More tributes have been paid to Akintola Williams, Nigeria’s first chartered accountant, who died aged 104 on Monday.
President Bola Tinubu, in a statement through his spokesman Ajuri Ngelale on Tuesday, described the luminary as an epitome of “integrity, resilience and resourcefulness which was amply demonstrated when he established the first accounting firm, Akintola Williams & Co (Deloitte & Touche) … in 1952.”
The president remarked that the firm would go on to inspire “self-confidence in a generation of professionals who would make further impact in strengthening transparency and competence in the Accounting profession.”
Mr Tinubu, himself an accountant by training, acknowledged the inimitable contributions of Mr Williams to public service notably as the chair of Federal Income Tax Appeal Commission, chair of the Public Service Review Panel that fixed the anomalies in the Udoji Salary Review Commission, member of the Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Foundation and member of the Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Statutory Corporations of the old Western Region.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who paid him a tribute in a statement, admitted he had in the past benefitted directly and indirectly from Mr Williams’ advice and support.
“His reflections and piercing insights and insistence for truth and accountability cannot but inspire you. I often admired his calm mien and disposition and when I asked a friend, “why is he always so calm, composed and methodical? He answered, “It is because he has strong internal antenna for controls!” he said.
“I must confess that my interactions with Mr. Akintola Williams were tangential for a number of reasons. When those of us in the military in the province like Kaduna, where I was, came to Lagos in the mid-1960s, we were looking at the likes of Mr. Akintola Williams at a distance with great admiration and in awe,” he added.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, on Monday, described his death as a tremendous loss.
“He will be remembered for his remarkable contributions and accomplishments as an accountant and leader for generations to come,” he said.
“His significant role in establishing the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa, as well as his instrumental involvement in the formation of institutions like the Nigeria Stock Exchange and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria will not be forgotten.”
Adewale Osinowo, a chartered accountant and mentee of Mr Williams said, “Pa Akintola Williams is our mentor in the profession.
“We’ve received a lot of training from him. His humility, his professionalism and his integrity and transparency and his input to accountancy and the economy at large is excellent. And we that are behind, may we continue to emulate his behaviour so we can have a better Nigeria.”
READ ALSO: Tinubu mourns Akintola Williams
Mr Williams was a founding member of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), which was set up to promote classical and contemporary music in Nigeria. Frederick Rotimi Williams, his younger sibling, was the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
He once chaired the audit committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria as well as the Nigerian Industrial Bank.
He received the title of the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for the promotion of arts, culture and music through MUSON from Queen Elizabeth II in 1997.
In 1982, his contributions were honoured with the title of Order of the Federal Republic.
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