Captain Augustine Okon
Pioneer in aviation development
Whenever the history of aviation in Nigeria is told, Captain Augustine Okon, an easy-going, humble, and hardworking entrepreneur from Uruan, Akwa Ibom State, would definitely be given accolades for his pioneering role in private airline development in the country. Captain Okon, together with colleagues and other investors, founded ADC Airlines in 1984, one of the earliest private airlines in Nigeria. He was the Chairman and CEO of the ADC for about 14 years.
ADC had its domestic services to Calabar, Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja, and Kaduna, and regional flights to Monrovia in Liberia, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Conakry in Guinea, Banjul in Gambia and Accra in Ghana through its subsidiary, ADC Liberia. It was one of the most successful companies in the country and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. It was the pride of Nigeria, fittingly.
Captain Okon started flying commercially around 1976. He worked with the Nigerian Airways before he left to establish ADC Airlines. He later left ADC to establish a cargo airline, Fresh Air. He was trained in the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, and in Holland. Augustine Okon was only 19 years old when he got admission into the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria. Before then, he had admission to study aeronautical engineering at Iowa Institute of Technology, U.S. It was during the Nigerian civil war, his parents had no money and the government could not sponsor him. He almost dropped out of the College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, when the government of the then South-Eastern State of Nigeria could not pay his tuition fees of 730 pounds. But because he was top of his class, the principal of the college took his case to the school board and they were able to secure a United Nations scholarship for him.
Captain Augustine Okon, Akwa Ibom celebrates you for your entrepreneurial spirit and for the glory you have brought to our dear State!