- Located At IKEJA GRA In LAGOS
- Details Of The 7 Floor MARRIOT Hotel
Sifax Group boss, Taiwo Afolabi does not love to do things in small measures. Any project he embarks on, has to be big. It is the same with his new Marriott Hotel at Ikeja GRA in Lagos which promises to be grand. Construction work has been going on for 4 years and the project is nearing completion. It is a 251 room hotel, built on over 7,000sqm and the construction is being handled by DORI Construction and Engineering, whilst the Electricity aspect is by ETCO. The gargatuan structure is handled by GI Architecture. It is so massive a structure that it spreads over 2 major streets in Ikeja GRA. That is Joel Ogunnaike and Oba Adejobi Street.
When opened, the hotel will be fully serviced by Marriot. The facilities include lobby with retail outlets, ballroom and pre-function catering for 800-1000, executive lounge, business centre with meeting, seminar, board rooms, 3-4 food and beverage outlets including all day dining, speciality restaurants and a rooftop club barr. Other leisure features include a spa, gym, fitness club as well as an outdoor swimming pool and deck area. He is also a big player in the Maritime sector, but Barrister Taiwo Afolabi does not make noise about his accomplishments despite the fact that they are huge and humongous. He is one of the successful businessmen in Nigeria that a lot of young people can learn from.
Not too long ago, this big corporate player, at a lecture delivered at the University of Ibadan revealed how he made it in life. He was the guest of UNIBADAN Dental Students Association during their health week held at the UCH in Ibadan. He shocked his listeners when he revealed that from a tender age, the seed of entrepreneur was sown in him. “I was privileged to be raised by a mother, Alhaja Ayisat Afolabi, who was a first-class trader. I learnt a lot from her because I was also part of her business. I helped her to hawk some of her wares. With the experience I garnered under her tutelage, I made up mind early that I would become a businessman. I appreciate the financial freedom that comes with entrepreneurship.
I remember how my mother had a lot of people training under her and after they were done with their training, she set them up in her own little way. She affected a lot of lives. This was one of the motivating factors for going into business. I wanted to enjoy a degree of financial freedom and comfort so I could also positively affect the lives of others, through employment and socially-impacting activities.
Many people don’t even know that at a point in my life I was a newspaper vendor. From my secondary school days right here in Ibadan (I attended Baptist Grammar School, Eleyele, Ibadan), then as a young boy, I would go with my some of friends to some vendors, who gave us some newspapers to sell and when we returned in the evening, they would give us some money (commission).
After my secondary school education, the entrepreneurship zeal was further fired up when I had the opportunity of working with an uncle, Otunba Olatunde Olowu, MD/CEO, Nigerian Express Agencies Limited. I actually wanted to be an accountant because I was quite good in calculations while I was in secondary school. However, I developed interest in the maritime sector when I began working for my uncle who owned a freight forwarding company.
I rose quickly in the company to become the Clearing Manager. Having made up my mind that I wanted to build my business around the maritime sector, I decided to go abroad for further studies. I studied Shipping Management and later returned to become the Head of Operation of the company.
I then launched out on my own in 1988 by setting up Sifax Nigeria Limited. It started as a freight forwarding firm until we got to where we are today. It is now a group of companies with interest in various sectors and presence in many continents of the world. We currently have Investments in Maritime, Aviation, Haulage & Logistics, Oil & Gas, Hospitality, among others.