The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Written by Godswill Unegbu
Ambassador Audu-Rafiu Olusola ENIKANOLAIYE was born on 14th September, 1959 in Igbadun, Yagba East Local Government of Kogi State. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Foreign Service Officer in August 1982 after studying Political Science at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and graduated with First Class Honours in June, 1981. Ambassador Enikanolaiye completed his National Youth Service in Lagos in 1982.
He attended the Ministry’s one-year Foreign Service Academy in Lagos in 1984 and came top of his class. Thereafter, he obtained a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy (MILD) from the University of Lagos with Distinction in November 1992. Prior to this, he attended Oxford University, England for a post-graduate course in Diplomatic Studies from October 1990 - June 1991 and passed with Distinction.
In his diplomatic career, Ambassador Sola Enikanolaiye served in various capacities at home and abroad, including the Policy Planning Division, International Organisations, African Affairs and as Special Assistant to the Special Adviser on International Relations to the President at the State House. While at Headquarters, he served as an active member of various top management and policy making committees and bodies especially in his capacity as Director, Office of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Abroad, Ambassador Enikanolaiye also served in many of Nigeria’s diplomatic missions notably Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Belgrade (Serbia), Ottawa (Canada) and London (UK). He was a member of the Nigerian delegations to several Summits and International Conferences of the ECOWAS, the OAU/AU, Commonwealth and the United Nations.
He has contributed significantly to the development and articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomatic practice with emphasis on institutional development, security and peace keeping matters, including the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union, the evolution of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as well as regional integration in Africa, among others.
Ambassador Enikanolaiye is a member of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and the Nigerian Society of International Law. He has published several articles in leading Nigerian newspapers and lectured extensively on Nigeria’s foreign policy at several fora within the Ministry and at the National Defence College and the Nigerian Defence Intelligence College, including the National Defence College of India.
He was conferred with the title of Ambassador by the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 14th February 2013.
He is married to Mrs. Adunni ENIKANOLAIYE (Nee Olorunnishola) and blessed with three girls and a boy.
Until his current appointment, he was Nigeria’s Acting High Commissioner to India from May 2015.