Catherine Uju Ifejika 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.
Uju Ifejika was born in Opobo, Rivers State on the 28th of October in 1959 to the family of Chief Clifford Ogwu and Elizabeth Ibeze. She got her primary school education from the University Primary School, Nsukka and then went on to Queens School, Enugu for her secondary education. For university she went to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and graduated with a Diploma in Law and an LLB (Hons) in 1985. In 1986 she was called to bar. She is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and also a fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation.
She is married to Emmanuel Ifejika and together they have three children. She also three more adopted children.
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 additional 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.