Nations rise when pioneering entrepreneurs emerge. Nigeria will only rise when makers and builders show up. For all the promises of governments and markets, only great founders, anchored on the tenets of entrepreneurial capitalism, can elevate the nation to the mountaintop. The sound of prosperity and abundance for all, will go through market systems, anchored on the business models, propelled by great entrepreneurs.
Nigeria is having one of those entrepreneurs. When they come, few believe them because their dreams are always bigger than the suits they wear. His name is Babawande Afolabi; I wrote about him in 2018. He is the founder and CEO of Nigeria’s newest airline: Green Africa Airways.
I like aviation because supply chain is commerce. Yes, without a supply chain, you have no economy. That explains why the CEO of Air Peace, Sir Allen Onyema, was my 2019 Businessperson of the Year.
For HI 2021, Babawande Afolabi is my person of the half year, for bringing a new basis of competition in the Nigerian aviation sector. Did you see how his arrival has crashed ticket prices by more than 40%? That is what competition does, it improves the efficiency of the utilization of factors of production for players.
Yes, Babawande has not done really much. But it does not matter. For his bravado of taking action to run an airline in Nigeria, and suddenly forcing the incumbents to adjust prices, is just enough for me to recognize him as Tekedia HI 2021 Businessperson of the Half Year. I wish him open markets and territories as he serves his nation and continent.
The company fixed the fare for these destinations, which as of April were N50,000 and N60,000, at N16,500. It says it offers a single class product to customers, charging for only what they need.
While the sustainability of Green Africa’s disruption is under question, given that foreign exchange among other things have since gone up, Afolabi appears to be leveraging cheaper-to-maintain aircrafts (propellers) that use 40% less fuel, to target the middle and lower end of the market.
It costs nearly N16,500 to travel by road with some premium bus transport companies, to the destinations of Green Africa. With the current security situation of the country, many travelers will find it easy to switch to the airline from June 24.
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