Tony Elumelu @ 60: Diamond Drum Beats For An Entrepreneurial Generation Builder

It has been congratulatory messages galore – tonnes and tonnes of them – from friends, well-wishers, business associates, mentees and beneficiaries, to entrepreneur, banker,  philanthropist and businessman extraordinaire Tony Elumelu, as he turns 60 today.

Notable among the early messages sent yesterday was the one from President Muhammadu Buhari who said the quintessential UBA Group Chairman and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, has with his achievements, lit the way for many to grow through inspiration, mentorship and training, with focus on raising generations of entrepreneurs.

The President believes Mr. Elumelu’s benevolence typifies his humble background and upbringing, starting out as a young banker, daring to dream of a modern and technologically friendly financial institution, Standard Trust Bank, and leading one of the biggest mergers with the UBA, which made history and strengthened the economy, noting the combination of youthfulness in style, broadness in networking, with both old and young, and the passion in pursuing and realizing dreams that the entrepreneur continually projects, graciously guiding others to nurture their business ideas to reality, especially in meeting societal needs and rendering value.

President Buhari rejoiced with Elumelu, saying he shares the joy and warmth of the occasion with the entrepreneur, who was ranked amongst World’s 100 most influential personalities in 2020 by the influential Time Magazine, and further affirmed the honour and pride that the benefactor has brought to Nigeria and Africa, with his achievements.

Tony O. Elumelu, who has a Nigerian national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic,  CFR, is one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists.

He is the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy, technology and healthcare.

Tony Elumelu

Tony also chairs the board of pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa plc, UBA, which operates in 20 countries across Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and the UAE, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking presence in the United States. In addition, he is chairman of Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading producers of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, one of Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brands.

TOE, as he is fondly called by friends, is also the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Oil & Gas, an upstream oil and gas company, whose assets include Nigerian oil block OML17, with a current production capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.

A prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa, he created in 2020, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, leading philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and driving job creation across all 54 African countries. Since inception, the Foundation’s flagship programme has identified and catalysed nearly 16,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million Africans, as part of a ten-year US$100m commitment to fund, mentor and train young Africans.

Tony sits on a number of public and social sector boards, including the World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen and the Global Leadership Council of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited. In 2020, in recognition of his business leadership and economic empowerment of young African entrepreneurs, he was named in the Time100 Most Influential People in the World, and recognised with Belgium’s oldest and highest royal order. In 2022, TIME again recognised Tony with its inaugural TIME100 Impact list, honouring him alongside six global leaders who have gone over and beyond to move their industries – and the world – forward. wishes TOE a happy Diamond Jubilee birthday. Ad Multos Annos!


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