For Uju Ifejika, Good Times Are Here


it is a pleasant thing that seasons change. The cold and biting lovemaking of Harmattan is not the only weather companion available for the conventional Nigerian; there is also the warmth to be expected from post-Harmattan. While many reasonably wait for this other season to blossom and bring with it favours and largesse, some have taken to make the most of all weathers, many times even forcing an early birth of goodies – favours and largesse included. And this is where Uju Ifejika belongs.

Catherine Uju Ifejika has emerged in recent years as one of those rare dissidents of venerable expectations and traditions, such as that men should be wealthy and powerful, while women remain the accompanying luggage. Madam Ifejika has flipped the table, being notoriously wealthy enough to buy her own country, and it won’t consist of only bananas and coconuts either.

Madam Ifejika is a lawyer, courtesy of her being a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where she obtained a diploma in Law and an LLB, was called to bar in ’86, and consequently became a member of the Nigerian Bar Association. But her greatest interests and talents lie elsewhere.

Until she came into the limelight, Madam Ifejika was a junior counsel in Texaco, and one of the numerous staff of the oil venture and its counterpart, Chevron. Evidently, she was in training to become a titan in the oil and gas industry. But before she emerged as a titan, she held several offices in the public sector.

In 2007, Ifejika became the chairperson and CEO of oil and gas giant, Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, the Nigeria-based corporate associate of the Brittania-U Group. Ever since then, Madam Ifejika has only risen in power and accomplishments, bringing the company to heights uncharted.

But premier feats are not without pits and valleys which is a way to condense the incidents of recent years when Madam Ifejika was reportedly disconsolate following the fall from the glory of her old friend and former Nigerian petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the consequent failure to acquire Chevron.

But all that is old news. More recently, things are looking up for Madam Ifejika who purportedly made history by acquiring the largest oil vessel ever used in Nigerian waters. With this and possible awards in view, this season is bringing out the colour on the cheeks of Madam Ifejika.