The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) organized a symbolic Closing Gong ceremony in celebration of the centenary birthday of one of its leaders, Pa. Akintola Williams on Monday.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE, said “I am honoured today to celebrate with friends and family, the exemplary life of an icon – Pa Akintola Williams, a founding father of The Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Doyen of the accounting profession in Nigeria.”
“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”.
In his response, Mr. Akintola Williams said, “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”.
Pa. Akintola Williams, is the only surviving signatory to the original Memorandum and Articles of Association of The Nigerian Stock Exchange at the founding of the NSE on September 15, 1960.