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HomeGeneral NewsCatherine Uju Ifejika's many firsts a proof that women are not weak

Catherine Uju Ifejika’s many firsts a proof that women are not weak

The likes of Catherine Uju Ifejika have erased the misconception that women are weaker, thereby necessitating a greater need for diverse and inclusive leadership. This concept of inclusion and gender diversity could not be timelier.

For decades, the global oil and gas sector has been a male-dominated industry. It became critical for this peculiar industry to foster the idea of gender diversity and inclusion; All thanks to Catherine Uju Ifejika, the CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company for upstream Oil and Gas exploration and production, as she became world’s sixth most powerful woman in the industry, and one of the wealthiest women in Africa. It is also on record that Catherine Uju Ifejika is the first woman to become chair and CEO of an upstream E&P company in Nigeria.

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION

Born in Opobo, Rivers State, on October 28, 1959, Catherine Uju Ifejika obtained her basic education at University Primary School in Nsukka and her secondary education at Queens School in Enugu

She later proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where she obtained a Diploma in Law and an LLB (Hons.) in 1985. She was subsequently called to bar In 1986. She took a step further by becoming a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN). Not relenting, she later became a fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation, in addition to the Nigerian Bar Association.

Career

Her experience in the upstream and downstream aspects of the petroleum industry was by sheer providence as a result of her stint at oil giant companies- Texaco and Chevron. It started with her completing her National Youth Service at Texaco.

She joined Texaco in 1987 as a Junior Counsel and worked for Texaco Overseas Petroleum Unlimited for two years, from 1988 to 1989. She became Acting Chief Counsel by 1991. She rose to the position of Company Secretary and Manager of Public and Government Affairs in 1997, appointed Company Secretary for Public and Government Affairs for West Africa in 2003. She later became a member of the Board of Directors of Brittania-U and affiliates.

Brittania-U Nigeria purchased a stake in the Ajapa Marginal Field, an oil and gas field with $4.3 billion in reserves. They took advantage of a government initiative to develop marginal fields and raised capital from local investors. Although founded in December 15, 1995, but only became operational in 2003.

Uju Ifejika founded Data Appraisal Co. Ltd. (2001), Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Co. Nigeria Ltd. In 2009, and Brittania-U Ghana Limited in 2010.

According to her God created everyone unique.

“Everybody wants to be an oil magnate, and nobody wants to be a carpenter or mechanic. But if you are born with that vision, people from around the globe will come looking for you.”

She has been described as a giver, lover of God, mentor. She has received both national and international awards for best practices in business leadership.

She is married to Mr. Emmanuel Ifejika and they have lovely children.

Mrs. Catherine Uju Ifejika is an exceptional Philanthropist who has been commended for her laudable contributions toward human development and youths empowerment.

She has given immense support and financial contributions to youths’ empowerment, transformed the lives of several youths, created employments for youths to promote peace and security.

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