The Richest Nigerian before Alhaji Aliko Dangote was Chief Dr. Harry Akande (Construction). A list of looters and the richest Nigerians was released in 2001, and he was even richer than the looters. A 2001 The Punch front page report stated that he had a monthly income of $533m.
Harry Ayoade Akande was born in Ibadan on the 3rd of March 1943 to Pa Joseph Afolabi of the Ile Olorin compound at Orita Merin, Ibadan and Chief Mrs. Regina Akande of Olagoke family of Oje.
He started his educational career from Sacred Heart Nursery School, Idikan, and St. James Primary school Oke Bola and the Abadina School, University of Ibadan. Ayoade later got admitted into Olivet heights Oyo, in 1957, and records from that institution showed that not only was he brilliant in his academic performance, but also very proficient in sports. On leaving Olivet Heights in 1961, he gained admission into Hampton University, Hampton Virginia USA on a scholastic bursary from abroad, graduating in 1967 in Accounting and Finance with highest honors.
In 1969, chief Akande obtained his MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg’s Graduate school of Management to become the prestigious school’s first graduate of African ancestry.
Career and Accomplishments
Chief Akande has been involved in the execution of infrastructural development projects across Africa and the Caribbean to the tune of over $2 billion in the last twenty years, with business activities cutting across computer, aviation, telecommunications, management and petrochemical industries
In 1970, Chief Akande returned to Nigeria, having filled positions as financial consultant with KPMG Peat Marwick and Standard Oil Corporation in the USA.Chief Harry Akande established AIC Limited and became the president of NAFTEC (New African Technical & Electrical Company), representative company of G.E America, which subsequently executed the major Gas Turbine Electricity Projects at Ughelli, Ijora, and Delta II-IV.
In 1976, his company, Engineering and Power Development Nigeria Limited (EPDN), in association with Balfour Beatty Engineering of UK was established. In 1977, they were awarded the irrigation studies in Bauchi covering 47000 hectares. The areas were Bagel-Zungur, Balangar, Kaltungo, and Katini. Expansion, Northern Ishan, Yola Jimeta, Gombe Water Scheme, Ilorin and Jebba, Uyo Metropolitan Water and Oyo-North Water Schemes.
In 1980, AIC in conjunction with Wimpey of UK, his company undertook the Hydroelectric Power Installation & Construction of Oyan dam, and in 1982, in conjunction with EPDN designed and supervised the Balanga Dam and irrigation scheme in Bauchi.
AIC formed first overseas affiliate, in the University of Health Science, Antigua (UHSA) School of Medicine.
His company in conjunction with Costain International was also involved in the Osogbo- Ede Water Scheme. It was at the time, the largest water project in Africa at 35mgd capacity.
Among other projects executed by Chief Akande’s company are:The Bauchi Township water supply scheme in 1988, financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) to the tune of $70 million. This project set the precedence for many subsequent schemes.The Benin city and Warri/Effurun 35mgd water supply project in 1989 also financed by the ADB to the tune of $120 millionAIC in 1991 was appointed to oversee the complete rehabilitation and refurbishment of Nigeria’s National Art Theatre.AIC in 1994 appointed consultants for the reconstruction of the Ibadan- Ilorin Highway, 136km four lane dual carriage way, financed by the ADB.AIC also undertook he feasibility study for the Point-a-Pierre refinery in Trinidad also in 1994The Keffi/Akwanga, Doma and Jos Bukurru water supply scheme engineered and supervised by AIC in 1995, financed by ADB at $165 million.The $200 million AIC/Hilton Hotel at Muritala Muhammed International Airport Lagos was initiated in 1999.AIC/Hilton Abidjan – 500 rooms 5-star hotel valued at $120 million in 2000.Between 2000 and 2001, AIC limited provided engineering consulting services to the Oyo state government, for the feasibility studies, engineering designs and source of funds for Saki, New Iseyin and environs water supply scheme in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State. The project was valued at $250 million, and was undertaken to provide potable water to millions of people resident in that area.
In Lagos State, AIC Limited is presently involved in their engineering design and tender documentation as well as source of funds for the implementation of a dedicated Lagos Fisheries terminal for the Federal Government which will provide harbour facilities for the trawling and Fishing business that will earn foreign exchange for Nigeria.
Chief Akande was associated with the development of the Crystal Palace hotel, a 1000 bedroom hotel in Nassau, Bahamas as well as Las Quevas Bay Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago.
Chief Akande is well renowned for turning ideas into reality within and around Africa, Europe and the USA. This has enhanced his reputation among Global Businesses and World Leaders. His ability to lead and execute projects timely is extraordinary.
Chief Akande was the former chairman board of trustees of All Peoples Party (APP); the second biggest political party in Nigeria. He was the arrowhead of the APP/AD Alliance in 1999. A patriot of no mean order, Chief Akande has been concerned about peace, progress and development of his Fatherland Nigeria. Chief Dr. Harry Ayoade Akande is currently running for President on the platform of ANPP in 2011. His reputation for initiating projects, sourcing for funds to finance projects and successfully executing projects is second to none.
Family Life and community involvement
Chief Akande has been married for almost 36 years to his wife Chief Mrs. Tolulope Akande, and they have four children, Olumide, Foluke, Atinuke and Olawunmi.
An active member of his community, Chief Akande was conferred with the honorary chieftancy title of Agbaoye of Ibadanland in 1979. A highly committed philanthropist, he has worked selflessly with AMFAR, International Children Appeal and many other children Charities.
In 1987, Chief Akande was selected to receive the outstanding 20 years Alumnus Award from Hampton University, Virginia, USA.
Chief Harry Ayoade Akande has been endorsed as the leader of choice in the ANPP across all the geo-political zones, and his pedigree, experience as well as accomplishments over the years show him to be more than suitable to serve our great nation as president.