Catherine Uju Ifejika (born 28 October 1959) is a Nigerian lawyer and Chairperson/CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (BUNL); an indigenous petroleum company for upstream exploration and production, and Brittania-U Ghana Limited (BUGL). She is believed to be one of the six most powerful women in oil and gas in the world and one of the richest women in Africa. She has received both national and international awards for best practices in business leadership.
Early Life and Career
Catherine Uju Ifejika was born on 28 October 1959 in Opobo in Rivers State to Chief Clifford Ogwu and Elizabeth Ikpeze of Ogidi, Present Day Anambra State. She obtained her basic education at University Primary School, Nsukka and her secondary education at Queens School, Enugu, among others.
Uju Ifejika graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a Diploma in Law and an LLB (Hons.) in 1985. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. In addition to being a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, she is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and a fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation.
Catherine Uju Ifejika served a required year in the National Youth Service Corps at Texaco and went on to work in the oil and gas industry for Texaco and Chevron. She joined Texaco as a Junior Counsel in 1987, spent two years at Texaco Overseas Petroleum Unlimited from 1988 to 1989, and was Acting Chief Counsel by 1991. This gave her experience in both the upstream and downstream aspects of the petroleum industry. By 1997, she was the Company Secretary and the Manager of Public and Government Affairs. As of 2003, she became Company Secretary for Public and Government Affairs for West Africa, a position in which she deal with Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture of Nigeria from 2001 to 2002.
In 2007, Uju Ifejika became the Chairperson/CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, a Nigeria-based affiliate of the oil and gas company Brittania-U Group. the company was registered on 15 December 1995 according to the Nigerian Company and Allied Matters Act but did not become active until 2003. Brittania-U Nigeria bought a stake in the Ajapa Marginal Field, an oil and gas field which is believed to have reserves worth $4.3bn. They took advantage of a government initiative for the development of marginal fields, and raised money through local investors. In addition to Brittania-U Nigeria, Uju Ifejika has established Data Appraisal Co. Ltd. (2001), Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Co. Nigeria Ltd. (2009), and Brittania-U Ghana Limited (2010).
As an indigenous company, Brittania-U Nigeria has partnered with local Nigerian communities, hiring locals, and engaging in community development programs. Uju Ifejika has stated that Brittania-U’s main objectives include people’s well-being, better quality of life, job opportunities, and a safe and clean environment.
Uju Ifejika has received a number of awards and honors including the 2013 African Businesswoman Award from Black Pumps, a non-profit women’s organization based in Los Angeles, California.
Family (Husband and Children)
Catherine Uju Ifejika is married to Emmanuel Ifejika, and has three biological and three adopted children.
Uju Ifejika is the owner of Nextee Oil and Gas
Nexttee Oil and Gas Trading Company is an indigenous integrated company and a key player in our downstream operations, Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Company Nigeria Limited’s main business is Oil trading marketing which includes the sale of crude, refined products, and condensates.
In a very short period, the company has established a logistics and offshore support vessels division of our downstream sector. The company was the first indigenous company to bring in all full four (cool cargoes of between 10,000mts, 32-35,000 Metric tonnes of premium motor spirit, within the past two years of our operation.
Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Company Nigeria Limited has demonstrated enough capability to handle bigger projects. We are funded locally for all our trading and vessel charter operations which are Nigerian flagged to the tune of over $200million dollars for both trading and expansion of our vessel fleet. Nexttee is poised to take our operations to the next level within and outside the African sub-region.
Nexttee Fleet of Vessels
Nextee runs a Fleet service for movement of people, materials and products from shore to offshore locations and the loading of crude to delivery destination. Our current fleet of vessels include:
A Nigerian Flagged – Dynamic Positioning Vessel (DP1)
MV Northern Princess
OSV Prince Edward
OSV Princess Royale
In 2019 the reserves, according to a BBC report, are worth $4.3 billion. Brittania-U operates an integrated business model, with operation across the oil and gas value chain, from exploration to consultancy, according to information obtained on the company’s website.
Catherine Uju Ifejika net worth as of 2021 is estimated at $5 billion (net worth estimated in 2021).