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20 things about Tony Elumelu, man of means who donates billions

As loud as his name might ring a bell, not everyone knows much about the man who led the acquisition of the United Bank for Africa in 2005, Tony Elumelu. Born on March 22, 1963, to Mr Dominic and Mrs Suzanne Elumelu of Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, his dedication to change the face of things in Africa led to the transformation of the United Bank for Africa from a single-country to

a Pan-African bank.

Aside being the former boss of United Bank for Africa, also held some relevant positions and won several awards. 

His $500,000 donation to Sierra Leone over its mudslide tragedy generated controversy.  But his revelation that he’s donated over N1 billion to victims of Boko Haram insurgency calmed nerves.

ENCOMIUM Weekly brings you highlights of the life , career and achievements of Mr. Tony Onyeamachi Elumelu.


  1. He was born on March 22, 1963, to Mr Dominic and Mrs Suzanne Elumelu in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria.


  1. He was born into a family of seven; father, mother and five children, among whom is Ndudi Elumelu – a member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.


  1. He has two degrees in Economics from two Institutions in Nigeria ( from Ambrose Alli University and from University of Lagos).


  1. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme (United States of America).


  1. He got married to Dr Awele Vivienne Elumelu in 1993.


  1. He led the team that acquired the United Bank for Africa in 2005.


  1. He transformed the United Bank for Africa from a single-country to a Pan-African bank with over over seven million customers in 19 African countries.


  1. He retired from the United Bank for Africa in July 2010.


  1. He founded the Heirs Holdings which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate, hospital, agric business and healthcare sectors. Heirs Holdings acquired controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp).


  1. He also established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a foundation that is African-American and African-funded.


  1. He serves as advisor to the USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum.


  1. He is the Chairman of the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC).


  1. He is also the vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN).


  1. He was also the co-chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security.


  1. He is also the chairman of the Ministerial Committee to establish World-class hospitals and diagnostic centres across Nigeria, at the invitation of the Federal Government and the Presidential Jobs Board, targeted at creating 3million jobs in a year.


  1. He is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Initiative (SE4ALL) and USAID’S Private Capital Group for Africa partners forum.


  1. He was one of the co-chairs of the World Economic Forum on Africa on Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.


  1. He is a fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI).


  1. He holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).


  1. He was recognised by Forbes magazine in 2012 as one of “Africa’s 20 most powerful people”.




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