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All You Should Know About Nigeria’s First Chartered Accountant, Akintola Williams



All You Should Know About Nigeria’s First Chartered Accountant, Akintola Williams

Nigeria’s first indigenous chartered accountant, Akintola Williams, died today, 11th September, 2023.

Chief Akintola Williams was Nigeria’s first indigenous chartered accountant who died at 104.

He pioneered Nigeria’s accounting profession and was instrumental in developing the country’s financial sector.


All You Should Know About Nigeria’s First Chartered Accountant, Akintola Williams


Below are some things to know about him;

  • 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.
  • He was the first Nigerian to qualify as a chartered accountant as he began his education at Olowogbowo Methodist Primary School, Bankole Street, Apongbon, Lagos Island, Lagos, in the early 1930s; the same primary school his late junior brother Chief Rotimi Williams attended.
  • His youngest brother Rev James Kehinde Williams was a pastor in the same church; Olowogbowo Methodist Church.
  • His firm founded in 1952, later grew organically and through mergers to become the largest professional services firm in Nigeria by 2004.
  • Williams participated in founding the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. During a long career, he has received many honours.
  • After returning to Nigeria in 1950, Williams served with the Inland Revenue as an assessment officer until March 1952, when he left the civil service and founded Akintola Williams & Co. in Lagos. The company was the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa.
  • Williams played a leading role in establishing the Association of Accountants in Nigeria in 1960 with the goal of training accountants. He was the first President of the association.
  • He was founding member and first president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
  • He was also involved in establishing the Nigerian Stock Exchange, more so, he remained actively involved with these organizations into his old age.
  • At a stock exchange ceremony in May 2011, he called on operators to protect the market and ensure there was no scandal. He said that, if needed, market operators should not hesitate to seek his advice on resolving any problem.
  • In 1982, Williams was honoured by the Nigerian Government with the O.F. R. Following his retirement in 1983, Williams threw himself into a project to establish a music centre and concert hall for the Music Society of Nigeria.
  • In April 1997, Williams was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to the accountancy profession and for promotion of arts, culture and music through the Musical Society of Nigeria. The Akintola Williams Arboretum at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation headquarters in Lagos is named in his honour.


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