William Akinola Dawodu was an automobile entrepreneur who was dominant in the auto sales and repair sector of the Lagos economy during the first half of the twentieth century. During the period, many Southern Nigerian cities unlike some European cities made use of motor cars for transportation instead of horses and carriages. William Akinola Dawodu created the firm W.A. Dawodu and co to cater to the auto loving consumers of the country. The firm had a number of large stores around Lagos stocked with various equipment for auto repairs and other gagetry including sewing machines and typewriters. However, before his death in 1930, the business suffered considereably and was later liquidated.
William Dawodu was born in 1879, to a prominent family. He went to C.M.S. Grammar School for his secondary education and later attended the Hussey Institution where he learned the mechanics of auto repairs. He started his firm in 1905 at Marina, Lagos. Due to heavy demand, he re-located to a larger site. By 1910, he was the sole agent for firestone tyres, Dogde, Chevrolet, and Rio motors. He was also the principal promotor of numerous Ford vehicles in the country.