniel Edu
The passing of Nigeria’s first chartered accountant, Chief Akintola Williams, also known as the doyen of accounting, has drawn a heartfelt response from President Bola Tinubu.
Chief Akintola Williams passed away at the age of 104 at his residence in Lagos on Monday.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu expressed his condolences to the family, friends, and associates of the late elder statesman.
President Tinubu extended his sympathies to the governments of Lagos and Ogun States, the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAN), the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and other financial institutions founded by the centenarian. He praised Akintola Williams for living a life marked by charity and leaving an enduring impact on future generations.
Tinubu highlighted Williams’ embodiment of integrity, resilience, and resourcefulness. He emphasized how Williams established the first African-owned accounting firm, Akintola Williams & Co (Deloitte & Touche), in 1952, which inspired confidence in a generation of professionals committed to enhancing transparency and competence in the accounting profession.
The President acknowledged the numerous honors and awards received by Chief Akintola Williams during his lifetime, such as the OFR and NNOM awards. He noted that these accolades only scratched the surface of Williams’ significant contributions to the nation and humanity, particularly in his support for education and healthcare institutions aimed at lifting the most vulnerable citizens out of poverty.
President Tinubu also praised Akintola Williams’ historic role as the first indigenous chartered accountant in the public service, citing his service as Chairman of the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners, Member of the Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Statutory Corporations of the former Western Region of Nigeria, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Foundation, and Chairman of the Public Service Review Panel tasked with rectifying issues within the Udoji Salary Review Commission.
Tinubu fondly recalled sending warm birthday wishes to the centenarian on his 104th birthday on August 9th and celebrated his significant role in shaping African institutions that have influenced the continent’s economy throughout his lifetime.
In conclusion, President Tinubu offered prayers for the departed soul of Oloye Williams and extended his condolences to his grieving family.