Dr. TaiwoAfolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group, has described the death of his twin brother, KehindeAfolabi, as a devastating and great loss.
Mr. KehindeAfolabi, Managing Director/CEO, Ken Dallas Hotel, died on Saturday in Lagos.
According to the SIFAX Group boss, the deceased, a caring family man and consummate businessman, was a key part of his life for over 60 years, adding that they enjoyed a special relationship that stood the test of time.
He said: “It’s quite unfortunate that Kehinde would depart so soon. We celebrated our landmark 60th birthday just few months ago. It was an opportunity for both of us to appreciate God for how far He has taken us in the journey of life. Friends and associates came together on the occasion to also celebrate our modest achievements and contributions to the society. It however sounds unbelievable that Kehinde would leave just like that.
“Though we have different personalities – he, an extrovert and I, an introvert – we complimented each other seamlessly. He devoted his life to the service of his family – both nuclear and extended – friends, associates and humanity. His death is a devastating and great loss to me particularly and the Afolabifamily in general. I will greatly miss his friendship, sense of devotion and dedication to beneficial social cause, which saw him served on the board of the AjokeAyisatAfolabi Foundation (AAAF) through which various less privileged individuals across the country have found succour.”
The deceased is survived by a wife, children, siblings and family.
Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, the flagship company of SIFAX Group and concessionaire of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, has added a new client to its growing clientele list.
The latest addition is Hapag Lloyd AG Limited, a German international shipping and container transportation company which is the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity. The shipping line made its maiden call at the terminal recently with one of its largest vessel, Navious Azure, a container ship built in 2007 with gross tonnage of 39,906 tonnes and length overall of 260.5m.
While welcoming the vessel’s crew to the terminal, Mr. John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, expressed the company’s delight at the vessel’s maiden call, adding that the development is a testimony of the terminal’s readiness to provide cutting-edge port terminal services to more clients.
He said: “We are excited to have this ship berth at our terminal today. We are delighted that Hapag Lloyd, which is one the world’s largest ocean shipping fleet owners, prefer our terminal for their operations and the shipping line will call frequently at this terminal.
“This business relationship with Hapag Lloyd is one of several partnerships we have been working on in the past few months. This new wave of patronage is a result of the massive investment we have made both in modern equipment, quality personnel and improved processes over the years. All these have translated in better service delivery, which is what an average client wants.”
While responding on behalf of the vessel’s crew members, Captain John Trafiero, who was overwhelmed by the hospitality and excellent service provided by the company, expressed his joy at berthing at one of Africa’s prime ports.
“This is a resounding welcome we have received here today and it would stick in our memories wherever we sail to. Though we are sailing back very soon, my crew and I cannot wait to be back here again,” he said.
Oliver Omajuwa, General Manager, SIFAX Off Dock Nigeria Limited, was among foremost marketing professionals in Nigeria that were recently conferred with the fellowship of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria.
A total of 77 members from various sectors were awarded the prestigious honour.
At the event, which was held at Radisson Blu, Ikeja, Tony Agenmonmen, President/Chairman of Council, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria said the new set of awardees comprises distinguished men and women who have distinguished themselves in the area of marketing in their various organizations.
Omajuwa, who joined the institute in 2011, is a graduate of Business Administration from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and also holds a Master of Business Administration with specialization in Marketing from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). He is also an alumnus of Pan African University (Lagos Business School).
His professional experience spans roles like Sales Analyst (Classic Beverages – producers of La Casera range of beverages) and Chief Marketing Officer- Air Separation Nig. Ltd – manufacturers of medical and industrial oxygen gas with the parent company in Buffalo, U.S.A. He also worked as the Admin/Marketing Manager, Duraclean Gases before he joined SIFAX Group in October 3, 2006 as Marketing/Corporate Affairs Officer.
He rose through the ranks in SIFAX Group and was promoted General Manager, SIFAX Off Dock Nigeria Limited in April 2015 where he is the head of the subsidiary and a member of the management team.
Asides his membership of NIMN, he is also a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Fellow of International Logistics & Administration (ILA) and member of Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) and has attended high profile sales/marketing, management, leadership and public relations courses/seminars, workshops and lectures both in Nigeria and abroad.
In order to position itself as a first-choice terminal for importers, exporters and shippers in Nigeria and West Africa as a whole, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, the flagship company of SIFAX Group, has acquired some new equipment worth over twenty million dollars.
The new equipment acquired are 5 shore cranes, 9 Reach Stackers, 10 terminal tractors, 5 Nissan pickup vehicles, 4 trailer backs and other machineries.
At the commissioning of the new equipment in Lagos, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group hinted that the acquisition was part of the company’s strategic investment to deliver quality service to its clientele and to further attract more patronage.
“With our new internal restucturing project code named Quantuam Leap, SIFAX Group is respositioning itself to become the first choice terminal not just in Nigeria but in West Africa. We have also set a target that will increase our revenue with over 300% in five years. One of the ways, we can achieve our set targets is to first begin with investment in equipment which will complement our excellent personnel asset. These new equipment are the best and latest in town, they will catapult us into the next level growth we are working towards”, he noted.
While welcoming the guests, Mr. John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, said there was a need to acquire the latest equipment in order to meet the architecture requirements of modern ship calling the terminal.
He noted further the company was already engaging several shipping lines in order to boost the company’s clientele base.
In her remarks, Aisha Ali Ibrahim, Assistant General Manager, Operations, who represented Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, expressed delight at the new acquisition, adding that it was a thing of joy that an indigenous company, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, is competing favourably with foreign multinationals in the maritime sector in terms of investment, manpower and quality of service delivery
Andrew Lynch, Managing Director, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Nigeria, one of the world’s foremost shipping lines also congratulated Ports & Cargo on the acquisition of these equipment. Lynch explained that the partnership between Ports & Cargo and MSC will be better forged with the acquisition of these equipment. He said: “Ports & Cargo and MSC have both forged an alliance which has been one of the best partnerships in the maritime sector. We are excited that these new equipment will enhance the discharge of more cargo volumes at the terminal”.
For Norman Herzberg, Sales Manager, Africa, for Liebherr Group, his company is delighted to be the partner in the supply of some of these equipment. He noted that the newly-acquired mobile shore cranes LHM 500 are the latest technologies with wider reach into the vessels and can discharge faster effectively and efficiently.
SIFAX Group, a group of companies with investment in Maritime, Aviation, Oil & Gas, Haulage & Logistics, Financial Services and Hospitality, has assured Nigerian farmers willing to export their agricultural produce of its readiness to support them.
This pledge was made by the SIFAX Group management team at the just concluded Meet The Farmers Conference which was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
According to Mariam Afolabi, Executive Director, Compliance, SIFAX Group who represented Barr. (Dr.) Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, who was the Guest Speaker at the conference, the company has the capacity – experience, equipment and workforce, to help them export their goods either through the sea or air.
“SIFAX Group is your go-to-company and one-stop export services company. We pride ourselves one of the few companies in Nigeria with complementary logistics supply chain services for exporters to various parts of the world”
She noted that there are not many organizations in the country that offer a bouquet of services across the logistics value chain. From port terminal management, shipping, clearing and forwarding, warehousing, haulage, off dock services, stevedoring, aviation ground handling, passenger handling, cargo/mail handling, ramp handling, among others, SIFAX Group is positioned strategically to function as a one-stop multimodal company that delivers complimentary services to the delight of clients.
“What that means is that whatever the logistics needs of our clients, whether basic or complex, right from the point of origin to point of delivery, we have developed the capacity to attend to such demands.
“This has given us a lot of leverage with our clients as we take the stress off them. They just sign into our comprehensive package, instead of engaging different agencies and companies to handle different services. This has entrenched our company in the logistics industry as a leading player.” he said.
On his part, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, GMD, SIFAX Group, who was one of the panelists at the conference, explained that SIFAX Group has invested in the right mix of human and equipment so that it could meet the expectations of its clients. “At both the seaport and airport, we have positioned the company as the first choice for all exporters in Nigeria. We have a long list of clients we service and also have exported produce to almost all countries in the world. At the airport, SAHCO Plc has the best warehouse in West Africa and also has strong partnerships with world major international airlines. At the seaport, shipping lines from across the world such as MSC, MOL and others call our terminal which has four berths and located at Tin Can Island”, he said.
Meet The Farmers Conference is an international agriculture conference and exhibition where farmers, airlines, potential investors, logistics companies and senior government officials, among others meet to foster partnerships and development of Africa’s agricultural potential.
Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, has urged businesses on the African continent to dream big by taking advantage of emerging opportunities on the global stage.
He said doing this would transform them to global business brands with attendant bigger rewards for their stakeholders.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Africa@Scale 2019 Conference held at the Oxford University, United Kingdom, Oyinloye who spoke on ‘CEO Talks: Leaders who are building global businesses from within Africa’, noted that African businesses should expand their horizon through international expansion and diversification.
To do this, Oyinloye listed factors such as core competencies leveraging, building sustainable partnerships, adopting cutting-edge technology, offering products and services that meet international standards, top-notch customer service as well as excellent understanding of the local ecosystem, as some of the factors necessary for a business to thrive in the international market.
Using SIFAX Group as a reference point in his presentation, he noted that the company has embarked on a related diversification strategy and establish presence in various countries, to build an ecosystem of business that supports the core business of port handling and integrated logistics.
He said: “The hospitality company is an extension of the airport handling business geared towards providing world class accommodation and hotel services to patrons who use airlines our subsidiary, SAHCO Plc, have agreements with. The investments in the financial services sector outside Nigeria is to provide the Group with presence in other markets in order to understand these markets and to build an ecosystem to support the main business of shipping and logistics given the foreign currency requirements of the international shipping and maritime business.
“African business owners must begin to think of scaling their operations and business investments to the international market front. The survival and relevance of any company in the ever-growing Nigeria market base are hinged on the adoption of new strategies- diversification and internationalization of operations. SIFAX Group has benefitted and is benefitting from the scaling of its businesses into the international market. I therefore urge business owners to scale their business operations to the global front so that they can take advantage of the various opportunities that abound”, he said.
30 blind students have benefitted from a digital/ICT skill training programme sponsored by SIFAX Group.
The training was done in conjunction with the Initiative for National Growth Africa, a non-governmental organization that caters for the less privileged in the country.
The training, held at the Nigeria Society for the Blind School, Oshodi was designed to equip the blind students with the relevant skills to function well in this digital dispensation.
According to Racheal Inegbedion, Team Lead, Initiative for National Growth Africa, the training was aimed at equipping the students with contemporary skills that will add value to their lives. “The world is already digitally connected. It takes those who can tap into this to survive. The physically challenged also need to be fully equipped with these skills and this is why we have taken the initiative to equip them with ICT and digital skills”, she noted.
On his part, Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, who was represented by Olumuyiwa Akande, Corporate Affairs Manager, noted that the company’s resolve in making the society a better place for everybody including the physically challenged is the main reason for sponsoring the training.
He said: “At SIFAX Group, we take delight in supporting social causes that positively impact and add value to the society. The major beneficiaries of our social intervention programmes are the less privileged – the poor, orphans, widows, physically-challenged children, among others.
“The physically-challenged individuals are constantly shut out of many opportunities in the country due to their condition. This is rather unfortunate because we believe they have something meaningful to contribute to national development, even with their condition. Many of them are immensely gifted and these potentials should be properly harnessed by giving them the required support and encouragement. This training has been designed to prepare them for the real world and to equip them with skills that are required to succeed, even in a competitive environment. That’s the main drive behind SIFAX Group sponsorship of this training.”
SIFAX Group, a business conglomerate with diverse investments in various sectors of the economy, has said its massive investment in infrastructure and increase in its business portfolio are due to its huge ambition of transiting to a mega corporation.
In the last few months, SIFAX Group has invested heavily in equipment acquisition across its various subsidiaries, expanded its facilities and also made a foray into other countries.
Speaking at its mid-year press conference in Lagos, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, noted that the company has set a very big ambition for itself with a 5-year strategic growth plan that will generate a 300 per cent increase in turnover.
He said: “As a proactive company, SIFAX Group is already preparing for the future. We have an ambition of becoming a real mega business with substantial presence globally. Our first major footprints would be in Africa. We are already in some West Coast nations while efforts are on to do more. We have a 5-year strategic plan that encapsulates our vision.
“A key part of the plan is massive investment in equipment and facilities. Across our companies, more harbour cranes, reach stackers, haulage trucks, forklifts, baggage tow tractors among others have been acquired to match our ambition as a market leader in all the sectors we operate.
“Facilities are also been expanded. For example, we have acquired two new off dock locations in Lagos so as to improve cargo evacuation from the port and provide more options for our clients to clear their consignments without stress.”
Oyinloye further said the new vision of the company necessitated a new management team, which is currently driving the business, adding that the management is delivering on the mandate of Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, which is to turn the business to a big global brand.
On his own part, John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, noted that the company’s container throughput for the first half of 2019 was 130,000TEUs while its general cargo volume was in excess of 100,000 tons.
“We are expecting our throughout for 2019 to be in the region of 280,000 to 290,000 TEUs on the back of an improved port access road. Already we have crossed the 130,000 TEUs mark for the first half of the year. This figure is 275 TEUs less than what we achieved in 2018,” he noted.
A major challenge confronted by the business, especially its Nigerian operation, in the first half of the year, was the traffic gridlock caused by the poor access roads around the Lagos ports.
Oyinloye commended the government for responding to the situation with the award of the road construction but urged that a more sustainable solution of linking the ports with a functional rail system would complement the road infrastructure.
SIFAX Group, the longest-running sponsor of The Next Titan, Nigeria’s foremost entrepreneurial reality TV show, has renewed its annual sponsorship for the 6th edition of the show.
SIFAX Group has been a sponsor of the TV show since its inception.
According to Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, the impact of the show over the years in helping budding entrepreneurs to activate their business ideas is responsible for the continued sponsorship.
He said the company had thoroughly evaluated the programme viz-a-viz its objectives as well as the track record of past winners and other participants and the consensus favoured the sponsorship renewal.
He said: “The need to empower the next set of wealth creators, develop capacity for Nigeria’s youth and encourage the entrepreneurial instinct of young Nigerians are reasons why SIFAX Group has decided to renew its support for the Next Titan Season 6.
“We have also looked at the first five editions of the show, the mechanics, strategy, how past winners and participants have fared, new ideas introduced for this year’s show, among others and we are satisfied with the organisers and decided to renew our sponsorship.”
“SIFAX Group is desirous of creating the next set of wealth creators and entrepreneurs and we see The Next Titan as a veritable medium that this can be achieved. We are proud of how the previous winners of the show have gone on to add value to the society with their scalable and impactful business ideas and employment of more Nigerians.”
The Next Titan is the brain child of Bravo Points International.
Another accolade has gone the way of SIFAX Group as the company recently bagged the prestigious Next Bulls Award of Nigeria’s premier business newspaper, BusinessDay.
According to Mr. Frank Aigbogun, Publisher/CEO, BusinessDay, the award was conferred on the business conglomerate due to its brand authenticity, incredible growth trajectory, market dominance, outstanding value system, innovative solutions and most importantly, the proudly Nigerian values espoused by its leadership.
While shedding further light on the award, Aigbogun said it was premised on a survey conducted amongst active investors on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and is meant to celebrate private, indigenous companies that active, informed investors on the NSE have expressed a strong demand to own their shares if their boards ever decide to take them public.
“After collation of survey responses which was administered on equity analysts, retail and institutional investors, financial journalists, sectoral experts, professionals and millennials, more than 90 of the respondents identified SIFAX Group as a company whose stock they would like to own in their dream equity portfolio for long-term holding if the choice was limited to only 10 companies. In total, 214 of the respondents affirmed that they that they would invest in the SIFAX Group’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) if it ever approached the market”, he said.
Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, who received the award on behalf of the company appreciated BusinessDay for considering SIFAX Group worthy of recognition. “We know that an award proposition from BusinessDay is not a fictitious or money-making venture. This award is credible. We are genuinely grateful for this. As a Nigerian company, we believe in this country and that is the major reason we continue to deepen our investment in various sectors of the economy,” he said.
He noted that one of the company’s subsidiaries, SAHCO Plc, had been listed on the exchange, adding that the management was impressed by the investors’ appetite as evident in the level of subscription to the IPO.