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Meet Akintola Williams 104-Year-Old Nigerian Chartered Accountant Who Has Been A Great Inspiration Globally

In the Nigerian and African accounting community, Akintola Williams, who turned 104 on August 9, is a trailblazing figure. Together with a significant South African firm run by Howard Pim, he was instrumental in putting Africa on the map of the world of accounting. The centenarian gave an explanation of how several elements, such as committed teachers and a desire to succeed, helped to mould him into the successful man he is today.

Akintola Williams, who celebrated his 104th birthday on 9 August, is a trailblazer in the field of accounting in both Nigeria and the rest of the continent. Along with a South African firm run by Howard Pim, his contribution to putting Africa on the map of accounting has been inspiring.

Williams credited moderation in all facets of his life in an interview from 2011 as the reason for his longevity. He stressed the need of simplicity, staying out of arguments, getting enough sleep, and practising mental, physical, and spiritual exercises.

“Moderation is the secret to my longevity. I try to be reasonable in all I do, doing a bit of this and a little of that, but not too much. Be moderate in all you do, including what you eat and drink, and you’ll lead a revitalising, resilient, and meaningful life, he told Vanguard News.

He was awarded a United African Company (UAC) scholarship for higher education at Yaba Higher College in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, from 1939 to 1941 as a result of his academic aptitude. He obtained his diploma here.

He obtained his commerce diploma here. He continued his schooling in 1944, concentrating on banking and finance, and received a bachelor’s degree in business in 1946 from the University of London.

He qualified as a chartered accountant in England in 1949 at the age of 30, being the first Nigerian to do so.

Williams has indicated that a number of elements, such as the commitment of his professors and a desire to succeed, helped to mould him into the person he is today.

According to quotes from him in various media, “I would say a variety of things made it feasible for me. First, there were masters in my favourite subject, mathematics, which was finally required for my career in accounting.

According to reports, this company expanded outside of Nigeria to Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Swaziland, as well as Ghana, Egypt, and Kenya, becoming the first indigenous chartered accounting firm in Africa. His company established connections with key clients in the insurance, utilities, railways, and ports when Nigeria won independence in 1960.

Williams retired in 1983 at the age of 64, but he kept helping people by helping other indigenous chartered accountancy firms expand and providing mentoring.

The largest professional services company in Nigeria, Akintola Williams Deloitte (now Deloitte & Touche), was created in 2004 when his practise joined with two other accounting businesses. Williams’ visionary leadership helped Deloitte expand throughout Africa, but he also had an impact outside of accounting through his support of the arts, culture, and music.

Williams held important posts, including that of founding President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and President of the Association of Accountants in Nigeria. He contributed to the establishment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1960 and continued to serve as one of its advisors.

His great accomplishments are recognised by the Akintola Williams Arboretum at the Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s headquarters in Lagos and other awards like the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1982 and Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) in 2001.

He received an award from the Nigeria-Britain Association on May 8, 2011, for his support of democracy and growth.

Williams was a pioneer and a pacesetter who helped establish many institutions in Nigeria. Among the boards he served on were the Federal Income Tax Appeal Commissioners, the Coker Commission of Inquiry, and the Commonwealth Foundation.

His contributions have left a lasting legacy, and it’s been said that, even to this day, Deloitte Africa continues to uphold his values and positive impact across the continent.

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