Former minister of aviation and politician Osita Chidoka took to social media to share an inspiring story of entrepreneurship and dedication as he celebrated the achievements of Green Airways CEO Babawande Afolabi.
In a heartfelt post, Chidoka highlighted Afolabi’s journey from a dream in a PowerPoint presentation to the successful reality of Green Airways, an airline operating in Nigeria.
Chidoka recalled how he was introduced to Afolabi by famous businessman Akeem Belo-Osagie in 2015, adding that he was initially struck by Afolabi’s passion and big dreams for the aviation industry.
His words: ”My first impression of him was of a young, mild-mannered, and tentative person. As we conversed, he struck a chord with his passion and big dreams.
”He was not a staff member of an aviation company but the CEO of a company that plans to run an airline in Nigeria. The plan was a business plan in PowerPoint only at that time.
”I thought that was bold. With an MBA from Stanford University, Babawande dreamt, like most Americans with top school education, would. We met variously in Abuja and Bethesda, Maryland, as I assisted, in a small way, with aviation permits. He had rough times.
”Sometimes, when he popped in to see me in Bethesda, he would be tired and frustrated but optimistic. On April 8, 2021, he shared a video of their first two aircraft with me.
”His PowerPoint presentation and dream of Green Airways had transformed into a reality with multiple aircraft moving passengers daily across Nigeria.
”His successful fundraising, both debt and equity from global sources, plus his management of the challenges of navigating Nigeria’s bureaucratic landscape, stood him out as a young man to watch. I am proud of what he has achieved.”
Chidoka expressed pride in Afolabi’s achievements, referring to him as an example of the “Mekaria spirit,” which he defines as the continuous quest for excellence.