ICAN confirms Akintola William’s death

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, has confirmed the death of Akintola Williams, who became Africa’s first chartered accountant at age 30.

A reliable source from the Institute told Vanguard that the President and the Registrar of ICAN are presently not in town but explained that a visit was made to the home of the deceased to confirm the news of his death.

Williams, who played a leading role in establishing the Association of Accountants in Nigeria in 1960, with the goal of training accountants, served as the first president of the association and also as the pioneer president of ICAN.

In recognition of his hardwork in the development of accountancy and contributions to the economic growth of Nigeria, he was honoured by the Nigerian government with the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1982 and Commander of Federal Republic (CFR) in 2001.

The Nigeria-Britain Association presented awards to Williams, alongside John Kufuor, ex-President of Ghana, for their contributions to democracy and development, on May 8, 2011, among other award and recognition.

Williams was born on August 9, 1919, into the family of Thomas Ekundayo Williams.

He had his primary education at Olowogbowo Methodist Primary School, Lagos in the 1930s and attended the CMS Grammar School, Lagos, for his secondary education.

As a result of his academic brilliance, he won a UAC scholarship for his higher education at the Yaba Higher College where he obtained a diploma in commerce.

Afterwards, he then proceeded to the University of London in 1944 to study banking and finance where he graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree in 1946.

He continued his studies and three years after, he qualified as a chartered accountant in England in 1949, making him the first African to achieve the feat.

He returned to Nigeria in 1950 and served with the Inland Revenue as an assessment officer until March 1952 when he resigned to start his accounting firm, Akintola Williams and co., which became the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa.

The firm grew and had branches and partners in other African countries such as Cameroon; Côte d’Ivoire, Swaziland, and affiliates in Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya. Between April 1999 and May 2004, Akintola Williams & Co. merged with two other accounting firms to create Akintola Williams Deloitte (now known as Deloitte & Touche), the largest professional services firm in Nigeria with nearly a thousand staff.


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