Tony Elumelu

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Tony O. Elumelu

Tony Elumelu - 2020 (cropped).jpg
Elumelu in 2020
Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu

(1963-03-22) 22 March 1963 (age 57)
Jos, Plateau, Nigeria
CitizenshipNigerian (1963–present)
Alma materAmbrose Alli University,
University of Lagos

Delta State University

Benue State University
OccupationChairman, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria, Heirs Holdings & United Bank for Africa
Years active1987—present
Notable work
Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme
Spouse(s)Dr. Awele Elumelu

Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu (born 22 March 1963) is an Nigerian economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Heirs Holdings, the United Bank for Africa,[1] Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Elumelu holds the Nigerian national honours, the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR) in 2003.[2] He received Nigeria's National Productivity Order of Merit in 2019.[3]

Elumelu is included in Time magazine 's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.[4]

Early life and family[edit]

Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, in 1963. He hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He has two degrees in economics from Nigerian universities,[5] a bachelor's degree from Ambrose Alli University and a master of science degree from the University of Lagos.[6] Elumelu married Awele Vivien Elumelu, a medical doctor, in 1993, and they have seven children together.[7] He has four siblings, one of whom is Ndudi Elumelu, a member of the Nigerian Federal House of Representatives.[8]


Elumelu started his career in Union Bank as a Youth Corp member of the National Youth Service Corps in 1985. in In his early career, he acquired Standard Trust Bank [9] in 2005 and United Bank for Africa (UBA) was acquired afterwards.[10]

Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, he founded Heirs Holdings, which invests in the financial services, energy, real estate and hospitality, agribusiness, and healthcare sectors. In the same year, he established the Tony Elumelu Foundation, an Africa-based and African-funded philanthropic organisation.[11]

He serves as an advisor to the USAID's Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum. He sits on the Nigerian President's Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also vice-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN)[12] whose formation he was a key driver in, and serves as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security. He additionally chairs 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, engineered to create 3 million jobs in one year.[13] He also serves as 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.

He was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, from 11 to 13 May 2016.[14] He was named in TIME 100 most influential people in the world.[15]


The Tony Elumelu Foundation[edit]

Following his retirement from United Bank for Africa in July 2010, Elumelu founded The Tony Elumelu Foundation.[11]

Other non-profits[edit]

  • 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.[16]
  • He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI).[17]
  • He is involved, through his foundation, with the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) in a partnership to strengthen the private sector's role in the economic transformation of select African countries.[18] This partnership is called the Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme.[18]
  • He is co-chair of the Africa Energy Leaders' Group (AELG).[19]

Awards and honours[edit]

In 2003, the Federal Government of Nigeria granted Elumelu the title of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), a national honour.[20] In 2006, he won the African Business Leader of The Year award conferred by the United Kingdom-based magazine, Africa Investor.[21] In 2009, the Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'adua asked him to serve on the Presidential Committee on the Global Financial Crisis.[22] In 2012, he was awarded the National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his service in promoting private enterprise.[23] At the 5th edition of the annual Economic Forum of the Ivorian National Council of Employers, CGECI Academy, (CGECI) in Abidjan in April 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award.[24] Also, in 2016, he was awarded the 'daily times, Nigerian man of the year.'[25]


He has written about his philosophy and the economic development of Africa for several publications around the world including The Economist,[26] The Wall Street Journal[27] and The Financial Times.[28]


  1. ^ "UBA Group Appoints Tony O. Elumelu as Chairman". Heirs Holdings | African Proprietary Investment Company. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Tony Elumelu: The making of a business ambassador". TheCable. 14 January 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Why Elumelu won Daily Times Nigeria Man-of-the-Year 2016". Daily Times Nigeria. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Tony Elumelu: The 100 Most Influential People of 2020". Time. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Tony Elumelu: The Quintessential Leader". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  6. ^ "50TH ANNIVERSARY: Day UNILAG Alumni Association Celebrated Distinguished Members". University of Lagos. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  7. ^ " - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  8. ^ "National Assembly | Federal Republic of Nigeria". Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  9. ^ syd uk · 5 January 2015 (5 January 2015). "Tony Elumelu: the African you Need to know". Retrieved 17 March 2015.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Africa, United Bank for. "Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N". UBA Group. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b "The Tony Elumelu Foundation - Africa's leading philantrophic institution". The Tony Elumelu Foundation. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  12. ^ "National Competitiveness Council Meets To Set Agenda For Improving Nigeria's Business Environment". The Tony Elumelu Foundation. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  13. ^ "UBA Chairman, Tony Elumelu to work with Presidency to create 3 million jobs". UBA Lion King Blog. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  14. ^ "WEF_AF16_Report" (PDF). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  15. ^
  16. ^ "What does Tony Elumelu want?". Heirs Holdings. 26 October 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  17. ^ "NLI | Policy Papers". 28 May 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Blair, Elumelu launch International Fellowship Programme to strengthen Africa's private sector and promote economic growth". The Tony Elumelu Foundation. 7 March 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Elumelu Calls for an End to Energy Poverty". AllAfrica. 2 July 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Nigeria Enterprise | Biography/Tony Elumelu". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  21. ^ "Nigeria: Ibru, Elumelu Win African Business Awards". AllAfrica. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  22. ^ "State House Abuja – Photographs". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Adenuga Bags GCON". This Day. 10 September 2012. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  24. ^ "UBA Chairman, Elumelu receives recognition for entrepreneurship and support", Daily Post, 30 September 2015.
  25. ^ "Why Elumelu won Daily Times Nigeria Man-of-the-Year 2016". Daily Times Nigeria. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  26. ^ "Middle East and Africa: The rise of Africapitalism". The Economist. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  27. ^ Elumelu, Tony O. (31 July 2014). "Tony O. Elumelu: Africa Is Open for Business, Ready for Investment". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  28. ^ "A new framework for a new age", Beyondbrics, Financial Times, 23 January 2015.