Dr. TAIWO AFOLABI,MON
A Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is Honourary Consul –General of the Republic of Djibouti in Nigeria. An industrialist of uncommon proportion, Afolabi nevertheless trained as a lawyer at the prestigious University of Lagos and has widespread business interest which cuts across sectors of the economy, including maritime, aviation, hospitality and tourism, finance, communications, oil and gas.
Born on April 29, 1962 in Ondo, Ondo State to Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Samson Afolabi of Idokunnusi, Ijebu, Ogun State, he attended AnsarUdeen Primary School Ondo, after which he proceeded to the Baptist Grammar School Ibadan for his secondary education. He did his LLB.Law at the University of Lagos, where he later returned for his Masters Degree in International Law and Diplomacy. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2009.
His career history is replete with astronomic accounts, where Afolabi had his entrepreneurial teeth first cut in the maritime sector as a staff of Express Agency Limited, a shipping company. By dint of hard work and dedication, he was adjudged outstanding amongst his work group and over a short period of time, rose to become Head of Operations.
Despite that important turning point in his career, his innermost entrepreneurial combustion left him restless, and sooner propelled him outside the confine of the narrow compartment of his shipping company. He resigned and established SIFAX in 1998.
Through careful nurturing and uncommon industry, SIFAX began to blossom exponentially, and steadily grew into what has become a conglomerate under the SIFAX GROUP label. With little more effort, the organization has like storm blown across diverse business landscape, and has not only gone continental but global, with strong presence in Ghana, South Africa, Morocco, Djibouti, Holland, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom, United States etc.
While building the nation’s industrial base, his organizations have provided stable job for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians through direct and indirect employment. Apart from supporting government in the area of job creation, in addition government has continued to enjoy SIFAX GROUP corporate tax, making Afolabi a member of the nation’s economic builder.
A philanthropist and seasoned maritime consultant, his uncommon stride to promoting development have continued to widen his philanthropic initiatives in the educational sector. To the glory of God, the Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomoso 1000 capacity lecture theatre is part of his uncommon giving to society. He also donated an 18-Seater Toyota Hiace Bus to the medical students association of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Afolabi has bagged many lifetime achievement awards part of which include honourary degrees of four universities, including LAUT Ogbomoso, Dominican and Commonwealth University Belize, amongst others. He is also recipient of over 30 individual awards from diverse organizations and background, the latest been the 2014 Business Person of the Year Award conferred on him by SUN newspaper.
Afolabi is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria (CIAN), and member, Building Committee of the Nigerian-British Chambers of Commerce and Industry, etc.
A sports enthusiast, Afolabi is a professional member of the IBB Golf Club Abuja and Ikoyi Club 1938. He is happily with children.
By Asu Beks