“Ibadan is special to me in every way because it is my hometown and it serves as home to beautiful monumental sights.”

Mrs. Bunmi Oluwadara

Mrs Bunmi Oluwadara sheds light and truth to the saying, “What a man can do, a woman can do better.” Her tenacity and drive have made her venture  into a challenging transportation sector in Nigeria. She most certainly is the definition of the modern woman because who says women can’t have it all? Mrs Bunmi Oluwadara gives women faith to have the  family they've always dreamed of, and a successful career to go with; you have God and the passion for doing what needs to be done to get to the top.

Can you tell us a little about your educational background?

I studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos and I hold an MBA from Imperial College Business School, London.  I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(ACMA) and a Fellow Association of Certified Chartered Accountants(FCCA).

You own a bus company called “Alakowe” which is making waves. Why did you decide to start a transportation business?

I ventured into the business because of the need to contribute to the level of comfort experienced by travellers. People travel everyday and they certainly want maximum comfort and avoid the challenges that come with the conventional mode of travelling. So for me, I felt that if there can be a better and obviously more convenient way to travel, why not? That’s what gave birth to Alakowe Bus.

What services does Alakowe render that differentiates it from other transportation services in the area?

Our all new online booking is certainly one of the main differentiating factors. You don’t have to come all the way to our office before you can book your trip, all you need to do is log on to our website www.alakowebus.com and follow the simple booking steps and your seat is reserved. This is coupled with the fact that we have fixed departure times and our rates are the same all through the year.

That is the height of comfort if you ask me. Also, we have on-board entertainment via our DVD player. Apart from that, safety of lives is very important so our drivers have a speed limit that they adhere to and we get to monitor them through our car-tracking device. Alakowe Bus also provides light refreshment while on the bus and our staffs are polite, well composed individuals. Customers are treated with the respect that they deserve.We take pride in the fact that our buses are brand new, fully air-conditioned and very comfortable seats so much that people of high calibre in society have boarded and enjoyed our services. One of them is Mavin Crew’s Reekado Banks.

Tell us more about the impact Alakowe has on the Ibadan economy?

Alakowe Bus has certainly made a huge impact on Ibadan’s economy because we are a company that pays tax thus helping the state generate revenue and we have also provided employment opportunities for individuals who now have a source of income.

What are some of the problems you’ve found with the transportation sector in Nigeria, specifically Ibadan?

Well I would rather call them challenges. And first on my list would be the state of our roads. Nigerian roads are not traveller-friendly at all and this poses a lot of hazards to the lives of people. The roads are also tough on our buses, which increases the cost of running them. A topical challenge is certainly petrol scarcity. We made a promise to our customers to keep our prices fixed. In the current situation of no petrol in the country, keeping that promise has been most difficult so we have had to consolidate our trips which in turn made our customers unhappy. We hope they understand and keep coming back.

Is Alakowe zoned into Ibadan or you’ve branched out already or perhaps you even have plans to branch out outside Ibadan?

Presently, Alakowe Bus has branches in Ibadan and in Lagos. Our buses currently travel Ibadan and Lagos on a daily basis and we run charter services to destinations within the South West. Our vision is to become the transport company of choice for all travellers in South West Nigeria.

Are there any regrets for deciding to start your own transportation business in Ibadan?

There are challenges, but there are no regrets. Ibadan needs the service that Alakowe provides.

How have you been able to balance the expectations of work, and life outside of work with your busy schedule?

Well, when you live with the consciousness that work is work and it is part of life, you simply do what you have to do. In regards to juggling all these things, I must admit it is tough but the truth is that when you commit your ways into God’s hands, you just find out that things fall into place without so much stress. I also try to prioritize and do the urgent things first, this helps me to avoid being under pressure all the time. Also, I am passionate about what I do so for me, it is not so much of work but a way to dissipate my energy into doing what I enjoy.

What makes Ibadan special to you?

Ibadan is special to me in every way because it is my hometown and it serves as home to beautiful monumental sights. Of course, I love the brown roofs. It is a unique signature for the town. When I think of Ibadan, I think of amala and the trappings that come with it.

We’re taking a poll about the best amala joint in Ibadan. What would you say is your favourite amala spot in the city?

As much as I love amala I can’t say I know because I get it delivered to me!

Comments and Reviews