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Platforms’ Testimonial On Taiwo Afolabi @60

Platforms’ Testimonial On Taiwo Afolabi @60

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Dr Taiwo Afolabi, the Group Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group is one of the exceptional Nigerian Entrepreneurs and Businessmen who is passionate about touching lives and impacting the society. 

In the Nigerian maritime sector, where Dr Afolabi first started his chains of businesses from Freight Forwarding to Terminal Operations and Haulage,  before diversifying into other lines of businesses, Taiwo’ company, SIFAX Group is one of the few maritime companies that support youth initiatives, women empowerment and the likes. 

As a media practitioner in the maritime sector and one who is also championing youth initiatives and women empowerment programmes, I have come across a lot of individuals and companies in the maritime sector who are simply interested in their businesses and how to maximize profit without caring about impacting their business community positively. To them is all about profits and nothing more. 

But Taiwo Afolabi’s SIFAX Group believes so much in touching lives and giving back to the society. This is evidence in the numerous youth initiatives and women empowerment programmes his company sponsors or supports both within and outside the maritime sector, some of which include, Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference (TAAM), The Titans, to mention but a few. 

Since the maiden edition of Annual Maritime Students and Youth Conference, also known as ‘A Day With Nigerian Maritime Students’, Taiwo Afolabi has always suported the AMSAY Conference brand by Placing his company’s Advertorial on the Conference Brochure from 2016 till date.

Only his company, SIFAX Group and Engr Greg Ogbeifun’s  Company (Starzs Investment Company Ltd and Hufy Nwaneri’s company, Elkins Marine Training International (EMTI) have that record of support for AMSAY Conference brand since inception.

One memorable encounter with Dr Afolabi that confirms to me his passion for youth and women empowerment was in 2016 during the maiden edition of Face Of Maritime International (FOMI).

During the course of the FOMI Contest, we wrote to SIFAX Group and other maritime companies and government agencies requesting for sponsorship or support, but none hearkened to our request.

After the Grand Finale of FOMI 2016 held on Dec 11, with zero support from any organisation be it private or public and being the maiden edition, FOMI recorded financial loss to the tune of over Seven Hundred Thousand Naira.

But my major headache wasn’t the loss but how to raise #500,000 to pay the 3 newly crowned queens their cash prize and save the brand from embarrassment of failing to pay the first set of winners. 

In the midst of this quagmaire, two days after the Grand Finale, I received a call from the PR department of Taiwo Afolabi’s Company, SIFAX Group telling me to come and pick a cheque being the company’s support for the FOMI event. I rushed down to the company’s headoffice in Apapa and was handed an envelope with a cheque of #500,000 signed by Dr Taiwo Afolabi. 

I walked into the nearest Zenith Bank branch around and lodged in the cheque which cleared in two days time. And I invited the FOMI winners and paid them their cash prizes, thus saving the brand from a potential embarrassment which would have been a major setback to the future of the brand. 

Whenever I remember this incident, what always come to my mind is that if Taiwo Afolabi hadn’t signed that cheque for FOMI then, maybe there won’t be FOMI today and what that means is that all the little impacts the brand has also made in the lives of several other young women wouldn’t have happened. 

Indeed, life is a chain and one act of kindness, has a chain reaction or multiplier effect on a whole lot of others. Thank you, Dr Taiwo Afolabi for your passion in touching lives. Thank you for supporting Platforms’ brands.

As you celebrate your 60th Birthday, just know that FOMI, Platforms Communications and indeed a lot of people pray for you as our benefactor. Wishing you a splendid birthday in good health of mind and body. Congratulations!

Mr Sylvanus ObasiFOR: Platforms Communications & Face Of Maritime International. 


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