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Billionaire Tony Elumelu: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Him



  1. Delta is a Delta boy, from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state, and goes by the native name of Onyemaechi. Though from Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, he was however born in Jos, Plateau State on 22 March 1963.


  1. For his university education, Tony attended the Ambrose Alli University for his first degree in Economics, and the University of Lagos for a master’s degree in the same discipline.



  1. The name of Tony’s wife is Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, whom he married in 1993, and they have seven children together.

He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a former member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives. At the same time, he is a cousin of legendary Nigerian reggae artiste, Ras Kimono who died on 10th June, 2018.


  1. Tony is an expert in acquiring promising entities and turning them into world-class institutions. He did it with Standard Trust Bank in his early career which he turned into a top-five player in Nigeria.

In 2005, he also led the acquisition of United Bank for Africa (UBA), later transforming it from a single-country bank to a pan-African institution with more than seven million customers in 19 African countries.


  1. Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors.

In just one year of operation, Tony’s Heirs Holdings acquired a controlling interest in the Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), a publicly quoted conglomerate that has business interests in the agribusiness, energy, and hospitality sectors., and Tony was subsequently appointed chairman of the corporation.


  1. Tony is a respected ideology in both the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy; well reckoned with by the Nigerian authorities, while also serving as an advisor to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum.


He had been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Agenda Council on Africa, and his presence on the Bretton Woods Committee, which brings together senior leaders in the global banking industry, is recognition of his work on African development.


  1. Conservative estimates indicate that Tony has a networth of about $1.98 Billion. These he garnered in his years of involvement with United Bank for Africa which had subsidiaries in over 20 African nations and in the United States and the United Kingdom; involvement with Transcorp – Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc,  Heirs Holdings, which is the African proprietary investment company with interests in financial services, power, oil & gas, real estate, hospitality and healthcare.

Tony also has stakes in Nigeria’s largest telecommunication network, MTN Nigeria, amongst others.


  1. Tony is the originator of the term Africapitalism, which he explains as an economic philosophy that embodies the private sector’s commitment to her economic transformation through long-term investments that create both economic prosperity and social wealth.


  1. Tony is a holder of the prestigious National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise. He had equally been recognised as one of “Africa’s 20 Most Powerful People ” by Forbes magazine.


  1. He had once featured in New African magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential Africans in Business”. He was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from Benue State University and an honorary doctorate of business administration from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


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