Ambassador Audu-Rafiu Olusola ENIKANOLAIYE was bom on 14th September 1959 in Igbagun, Yagba East Local Government, Kogi State, Nigeria. He obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Political Science from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with First Class Honours in June 1981. Ambassador Enikanolaiye completed his National Youth Service in Lagos State in July 1982 before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an External Affairs Officer, Grade 08 on 4th August 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 Masters’ degree in International Law and Diplomacy (MILD) from the University of Lagos with Distinction in November 1992. Prior to this, he attended the University of Oxford, England for a postgraduate 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 as a Special Assistant to the Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on International Relations at the State House from November 1999 to April 200 I. While at Headquarters, he served as an active member of various top management and policy making Committees and bodies, especially in his capacity as Assistant Director, Deputy Director and Director in the Office of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs where he served four Honourable Ministers.
Abroad, Ambassador Enikanolaiye served in many of Nigeria’s diplomatic missions abroad notably Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Belgrade, (Serbia), Ottawa, (Canada), London (UK) and lastly as Nigeria’s Head of Mission in New Delhi (India). He was also member of the Nigerian delegations to several Summits and International Conferences of the ECOWAS, the OAU/AU, Commonwealth and the United Nations, among others.
He has contributed significantly to the development and articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomatic practice with emphasis on institutional development, security, development and peacekeeping 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 (APRNI) as well as on regional integration, among others.
He was appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs effective 5th August 2016 from where retired on 4th August 2017 after 35 years of active, meritorious and unblemished service. In the course of his career, Ambassador Enikanolaiye visited over fifty (50) countries in different parts of the world.
He has published several articles in leading Nigerian newspapers and lectured extensively on Nigeria’s foreign policy at several fora within the Ministry, the Foreign Service Academy, the National Defence College, Abuja, Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, the Nigerian Army War College, Abuja, and the Defence Intelligence College, including the National Defence College of India, New Delhi, India.
He is a member of several professional bodies including the Nigeria Socicty of International Law, the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and the Institute of Directors (IoD).
He is the recipient of the twin 2017 Public Service Awards, namely, the Presidential Civil Service Merit Award and the Presidential Distinguished Public Service Career Award in recognition of his valuable contributions to the Service, making him the only Public Servant to have bagged both Awards in 2017.
He is currently on contract appointment as the Director, National Geopolitical Affairs at the National Defence College, Abuja, Nigeria.
He is married to Mrs Adunni ENlKANOLAlYE (Nee Olorunnishola) and blessed with three girls, a boy and three grandchildren.