Unprecedented Story of Dr. Taiwo Afolabi (MON)
Barrister (Dr.) Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, born in Ondo to the family of Chief and Chief (Mrs.) Samson Afolabi, is a native of Idokunusi, Ijebu in the Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State.
He started his educational pursuit at Ansar Ud Deen Primary School
in Ondo and proceeded to Baptist Grammar School, Ibadan where he obtained his West African School Certificate (WASC).
His quest to attain high level of academic excellence and leadership in advocacy, led him to the University of Lagos, where he obtained the degree in Law. He became a member of the noble profession when he was called to the Nigerian Bar by the Body of Benchers
on Wednesday, 4th November, 2009.
He successfully completed the Masters degree in INTERNATIONAL LAW AND DIPLOMACY during the 2013/2014 Session leading to the award of the MILD by the University of Lagos Senate.
He began his working career with a shipping outfit, THE NIGERIAN EXPRESS AGENCIES LIMITED (NEAL). He became an outstanding young manager in Shipping Operation and Ports Management before travelling abroad to study Shipping Management. Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo Afolabi came back and worked with the same company as its Head of Operations.
However, because of his burning desire and passion for the development of the
maritime sector, he left NEAL in 1988 to establish his own company – SIFAX NIGERIA LIMITED. SIFAX, as it is now popularly known, has become a leader in ports, shipping and bonded terminal operation, and an institution in shipping and maritime service sector with offices in Tema Ghana, Durban South Africa, Houston USA, Rotterdam Belgium and London, United Kingdom. Presently, new avenues are being opened in Djibouti, Gambia and Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
His company was the leader of the consortium that bidded for and won Port Harcourt Ports Terminal “A” in 2006. His company also won the concession of Tin Can Island Ports Terminal ‘C’.
In 2018, the SIFAX Group-led consortium, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services Limited, bided and won the concession for the Terminal B, Warri Old Port, Delta State.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which supervised the bidding process, and the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), port management agency in the country, recently handed over the terminal to the company.
In addition, the company has also diversified into the aviation sector with the acquisition of the foremost aviation ground handling company, Skypower Aviation Handling Company Ltd., through its subsidiary, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, in a competitive bidding process supervised by the Bureau of Public Enterprises.
The company has since become a publicly-quoted company. His Excellency Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, is also the Chairman of Mac-Folly Hospitality, which prides itself as a giant leader in the hospitality industry in Nigeria. Mac-Folly is currently working on its flagship, which is the franchised global hotel brand, Marriott Hotel, a 250 room edifice, which is nearing completion a the serene Ikeja GRA, Ikeja.
He has also extended the footprints of his investment into the financial sector with the establishment of Sky Capital and Financial Allied International Limited, a financial services investment firm.
The foray into the financial sector is not limited to the boundaries of Nigeria, as three banks have been acquired in Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone by SIFAX Group.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, a professional maritime logistician and an erudite businessman, has attended several courses, seminars and workshops on Ports Operations and
Management and other several maritime courses both locally and overseas.
He is a seasoned maritime consultant and Fellow of various institutes, amongst which are:
The Nigerian Institute of Financial Management (FIFM), The Nigerian Institute of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (FIFF), The Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS), The Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS), Port & Terminal Management Academy of Nigeria (of which he is also the Chairman), The Certified Board of Administrators of Nigeria (CBAN), The Nigerian Society of Maritime Researchers and The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is an Icon in maritime sector, and an industrial plutocrat of our time; one of the frontline advocates of the local content initiatives and indigenous participation in Nigeria shipping business who has continued to create jobs and opportunities for human wellbeing and sense of security.
That was why he was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration by Cornerstone University and Theological Seminary, Jerusalem, Israel and USA.
Similarly, at the 8th Convocation Ceremony of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, which took place on Wednesday, 23rd April, 2008, he was conferred with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology (Honoris Causa). Also, at the congregation for the award of Honorary Doctorate Degree, Honoris Causa, which took place on Saturday, 11th July, 2009, he was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts Honoris Causa (Hon. D.A.) by the European-American University, Dominica for his outstanding contributions to academics and to the advancement of humanity in general.
Furthermore, at the congregation for the award of Honorary Doctorate Degree, Honoris Causa, which took place in Dubai, United Arabs Emirate in July, 2010, he was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts Honoris Causa (Hon. D.A.) by the Commonwealth University, Belize.
In addition, in recognition of his contribution to the growth and spread of Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in Western Ports Police Command Lagos, he was recently elected as the Grand Patron.
He is also the patron of many other organizations amongst which are YOMAFA, Freight Forwarders Academy of Nigeria, Actors Guild of Nigeria, Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria, etc.
He is a member of the Institute of Directors Nigeria; Ikoyi Club 1938; IBB Golf Club, Abuja; the Building Committee of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, amongst many others.
He was a member of the Delegation of the Presidential Working visit to the UK from 16th to 18th July, 2008. His contributions to the development of co-operation between Nigeria and the Republic of Djibouti was recognized when on 1st July, 2010, Dr. (Barr.) Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi was appointed the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Djibouti at the Federal Republic of Nigeria with jurisdiction over the whole territory of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and full power and authority by His Excellency Ismail Omah Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti.
To cap it all, on the 22nd of July, 2010, Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi, was conferred with the prestigious honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in recognition of his outstanding virtues and meritorious services to his motherland, Nigeria.
At the Meeting of the Board of The World Federation of Consuls (FICAC) held in Kingston, Jamaica between Wednesday, 23rd and Monday, 28th January, 2013, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi was elected as follows:
1. Regional Chairman of Hon. Consuls for West Africa comprising of 17 countries.
2. Member of the FICAC Legal Committee.
At the African Achievers Awards held in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday, 23rd February, 2013,
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi was decorated with the African Industrialist of the Year Award as an acknowledgement for the unique work he is doing in his chosen field.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi was a member of the Business Support Group (BSG), which provided the platform for anchoring the views of the private sector with a view to supporting the development of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP).
This is a 30-year long term planning tool for implementing infrastructure programmes to meet the peoples demand for infrastructure as recently approved by the Federal Executive Council of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dr. Afolabi’s hard work, deep sense of corporate social responsibilities, meritorious service and philanthropic gestures to the maritime industry and the society at large have been acknowledged by many institutions as demonstrated in the harvest of awards bestowed on him and his organization, some of which are as follows:
• Maritime Quality Service Award (MQSA) 1997, in recognition of his quality of service delivery by his company;
• Men of Achievement Award 1998, in recognition of his achievements considering his age in business at that time;
• ECOWAS International Gold Award 1999, in recognition of his contributions to business enterprise within the ECOWAS sub-region;
• Society Role Model and Corporate Gold Award 2004, from Center for International Legal Co-operation and Democratic Development, in recognition of his strict adherence to laws of the land guiding his business and personal relationships;
• Millennium Corporate Achievers Gold Award from International School of Aviation “THE AFRICAN PRIDE” in recognition of his innovation in the maritime sector of the economy;
• The “MOST DYNAMIC SHIPPING COMPANY” of the Year 2005 by Freight Forwarders Association of Nigeria, in recognition of his company’s competence amongst others in the Shipping sector;
• Achievers Award presented by Ondo State Government in 2006, in recognition of his Business acumen and achievement in the country;
• The Distinguished Nation-Builders Merit award (DINBMA 2007) by Complete Success Magazine, in recognition of his contribution to the economy and the nation in general;
• Rotary Appreciation Award 2007 by Rotary Club of Surulere South, Lagos, in recognition of his contribution to humanity;
• Developmental Achievers in Nigeria 2007 by Times News Magazine, in recognition of his numerous achievements in the economy;
* Lions Club International Merit Award 2008, in recognition of his service to humanity.
* Meritorious Diamond Award for National Development presented by Corporate & Media Africa Communications Limited on 6th December, 2008, in recognition of his contributions to the Socio-economic Development of Nigeria through is field of endeavour.
* Man of the Year presented at the Ogun Awards on 16th December, 2008 in recognition of his sterling achievement in his chosen career and immense contribution to his motherland.
* Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 presented on 22nd March, 2009 at the Excellence Recognition Awards in recognition of his contributions to the social and economic development of the country.
* 2009 Nigerian National Integrity Award with the induction into the INTEGRITY HALL OF FAME on 14th May, 2009 by Hero Communications & Co.
* Most Innovative Entrepreneur Award presented on Sunday, 24th May, 2009 at the Transport Development Excellence Award 2009 by Trans Quest Media Concepts.
* Merit Award presented by Ilese Community Development Association on behalf of the people of Ilese Ijebu in appreciation of his consistency and commitment to the development and progress of Ilese Ijebu on Saturday, 29th July, 2009.
* Dynamism in Maritime Industry Award presented at the Lifetime Achievement Awards held on Friday, 25th September, 2009.
* Excellence Award for his integrity and contribution to global economic
development & service to mankind presented by Egbeda Lions Club on 25th
* Maritime Gold Award of integrity and commitment of the year 2009 presented by Maritime Watch on 19th November, 2009.
* Certificate of Merit presented by the League of Maritime Editors for landmark
Contributions to the growth of the Nigerian Maritime Industry on 16th December, 2010.
* Appreciation Award presented by Rotary International District 9110, Nigeria for his contribution to the success of the 2011 District 9110 Rotary Foundation Dinner/Dance Ball on 25th February, 2011.
* Ecowas Super Brands Business Awards 2011 as Ecowas Business Man of the Year 2011.
* Rotary International District 9110, Nigeria Distinguished Service Award given on 16th July, 2011.
* League of Maritime Editors Award of Foremost Entrepreneur of Maritime Industry on 29th November, 2011.
* Induction into the Member of West Africa Students Union (WASU) Hall of Fame 2011.
* Award for contribution to the growth of the Maritime Industry in Nigeria by WISTA NIGERIA on 4th December, 2011.
* Special Recognition Award for Business at the 15th City People Awards for Excellence on Saturday, 5th May, 2012.
* Certificate of Merit presented by WAI Brigade Nigeria, Apapa Area Command in appreciation and recognition towards the success in combating indiscipline and corruption in the society on Saturday, 5th May, 2012
* Certificate of Recognition presented by the Nigerian Youth Movement in recognition and appreciation of his selfless service and meritorious service to Nigeria and humanity towards sustainable growth and development in Nigeria on Monday, 22nd October, 2012.
Award for Outstanding Leadership in Nation Building and Development presented by the Nigerian Youth Movement on Monday, 22nd October, 2012.
* Recognition and Appreciation Award as an Outstanding Shipping/Logistics Company presented by the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping on Tuesday, 11th December, 2012.
* Award at the Night of 100 Stars in recognition of his resounding accomplishments, inherent spirit of resilience and domineering status as one of Nigeria’s most enterprising stars courtesy The Businessmen Journal on Thursday, 13th December, 2012.
* Distinguished Gold Service Award for Excellence in Maritime Services and induction as Honorary Distinguished Member of the Centre for Democratic Governance in African of the Africa Democratic Governance Lecture/Excellence Award held on Tuesday, 11th June, 2013 at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ikeja, Lagos.
* Most Distinguished Marine Stakeholder Award presented by the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria on 12th December, 2013 for his huge investments in the Maritime Sector.
* Nigeria Outstanding Leadership Award presented by the National Association of
Nigerian Students (NANS) on 12th March, 2014 in recognition of his contribution towards development of Maritime Industry, Socio Economy, as well as his
humanitarian service to mankind.
* National Evergreen Merit Award for the Man of the Year 2013 presented by the
People’s Forum Newspapers on 27th March, 2014 for his contributions to the growth of indigenous shipping in Nigeria.
* Africa Distinguished Gold Service Award (Excellence in Business) presented at the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa Lecture/Global Award Nite held on Wednesday, 7th May, 2014 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
* Award of Recognition presented by the Association of Basic Dental Nursing
Students, School of Basic Dental Nursing, Lagos University Teaching Hospital on
Saturday, 21st June, 2014.
* Special Award of Excellence, Outstanding Achievement and Charitable Services to Humanity presented by The Medical Students Association, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife on Tuesday, 9th September, 2014.
* 2014 Portbizness Prestigious Awards (PPA) for Milestone Achiever of the Year
presented by Portbizness Communication Company on 9th October, 2014.
* Kwame Nkrumah Exemplary Leadership Honour Merit for Hard Work and Dedication to Human Capital Development presented by the West African Students Union Parliament in Lagos on Monday, 20th October, 2014.
* Lifetime Achievement Awards for outstanding performance in Marine
Transportation in Nigeria presented by City People Magazine on Sunday, 30th
* Award of Honour in recognition of passionate commitment to the cause of
educational development of the children and nation building presented by National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools on Thursday, 4th December, 2014.
* The Sun Business Man of the Year Award 2014 in recognition of his exceptional performance as one of the pillars on which the nation’s maritime sector stands, and significant contributions to the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria presented on Saturday, 17th January, 2015 at Expo Hall, Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
- He is a recipient of the Global Women Empowerment Ambassador award which
was conferred on him at the Global Women Empowerment Summit held in
Washington, United States of America in October 2016
- Irawo Oni (Shining Star) Award was conferred on him by the Imperial Majesty,
Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, at his first coronation anniversary on
December 7, 2016 in recognition of his sterling contributions to the nation’s
- The Grand Patron of the International Peace Commission (African Headquarters) in April 2017.
- Outstanding Business Leadership award by Classic International Magazine (2016)
- Most Outstanding Business Man of the Year award of the City Pride Achiever’s
- The Ijebu Anglican Communion Diocese conferred a Laity Award on the GEVC,
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi in July 2016. The award was in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the growth and development of Christianity in the Ijebu Diocese.
- Alimsoho Festival and Awards conferred the Living Legend Century Award on him for his unwavering commitment and support for the teeming youths of the Alimosho community over the years and his indelible impact in the country’s business environment.
Some years back, in memory of his late mother, Alhaja Ayisat Ajoke Afolabi, in
conjunction with his siblings, formed the Ayisat Ajoke Afolabi Foundation to take care of orphans, widows and the less priviledged persons in the society.
During this short period, the Foundation of which the major donor has been his company, SIFAX Group, has extended its hand of fellowship to many Nigerians through payment of school fees, hospital bills and setting up of businesses for them.
During this short time, Dr. Afolabi,
through the Foundation, has received many awards amongst which are as follows:
1. Meritorious Diamond Award for National Development presented by Corporate & Media Africa Communications Limited in December 2008.
2. Nation Builders Statesmanship Productivity Merit Award for uncommon
stewardship, patriotism and meritorious selfless services presented by Global
Monitor International Magazine on 22nd August, 2009.
3. National Award for Excellence in Grassroots Leadership on his recognition as 2009 Most Outstanding Philanthropist presented by Grassroots Leadership
Centre, Abuja in March 2010.
4. Global Leader of Integrity Merit Award for courage in character, patriotism and
humanitarian leadership towards the development of our country, Africa continent and the entire world presented by Integrity Media Communications in Accra, Ghana on Saturday, 28th April, 2012.
5. Humanitarian Service Award – Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and
Poverty Alleviation – 2016
6. Humanitarian Service Award in Africa – Africa Landmark Achiever Merit Award – 2018.
7. The Excellent Philanthropist Award – Ibido Ogbo Development Council – 2018
8. Nominee for the Finnish Gender Equality Opportunity Award – Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development – 2019
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is a sports lover, who enjoys watching and playing football. He is happily married with children.