Harry Ayoade Akande has died at the age of 77. He died on Saturday morning of an undisclosed ‘brief illness’. Harry Akande was born on the 3rd of March 1943 to Pa Joseph Afolabi at Orita Merin, Ibadan and Chief Mrs. Regina Akande of Olagoke family of Oje.
Harry Akande started his educational career from Sacred Heart Nursery School, Idikan, and continued to St. James Primary School in Oke Bola, Ibadan and later to the Abadina School, also in Ibadan.
He was later admitted into Olivet Heights International School in 1957, and records from that institution show that not only was he brilliant in academics, but also very proficient in sports.
Upon leaving Olivet Heights in 1961, he gained admission on a scholastic bursary from abroad into Hampton University; a private university in Hampton, Virginia in the United States of America. Ayoade graduated in 1967 with a degree in Accounting and Finance with the highest honours.
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.
Chief Akande was involved in the execution of infrastructural development projects across Africa and the Caribbean to the tune of over $2 billion in the last 20 years, with business activities cutting across computer, aviation, telecommunications, management and petrochemical industries.
In 1970, Chief Akande returned to Nigeria, having filled positions as a financial consultant with KPMG, Peat Marwick and Standard Oil Corporation in the USA.
Chief Harry Akande established AIC Limited and became the president of New African Technical & Electrical Company (NAFTEC); a representative company of General Electric (G.E) America, which subsequently executed the major Gas Turbine Electricity Projects at Ughelli, ljora, 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. AIC Limited in conjunction with Wimpey of UK, undertook the Hydroelectric Power Installation & Construction of Oyan dam, and in conjunction with EPDN designed and supervised the Balanga Dam and irrigation scheme in Bauchi in 1980 and 1982 respectively.
Again, his company AIC in conjunction with Costain International was 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 million.
AIC in 1991 was appointed to oversee the complete rehabilitation and refurbishment of Nigeria’s National Art Theater. AIC in 1994 appointed consultants for the reconstruction of the Ibadan-Ilorin Highway, 136km four-lane dual carriageway, financed by the ADB.
Chief Akande was also associated with the development of the Crystal Palace hotel, a 1,000 bedroom hotel in Nassau, Bahamas as well as Las Cuevas Bay Hotel in Trinidad and Tobago.
Chief Akande was 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 of the 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 was concerned about peace, progress and development of his Fatherland Nigeria. Chief Dr. Harry Ayoade Akande ran 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.
Chief Akande was married for about 36 years to his wife Chief Mrs. Tolulope Akande, and they have four children, Olumide, Foluke, Atinuke and Olawunmi.
As an active member of his community, Chief Akande was conferred with the honorary chieftaincy title of Agbaoye of Ibadanland in 1979. He is also a highly committed philanthropist and 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 was 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.