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Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi MON, born April 29, 1962 is a Nigerian business magnate and lawyer. He is the founder and current C.E.O of SIFAX Group, a conglomerate that deals in shipping and oil and gas.
Afolabi was born as the first child of a set of twins to Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Samson Afolabi in Ondo State; but he is a native of Idokunusi Ijebu in Ijebu East local government area of Ogun State, Nigeria. He completed his primary and secondary school education at Ansar Ud Deen Primary School, Ondo State and Baptist Grammar School, Ibadan respectively. He later proceeded to the University of Lagos where he graduated with a LLB certificate 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, November 4, 2009. He later obtained a Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the same university. In 1981, he began his professional career with Nigerian Express Agencies Limited where he distinguished himself and rose to become the Head of Operations until in 1988 when he left to establish SIFAX Group. Upon its establishment, the company has since risen to become one of Nigeria’s leading companies with investments in oil and gas, haulage, logistics and maritime and aviation.
From a little beginning, the company, which started as a freight forwarding agency in Lagos, Nigeria, currently operates across the world with presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Ghana, South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Morocco, Spain and Djibouti, among others.
He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Financial Management, and the Institute of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria. Afolabi is a seasoned maritime consultant and a Fellow of many professional bodies including Nigerian Institute of Financial Management (NIFM), Institute of Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (IFFN) and the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of Nigeria.
He has attended several maritime and aviation-related trainings both locally and internationally on port operations, aviation ground handling operations and management. Aside being renowned for his business acumen, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has also established a reputation as a public-spirited individual. His philanthropic philosophy has driven him to give hope and support to many public causes. The major focus of this philanthropic initiative is education, where many schools, from primary to tertiary level have received immense support and assistance.Few of these interventions include a 1,000-capacity lecture theatre at Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho and an 18-seater Toyota Hiace bus donated to the medical students’ association of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
As a mark of recognition of his outstanding achievements and invaluable contributions to nation building, he has been conferred with various honorary doctorate degrees by four universities, including Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, Oyo state, Cornerstone University and Theological Seminary, Jerusalem, Israel and USA, European-American University, Dominica and Commonwealth University, Belize.Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is also a recipient of over thirty individual awards from diverse organizations. The latest of these awards being the 2014 Business Person of the Year which was conferred on him by one of Nigeria’s leading newspapers, Daily Sun.
The Federal Government has also recognized the great contributions of this Ogun-state born business icon. He is a recipient of the Member of the Order of Niger (MON) since 2010.
The accolades are not restricted to Nigeria alone. He is also the Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Djibouti in Nigeria.
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.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi is a sports lover, who enjoys watching and playing football. He is happily married with children.