Azikel Refinery CEO Eruani Azibapu becomes youngest Nigerian to receive CFR

Azikel Refinery CEO Eruani Azibapu

President Muhammadu Buhari has awarded the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) to the owner/chief executive officer of Azikel Refinery, Eruani Azibapu, for his contributions to the nation’s economic growth, employment and national development.

The conferment notice was signed by the minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs, George Akume.

The CFR award, according to the notice, will be formally conferred on him at a ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The 48-year-old medical doctor, industrialist and celebrated entrepreneur becomes the youngest Nigerian to be conferred with the rank of CFR.

Eruani, who is the group president of Azikel Group conglomerate, pioneered the establishment of in-country petroleum refining by setting up the first private hydro skimming refinery in Nigeria.

Born on December 25, 1973, to the royal family of King Allwell Eruani, Aguda IX, the Obenema of Emadike Kingdom in Bayelsa State, the businessman and philanthropist obtained his bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery (MBBS) from the University of Port Harcourt in 1999.

In preparation for business conquest, he studied at the Lagos Business School where he obtained certification in the Owner Management Programme (OMP). He also studied at the London Business School and the University of Pennsylvania and obtained the senior executive programme (SEP) and advance management programme (AMP) certifications respectively.

With an output of 25,000 barrels per day, Azikel Refinery brings to reality President Buhari’s modular refinery regime launched in 2015. 

His business interests, which started with dredging and sand filling, include power, aviation, oil and gas and technology.

Other prominent Nigerians to receive the CFR national award include the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajaiamila; his predecessor, Yakubu Dogara; Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Head of Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan; former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retired); former CEO/managing director/founder of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia; chairman, Body of Benchers, Oluwole Olanipekun SAN; economist, and philanthropist, Tony Elumelu as well as serving and retired military officers, Justices of the Supreme Court, business executives, traditional rulers among others.