Come June 15, 2019, successful Nigerian businessman and Chairman of United Bank for Africa, Tony Elumelu, would be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Business by the Bayero University, Kano.
The well-deserved honour is in recognition of Mr Elumelu’s many contributions to the Nigerian economy, as well as his many philanthropic gestures which are all aimed at eradicating poverty in Nigeria and beyond.
According to a letter signed by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, the honour would be bestowed on Mr Elumelu this Saturday at a special ceremony scheduled as part of the school’s 2019 convocation.
“It is my singular honour and privilege to convey to you the decision by both the Senate and the Governing Council of Bayero University, Kano, to confer on you the University’s Honorary Doctor of Business (Honoris Causa). The honour is in recognition of your innumerable and worthy contributions to the country as an economist, an entrepreneur, and a philanthropist. Your philanthropic activities through the Tony Elumelu Foundation have reached every nook and corner of our nation and have impacted positively on many lives. Your efforts in the area of entrepreneurship are making immense contributions to the economy.”
A well-deserved honour: This is the latest recognition that is being accorded Mr Elumelu, who is arguably one of the most astute and successful businessmen Nigeria has ever produced. It is also the most befitting honour, considering the fact that he is a man who has founded many successful businesses and is now helping many young Africans to found theirs through the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. Indeed, it doesn’t come as a surprise that he keeps getting these recognitions. There will surely be many more to come in the nearest future.
Tony Elumelu and his many accomplishments
As noted earlier, Mr Elumelu is among the list of the most successful Nigerian business executives whose many enterprises are helping to transform the Nigerian economy. Asides that, he has also a fully committed philanthropist who doesn’t just give out the fish but teaches others how to do the fishing.
The Champion of African Entrepreneurship: Mr Elumelu’s commitment to economically empower young people across Africa is arguably unmatched. After many years of building what is today one of Africa’s biggest banks, the accomplished businessman founded the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2010. Five years afterwards, the foundation launched the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme which basically identifies and equips aspiring African entrepreneurs with the right skills and investment opportunities needed to kick-start Africa’s next big companies.
It is important to note that many of the several thousand young Africans, who have benefited from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme, might never have gotten the breakthrough in their entrepreneurship if not for Mr Elumelu. He is, indeed, the champion of African entrepreneurship. This is one more reason why his name will forever be etched in history as one of the greatest men Nigeria ever produced.
A brief look at his background: Born in Jos in 1963, Tony Elumelu grew up to study Economics at the Ambrose Ali University in Benin City. He later earned a Master’s in Economics from the University of Lagos. Equipped with his educational qualifications, worked briefly in the financial services sector before founding Standard Trust Bank in 1997.
By 2005, he led the merger between Standard Trust Bank and the United Bank for Africa (UBA). He also became Chief Executive Officer of the new banking group following the successful merger. The merger remains today as one of the most significant events in Nigeria’s corporate history.
He currently serves as the Chairman of the United Bank for Africa after completing the mandatory 10-year limit as a serving Chief Executive Officer of a Commercial Bank. More so, he serves as the Chairman of several other notable corporate entities in Nigeria, including Transcorp Plc and Heirs Holding.
He also sits on the board of numerous public and social sector organisation, including the international advisory board of the Washington DC-based think tank, the Wilson Center, and UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited. Tony also serves on the Global Advisory Council of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Centre for Public Leadership. He is a member of the World Economic ForumCommunity of Chairmen.
Tony has shown that, in a country where opportunities are rare for those from humble backgrounds, if you dare to dream, you will succeed.