Ojo Jonathan Adewale has emerged the youngest chartered accountant in Nigeria after passing the final stage of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) examination. He speaks with ENIOLA OYEMOLADE on the challenges he faced in his quest to attain this feat, his plans, among others.
When and how did you start processing ICAN examination?
My preparation for ICAN began in May 2019; this was after I made my Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) results. I then enrolled into Triumph Dynamics Professional, which I got to know about through my dad’s colleague who was also enrolled in the tuition centre.
I grew up in the house of a Chartered Accountant as my dad is a Chartered Accountant, so I loved the activity of counting and calculating. However, I’ve come to understand that accounting is more than that.
Were there any challenges you faced while writing the whole examination?
Yes, there were. My dad lost his job in 2020. So the major challenge I faced was in the area of finance. He lost his job when I was preparing for ATS 3 so they had difficulty in paying my tuition and examination fees, but thanks to God and also to the director of my tuition centre, Mr Ayuba Kadiri, who upon the realisation of the financial status of my parents reduced significantly the tuition fee, and also allowed my parents to pay at their convenience. As I speak to you now, we still owe the tuition house some amount of money. Thanks also to Pastor Biodun Oladele who paid for my ATS 3 examination fees. If not for that intervention, I would not have been qualified by now.
There were also times I had to trek from the tuition centre to my house. The tuition centre is located at Molete while my house is at Olomi Academy, which is about two hours by foot.
Did you feel any type of way seeing your mates gaining admission into university while you were writing ICAN examinations?
No. Because I was 14 years old at that time, and to be admitted into any university, I had to be at least 16 years old. So I was not bothered.
As the youngest chartered accountant in Nigeria, have you been given any kind of award or recognition?
For now, nothing. I’m not sure if ICAN is planning to do anything as regards that. The custom of ICAN is just to give prizes to winners to celebrate them, but when we have something like this, such as a young person getting qualified, they might celebrate that person. By May, I would know and there should be a letter to that effect. I’m hopeful that I will be celebrated.
What were your parents’ reactions when they realised you are the youngest chartered accountant in Nigeria?
They were very elated.
Did you ever imagine becoming the youngest chartered accountant in Nigeria?
No, but I had the hope that I would pass all the stages of the examination at once.
How does this achievement make you feel?
I feel so happy and I know also that this is just the beginning and the best is yet to come by the grace of God.
Were there new things you learnt while preparing for your examination as regards accounting?
Yes. In ATS 1, there was a subject called basic accounting processes and systems. Although I had done some topics under this subject in senior secondary school, but it still broadened my knowledge about accounting. This is because of the way I was taught at the centre which made me understand some concept more. This really helped me.
What are your aspirations?
My aspiration for now is to go in for my first degree and make a First Class in accounting.
When you are not reading, what other activities do you engage in?
I read and study my Bible. My father also teaches me how to prepare companies’ account using a life trial balance.
What is the next step for you now?
The next step for me is to get admitted into Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU). I have already applied through direct entry.
What would you like the government to do to celebrate young chaps like you who have done excellently well in different fields?
One of the things that the government should do to celebrate young chaps is to award them with scholarships. This will also encourage others to do better than the things already achieved.
What subject did you find most interesting while preparing for your examination?
I found SFM (Strategic Financial Management) very interesting because it involves a lot of calculations and reasoning.
Which of the subjects did you find a little bit challenging?
Actually, I didn’t find any subject challenging as our tutors properly dissected every facet of our courses which made them intelligible to me.
What reading pattern do you follow when studying?
I studied past questions a lot, and read mostly at night.
Did you have any group of friends that contributed to your success?
Not really. I was majorly motivated by my parents, and elder brother. Another thing that motivated me was that my dad wrote his final stage of the ICAN examination five times, this took two and a half years and I didn’t want to repeat any stage. In the end all thanks to God, I completed all the stages without repeating any within two and a half years.
Do you have any role model?
Yes. Her name is Oluwaseun Praise, who I met at the centre when I was writing my ATS 1. When she finished writing her ICAN examinations and the results were announced, she won many prizes. She is as a source of motivation for me.
What is your advice to students on what they should do to improve on their academics?
My advice to other students is first that they should be diligent. Also, it is important that they make hay while the sun shines, for there will not always be time. They should be focused and avoid distractions, especially the ones from the opposite sex.
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