Akintola Williams wanted to study Surveying, Actuarial Science but this man ‘changed his life forever’ (see name)


Chief Akintola Williams, who was born in Lagos on August 9, 1919, was the second son of T. Ekundayo Williams.
He died in the early hours of Monday in his sleep at 104 years.
His younger brother, Rotimi, who was born in 1920 and died in 2005, became one of Nigeria’s most famous lawyers.

Akintola Williams

Akintola Williams’ formal education began at Baptist Academy, Lagos in 1927. Following the completion of his secondary school education at CMS Grammar School in 1938, he attended Yaba Higher College on a United African Company (UAC) scholarship from 1939 to 1941 where he attained a Diploma in Commerce.
At Yaba Higher College, he was interested in pursuing a career in Surveying but because the course was not available, he tried to switch to Actuarial Science and was preparing to move to England to take the course when he met an expatriate named John Selby, a chartered accountant working for the Inland Revenue Department in Lagos who counselled and convinced the young Williams, who was eager to study abroad, to seriously consider a career in accountancy. That advice changed his life forever and he eventually became a global accounting brand.
Akintola Williams

In 1944, he left Nigeria on a government scholarship for the United Kingdom in order to train as a chartered accountant. Because the Second World War was at its peak, very few accounting firms were willing to take on coloured clerks. After months of searching for a job, Williams joined the firm of Binder Hamlyn & Co. as an Articled Clerk.
In 1946, whilst serving his articles and studying for his accountancy examinations, he completed his degree in Commerce at the University of London.
In December 1949, Williams passed the final examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and was admitted as a member of the Institute early in 1950. With this achievement, he became the first Nigerian chartered accountant. 
After qualifying as a chartered accountant, Williams took up employment with the Colonial Office in London and was posted to Nigeria. He returned home in 1950 to take the post of Inspector of Taxes where he would work with same John Selby.
Akintola Williams

He later set up Akintola Williams & Co in 1952, the first indigenous firm of accountants in Nigeria.
Operating out of his home in Obalende, the firm managed to survive its early years through the patronage of highly successful Nigerian entrepreneurs such as Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Timothy Odutola, Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu and Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony.
In October 1957, Akintola Williams & Co. admitted its first partner – Charles Sankey – becoming Nigeria’s largest professional services firm following two mergers in April 1999 and May 2004.
The firm today has hundreds of members of staff and operates under the name of Akintola Williams Deloitte.
Akintola Williams was a mentor who motivated many young Nigerians.
They followed in his footsteps and became qualified chartered accountants in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
In December 1960, he co-founded and was named the first president of the Association of Accountants in Nigeria. A strong believer in one unified body of accountants in Nigeria, he was one of those who worked tirelessly to achieve the incorporation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) through an Act of Parliament in September 1965.
In 1982, he was honoured with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the Federal Government.
He retired from his firm in 1983 and was awarded ICAN’s first ever Gold Medal Merit Award in 1988.
In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II conferred the title of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) on him in recognition of his services to the accountancy profession and for his promotion of arts, culture and music through the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON), a project he began in 1993.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.