By Amaechi Ogbonna


Oludare Akande, Chairman of Bellagio Airlines Limited, is a vastly experienced entrepreneur with extensive background in Information Technology, Aviation and Finance.

Akande, who has dedicated his life to public service after the grilling processes of various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and the United States of America. has since become a pathfinder and key motivator to many aspiring entrepreneurs in different fields who look unto him as mentor and team leader especially in the educational and aviation sub-sectors.

With strong leadership and motivational competencies garnered over many years, Akande   applied his vast cognate experiences to support and drive various teams to realise their full potential in world.

As one of Nigeria’s youngest and highly cerebral business icons, he successfully launched Bellagio Airline Ltd, Lagos Nigeria – and received Air Transportation License from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in November 2021 – primarily as a Cargo Airline – now expected to begin Domestic Scheduled (passenger) operations with four Embraer 190 in Q1 2024, in addition to Cargo Operations.

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Apart from investing in the aviation sector, Akande is involved in the proposed American Polytechnic of Nigeria, Ibadan; proposed American National University of Nigeria, Wasinmi, Oyo State; Bellagio Agriculture, USA and Rushmore Hotel & Mini Golf Resort, Ibadan

With a Ph.D. in Management from Walden University, United States of America, an MBA from Benedictine University, USA, and a BA in Business Administration from Governors State University, USA, Fintech certificate from Harvard University, a Design Thinking Certificate from MIT USA, and an Executive Certificate in Entrepreneurship from The Wharton School -The University of Pennsylvania, USA, Akande has worked in several reputable organisations at executive management levels.They include Accenture LP (North America), United Nations Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo Bank, Cisco Systems, Royal Caribbean Ltd, Marriot, HSBC BANK-North America, Northern Trust Bank, and Cuna Mutual Group.

At some point in his very colourful career, Akande worked at State Farm Insurance, BlueCross BlueShield, American Family Insurance, Humana Insurance, Dow Chemicals, TD Canada Trust, LTL Financial, USA, and Westview as well as Construction & Development Inc. (USA).

His philanthropic activism had seen him sponsor numerous Scholarship/Bursary Scheme for Students in Tertiary Institutions in Oke-Ogun geopolitical zone of Oyo State. At a time the country and its citizens are going through severe food constraints, his provision of palliative materials to the less privileged especially during the COVID-19 lockdown became a life saver and a cardinal part of his corporate social responsibility initiative.

In addition to feeding the less privileged, he has also set up an after-school programme for secondary school students in Iseyin LGA, Oyo State and Donated Modern Water Systems/Boreholes in many communities in Oyo and Kaduna States.

Other facilities he has extended to the less privileged in the various states include VIP Toilets and Sanitation Stations in many communities in Oyo, donated two 100KVA ABB electrical transformers to communities in Oyo State, as well as medical support for several rural communities.

Oludare Akande is The Sun Investor of the Year Award for 2023.