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Tony Elumelu is more than just an accomplished businessman and a notable philanthropist. He is also an equal opportunity employer who likes to give everyone a chance in life. Some of those who can attest to this are Nigerian professional women, many of whom are currently heading key positions in Elumelu’s many companies.

Just a few days ago, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc announced some major changes in the composition of its board of directors. Many of those appointed to key positions are women. Transcorp Group, as it is also known, is a holding company that comprises many notable enterprises like Transcorp Hotels and Transcorp Power. Tony Elumelu owns the majority stake in this enterprise and currently serves as its Group Chairman.

The personal reason why he believes in women’s capability to lead

Tony Elumelu is a proud father of seven children, five of whom are girls. Anyone who follows him on his social media pages (particularly Instagram) would know that he loves to flaunt his daughters. Every so often, he posts lovely pictures of them, praising them, and being truly expressive of how proud he is to be their father. See a perfect example below.

Having those lovely girls and experiencing their intellect firsthand must have taught the billionaire to really appreciate the power of women. In an emailed response to Nairametrics, the Head of Media and External Relations at United Bank for Africa, Ramon Olarenwaju Nasir, confirmed this when he said:


“Tony Elumelu pays personal attention to identifying and promoting women to important leadership positions. 

“Being a father of five girls, Tony Elumelu’s attention to women exemplifies the kind of world he wants for his children, by giving them the same opportunities given to men to succeed. 

“Tony emphasises the importance of succession planning. He identifies excellent female leaders and supports them to succeed. Most companies owned by Tony Elumelu are managed by women.”

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[READ MORE: GTBank, Access, FBNH, Standard Chartered wrestle over women entrepreneurs)

Female representations across board 

At the moment, there are nearly thirty female professionals who are holding key executive positions in Tony Elumelu’s companies. This is not a common trend in a relatively conservative country like Nigeria where it is still believed that the woman’s place is in kitchen.

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Let’s take a brief look at the women at the helms of Elumelu’s empire

Tony Elumelu and his knack for appointing women to key positions 
Owen Omogiafo

Owen Omogiafo is one of the women who were promoted during the board changes mentioned above. She currently serves as the Group President and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotel, a role she assumed last year January after previously holding key positions in different companies owned by Elumelu. She will resume as the GCEO of Transcorp Group in March.


Taking over from Omogiafo as MD of Transcorp Hotels is Dupe Olusola. Dupe currently serves as the Group Head of Marketing at United Bank for Africa. She has over twenty-one years of corporate experience.

Helen Iwuchukwu was also appointed an Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. She currently serves as the Group Company Secretary of Transcorp Group.

Okaima Ohizua will take up the role of an Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer at Transcorp Power Limited come March 2020. She was previously appointed an Executive Director in charge of customer service at Transcorp Hotels Plc. In total, she has over twenty-five years of corporate experience.

Top female executives at UBA Group

  • Patricia Aderigbibe serves as UBA’s Group Head of Human Resources.
  • Bola Atta is the Group Head of Corporate Communications.
  • Foluke K. Abdul-Razaq is a Non-Executive Director at the company.
  • Owanari Duke serves as a Non-Executive Director.
  • Erelu Angela Adebayo is also a Non-Executive Director.
  • Angela Aneke is a Non-Executive Director at UBA Group.
  • Noellie Tiendrebeogo serves as the Chief Executive Officer of UBA Burkina Faso.
  • Sarata Kone serves as the Chief Executive Officer of UBA Cote D’Ivoire.
  • Chioma Mang is the Chief Executive Director of UBA Gabon.
  • Nkechi Arizor is the Chief Executive Officer of UBA Liberia.
  • Adesola Yomi-Ajayi is the CEO of UBA New York.
  • Amie Ndiaye Sow serves as the Regional CEO of UBA West Africa 2.
  • Abiola Bawuah serves as the Regional CEO of UBA West Africa 1.
  • Emem Usoro is the Directorate Head, Abuja & North Central.
  • Uju Hassan Baba serves as a Non-Executive Director at the bank.

[READ ALSO: Women empowerment: Nigeria missing among World Bank’s best 40 nations)

Tony Elumelu and his knack for appointing women to key positions 
Dr. Vivian Elumelu

There are other female executives…

At Africa Prudential, Eniola Fadayomi serves as the Chairman. At Afriland Properties, Uzoamaka Oshogwe and Agatha Obiekwugo serve as a Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, respectively.

At the moment, four women are heading important positions at Transcorp Group. They include Oluwatoyin F. Sanni who serves as a Non-Executive Director and Obi Ibekwe, also a Non-Executive Director. As mentioned earlier, Helen Iwuchukwu currently serves as the Group Company Secretary. Chinweugo Nwafor is the Head of Internal Audit.

Meanwhile, besides Owen Omogiafo and Okaima Ohizua who currently serve as the MD and Executive Director at Transcorp Hotels Plc, there is also Hajia Saratu Umar. Umar is an Independent Non-Executive Director at the company.

Tony Elumelu’s wife, Dr Awele Vivian Elumelu, serves as the Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Limited (HMO) and the CEO of Avon Medical Practice. Adesimbo Ukiri, on the other hand, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Avon Healthcare Limited. Ifenyiwa Ugochukwu serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Tony Elumelu Foundation.


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