The Nigerian legendary accountant, Akintola Williams, will be 100 years old on Friday, 9 August, 2019.
Here are 71 facts you need to know about him:
1. Akintola Williams was born on 9 August, 1919, a year after the end of the First World War.
- His grandfather was Z.A. Williams, a merchant prince from Abeokuta
3. His father, Thomas Ekundayo Williams was a clerk in the colonial service who set up a legal practice in Lagos after training in London, England.
- Akintola Williams was the older brother of Rotimi Williams, popularly called Timi the law
- His other younger brother was the late Rev. James Kehinde Williams, a Christianminister.
- Akintola Williams attended Olowogbowo Methodist Primary School, Lagos in the 1930s
- His brother, Rotimi Williams, also attended the same primary school.
- Akintola Williams attended the CMS Grammar School, Lagos.
- He went on to Yaba Higher Collegeon a UAC scholarship, obtaining a diploma in commerce.
- In 1944, he travelled to England where he studied at the University of London.
- Studying Banking and Finance, he graduated in 1946 with a Bachelor of Commerce.
- He continued his studies and qualified as a chartered accountant in England in 1949.
- He was one of the founders of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa society while in London, with Dr. Oni Akerele as President and Chief Obafemi Awolowo as Secretary.
- Williams returned to Nigeria in 1950
- He served with the Inland Revenue as an assessment officer until March 1952
- He founded his accounting firm, Akintola Williams and co in 1952.
- The company was the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa.
- One of his company’s clients was Nnamdi Azikiwe‘s West African Pilot
- Another was K. O. Mbadiwe‘s African Insurance Company
- There was also Fawehinmi Furniture
- Ojukwu Transport was also his client
- So also was Electricity Corporation of Nigeria
- Western Nigeria Development Corporation also gave him consultancy
- Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation too did. Others are:
- Nigerian Railway Corporation and
- Nigerian Ports Authority.
- The first partner in the firm was Charles S. Sankey, appointed in 1957
- He was followed by the Cameroonian, Mr. Njoh Litumbe
- Litumbe opened branch offices in Port Harcourt and Enugu, and later spearheaded overseas expansion.
- In 1964, a branch was opened in the Cameroons, followed by branches in Côte d’Ivoire and Swaziland, and affiliates in Ghana, Egypt and Kenya.
- By March 1992, the company, according to Wikipedia, had 19 partners and 535 staff
- Demands grew as a result of the Companies Act of 1968, which required that companies operating in Nigeria formed locally incorporated subsidiaries and published audited annual accounts.
- The drive in the early 1970s to encourage indigenous ownership of businesses also increased demand
- In 1973, Akinola Williams (AW) Consultant Ltd, a management consultancy headed by Chief Arthur Mbanefo, was spun off.
- The company acquired a computer service company and a secretarial service, and in 1977, the company entered into an agreement with Touche Ross Internationalbased on profit sharing.
- Williams retired in 1983.
36. 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 a staff of over 600.
- 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.
- He was a member of the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners (1958–68)
- Member of the Coker Commission of Inquiry into the Statutory Corporations of the former Western Region of Nigeria (1962)
- Member of the board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Foundation(1966–1975)
- Chairman of the Lagos State Government Revenue Collection Panel (1973)
- Chairman of the Public Service Review Panel to correct the anomalies in the Udoji Salary Review Commission (1975).
- President of the Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island, Lagos
- Founder and Council member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation
- Founder and chairman of the board of Trustees of the Musical Society of Nigeria.
- In 1982, Williams was honoured by the Nigerian Government with the O.F. R..
- Following 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.
- On the 8th of May, 2011, the Nigeria-Britain Association presented awards to John Kufuor, past President of Ghana, and to Akintola Williams, for their contributions to democracy and development
- Williams was the first African to become a chartered accountant in England in 1949
- His principal at CMS Grammar School , was John Lewis, a disciplinarian
- When he returned home in 1950 to take the post of Inspector of Taxes, he worked with John Selby, whose counsel years earlier had prompted him to consider being an accountant
- His firm is the largest professional services firm in Nigeria with a staff of over 600.
- The firm adopted the business name ‘Akintola Williams Deloitte’ on July 30, 2004
59. In April 1997, Queen Elizabeth also honoured him with the title, Commander of the British Empire (CBE)
Williams and his wife in their early years
60. Williams was married to Mrs Efuntiloye Mabel Williams (nee Coker)
- His wife died on Wednesday, July 8, 2009, at the age of 88.
- His wife was popularly called Mama Oye Mama Muson.
- Dedicated to her husband, she was one of the mainstays of his successful career.
- His wife played a very prominent role in the land procurement and fund-raising for the building of MUSON Centre complex
- She also ensured that Prince Charles of England laid the foundation stone of the complex.
- Similarly, she, according to The Guardian, played a prominent role in the establishment of the Victoria Island and Ikoyi Residents Association (VIIRA) in pursuit of her love for a safe and healthy environment
- The marriage between Pa. Williams and Mama Oye was blessed with Tokunbo Williams, a London-based lawyer
- And Seni Williams, a computer specialist
- Seni is the Managing Director of Tara Systems Limited
- One of Pa Williams’ mentees was another solid accountant, Chief Olukayode Akindele
- Williams likes to wear suits mostly to public functions