Prominent Nigerians on Monday expressed sadness over the demise of Nigeria’s first chartered accountant, Akintola Williams.
Williams, fondly referred to as the doyen of accounting died at the age of 104 at his Lagos residence on Monday.
His demise triggered commiserations, encomiums and adulation from eminent Nigerians who lauded the late Williams’ contribution to the Accounting profession and national development.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo described the late Pa Williams as an icon and an unusual specimen of a human being.
According to him, Pa Williams was a nationally-renowned and globally-acclaimed accountant, who commanded respect at home and abroad.
Obasanjo said, “I had, directly and indirectly, enjoyed his advice and support. In his unruffled disposition, he inspired you and warmed you to himself. His reflections, piercing insights, and insistence on truth and accountability cannot but inspire you. I often admired his calm mien and disposition.”
“He was so pervasive and consistent in his contributions and influence that the accounting professionals in particular and the nation, in general, must keenly feel his departure. He was an icon and an unusual specimen of a human being as well as a nationally renowned and globally acclaimed accountant.”
On his part, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said Williams’ death was a colossal loss to the nation and the accounting profession.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement issued on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile said Williams’ record of service as an accountant of repute and a leader of remarkable achievements will remain indelible for generations to come.
The statement read in part, “On behalf of the government and people of Lagos State, we celebrate the departure of a great legend and the doyen of Accounting in Nigeria, Akintola Williams, who contributed his quota to the financial sector and the economy of Nigeria during his lifetime.”
The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, in a statement, said the business community had lost a beacon of light and direction.
He further stated that Pa Williams would be best remembered for his knack for excellence, his undying quest for truth and justice and an abiding commitment to the development of our dear nation.
Obaseki said, “I am immensely saddened by the news of the passing of elder statesman and the doyen of accounting in Nigeria, Chief Akintola Williams, who lived a long and fulfilled life, having made his mark as not only the first Nigerian to qualify as a chartered accountant but led an envious legacy as one of Nigeria’s most accomplished professionals in the corporate world.
“A rare breed nationalist, Chief Williams was perhaps one of the few Nigerian professionals who attained continental acclaim in pre-independent Nigeria, crossed over to the digital age and kept on with the changes of the times.”
Also expressing his condolences, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State described the passing of Akintola Williams as the end of an era.
Abiodun, in a statement he personally signed, eulogised the immeasurable contributions of the late Accountant to the field of Accountancy, saying his impact in the profession will continue to be remembered and celebrated among generations of Accountants in years to come.
Abiodun said, “On behalf of the government and the good people of Ogun State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the family of the doyen of Accounting, Late Chief Akintola Williams, who passed on to glory today.”