NSE Standstill for Pa Akintola Williams, Beats Closing Gong

October 1, 2019
NSE Standstill for Pa Akintola Williams, Beats Closing Gong

By Adedapo Adesanya 

Pa Akintola Williams, the doyen of accounting in Nigeria, was honoured at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) with a closing bell ceremony on Monday, September 30, 2019.

Pa Williams, who clocked a milestone of 100 years old in August, was specially celebrated by the NSE for his contribution to the establishment of the organisation.

The centenarian is the only surviving signatory to the founding of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and was honoured with closing Monday’s trading activity at the exchange.

This coincided with 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the NSE, where the CEO of the Exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema, expressed his gratitude for the presence of Pa Akintola Williams.

“Today is a big day for us at the exchange and it is a day we will cherish for a long time,” he remarked.

Speaking further, he said, “In a country where life expectancy hovers around 55 years, clocking the century mark is indeed a great landmark. For Pa Williams, an even greater achievement is the quality in his 100 years. He has lived a life worthy of emulation, resolutely serving our nation at home and abroad, promoting best practices, deterring limitations, and inspiring everyone in his circle to more responsibilities.

“This celebration presents another opportunity to reflect on his achievements and acknowledge the efforts that have brought him this far. It is my hope that we can continue to draw inspiration from his legacy to solve our pertinent socio-economic challenges”.

On his part, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo said “Pa. Williams played a significant role in the incorporation of NSE. He served as a member of the committee set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria to carry out a feasibility study on the viability of establishing a stock exchange in Nigeria.

“Pa. Williams worked tirelessly and joined with several distinguished Nigerians to assess the promise and challenges associated with a new stock exchange in Nigeria. After six months of extensive research, the committee concluded that the establishment of a stock exchange in Nigeria was feasible, and timely.

“As a member of the National Council of the Exchange, he contributed in no small measure to the growth of its listing portfolio and established rules reducing barriers for companies to list on The Exchange.

“As the NSE continue to lead the advancement of the Nigerian capital market through inclusive products and services, we look back in gratitude to the contributions of visionary and patriotic icons like Pa. Williams.”

Pa Akintola, during his comment, congratulated all the members of the stock exchange for their contributions and called on the exchange to further continue its duties.

“I thank you all for assembling here today to celebrate my centenary. I am indeed happy and proud to see the progress our project of nearly sixty years ago has made, and I look forward to The Nigerian Stock Exchange’s future advancement with a great deal of anticipation and hope,” he said.

The event was also graced by Chris Ogunbanjo, the lawyer who incorporated the Stock Exchange; his son and President of the Exchange’s National Council, Otunba Abimbola Ogunbanjo; Ex-officio and Past President, Mr Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede; Second Vice President, Mrs Catherine Nwakaego Echeozo; Members of the Council, Erelu Angela Adebayo and Mrs Fatimah Bintah Bello-Ismail, among others.

Pa Akintola Williams was born on August 9, 1919, in Lagos Nigeria. He was born in an affluent family with generations working with white settlers and the government. His grandfather was a prosperous merchant and his father, Thomas Ekundayo Williams was a clerk who worked for the colonial office before setting up his legal firm in Lagos.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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