Pa Akintola Williams, the Nigerian accounting doyen, has left an indelible mark on both the professional and public spheres as he exits, an icon, a sensation in the world of commerce and overall achiever. At an accomplished age 104, he leaves behind a legacy of dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment.
Akintola, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, played a pivotal role in the merger of several accounting firms, resulting in the creation of Akintola Williams Deloitte, Nigeria’s largest professional services company, boasting over 600 employees.
In his public life, his contributions were equally remarkable. He was a founding member of Nigeria’s Association of Accountants, serving as its inaugural President. Additionally, he held the position of the first president and founding member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.
He was instrumental in the establishment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and remained an active participant in these organizations throughout his life, advocating for market integrity and ethical practices.
Pa Akintola Williams also dedicated himself to public sector roles, including Chairmanship of the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners, participation in the Coker Commission of Inquiry, and membership in the Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Beyond his professional and public roles, he made significant contributions to various organizations, serving as President of the Metropolitan Club in Victoria Island, Lagos, and as a Founder and Council Member of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.
His numerous accolades included the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) awarded by the Nigerian government in 1982 and Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in April 1997 for his contributions to the accounting industry and his support of the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) in promoting arts, culture, and music.
In honor of his unflinching dedication, the Akintola Williams Arboretum was established at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s headquarters in Lagos. With a recognition of his contributions to democracy and development in Africa, came awards from the Nigeria-Britain Association in 2011.
Pa Akintola Williams passed away on September 11, leaving behind a legacy of service, leadership, and dedication, an inspiration to the professional world. His was a guiding light, a beacon, whose extinguished flame will be felt.