Personality of The Week:Tony O. Elumelu; UBA Group Chairman.

Tony O. Elumelu, Group Chairman of UBA bank,

Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa, UBA Group, opened a new chapter in its 75-year existence this week. It is the beginning of the celebration of resilience, excellence, trust, innovation and best customer service it has demonstrated for the past 75 years.

Recounting such stories about African institutions, especially banks, is what has left many wondering. That at a time some financial institutions are quitting the continent, the UBA Group is rather expanding its presence and marshalling funding for major development projects across Africa.

It is a purely African historic success story in banking that has put smiles on the faces of millions rooting for Africa’s emergence. 

Readers of The Guardian Post, the zenith of media empires of mettle in the Economic Community of Central Africa, ECCAS, have picked interest in UBA’s milestone.

Among the millions of them who get credible information from The Guardian Post, ECCAS’ most regularly published and widely read newspaper, one of the characters behind UBA’s momentous success story, Tony O. Elumelu, Group Chairman of the bank, deserves to be catapulted to the podium of Personality of The Week.

The choice of our readers falls in line with the observation of the Group Managing Director, GMD/Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of UBA, Oliver Alawuba. 

While setting the tone for the celebration of the bank’s 75th anniversary, that will run through this year, Alawuba was clear about Tony Elumelu’s influence in UBA’s achievement.

“Our Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu truly deserves special recognition and mention. Without his visionary push in 2005 and tutelage over all the years, I doubt whether we would be where we are today. For these and more, we say a ‘big and resounding thank you’ to him,” Alawuba declared during a global presser in Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday, May 20. 

In the tender of our readers, Elumelu has the passion and unmatched visionary power of transforming dreams into realities that have changed the face of banking in Africa and the globe. 

Beyond being a phenomenal go-getter, Tony Elumelu is a once-in-a-generation gift to Africa first, and the rest of the world.

Afar his adorable attachment to humanitarian works, he sits in a regal position as a rare pathfinder and marvelous management trailblaser. 

He is a man of ideal thoughts, wishes and actions, reason his transformative agenda for UBA, several years ago are what have not only created employment for thousands across 20 African countries and elsewhere in the globe but have position Africa as a veritable continent of immense opportunities.

With such understanding, Tony Elumelu, our readers and clients of UBA say in all honesty and rightly so, is a man who does not only make things happen but does so as a veritable highflyer. 

They say he is a matchless possibilitarian, whose vision is always made clear with successive actions, seeking to change the scope of humanity for good. 

Tony Elumelu is being celebrated for always embarking on vast projects that swallow the fears of countries and put millions in a position of comfort and peace.

They further say Tony Elumelu has continued to achieve big and inspiringly because he keeps looking for the next thing to do to change lives. 

He is not a man deceived by the achievements of yesterday. Tony, as your Personality of The Week is affectionately called, is a man who is moved by great projects.

This pure unconventional African business genius and humanitarian forerunner is, besides being a national catalyser of growth in his native Nigeria, a celestial envoy to the nations. 

For being a central character in the breathtaking achievements of the UBA in the last 75 years, Tony Elumelu, it is now being said, has grown from being an individual to an institution. 

The continental flare and brand he has given UBA, with a global outreach, many say, make him an undisputed African pride.

Your Personality of The Week sees possibilities where others look and see nothing. He is not part of the crowd of people with eyes but no vision. No! Tony Elumelu is a man of outstanding potential and immeasurable agility in handling several things at the same time.

His positive vision and all-embracing power of hope and inclusive actions for the good of Africa, others say, positions Elumelu in the jurisdiction of men of incomparable selflessness and consummate hope. Elumelu is an overachiever who has kept and is still keeping the hopes of millions alive.

At a time most people barely exist on the face of the earth to make a living, Tony Elumelu, is rather a man from God on a mission to make the world live more aptly with a greater sense of service, hope and achievement. He features among the most contemporary men that have enriched the world.

Elumelu also always liberates his energy to keep life advancing in Africa. His journey of creating wealth, financing development across Africa and the world, through the UBA, many say, have gained strength in his eyes that keep seeing new opportunities every day. 

While many remain yoked in their comfort zones, Tony Elumelu has risen to the rank of a global star of many fortunes for always breaking out to find comfort in the unfamiliar and the unknown.

This cross-generational precursor of modern African banking, has been stubborn with the UBA global dream, exercising attractive flexibility in the process and refining options to unlock the growth that add to the bank’s 75 years resilience and reliability.

For hitting the ground running on several ends and achieving such high-level success, admirers say Tony Elumelu is not only a man who breaks records but a lifetime overachiever.

While others are still roaming the streets and trying to predict the future, Tony Elumelu, a workhorse of formidable global energy, our readers say, deserves not just unique mention but applause this season for being the central character in creating the future of UBA.

In this season of the UBA’s 75th anniversary year-long celebration, the culture of customer centricity, so-easy-to-use services plus attachment to innovation that Tony Elumelu ushered the bank into, admirers across the globe intimate and remarkably so, make him a man of high insight and foresight.

For others, the sagacity, commitment and humility of your Personality of The Week, who is the undisputed golden and wonder boy of Africa’s global banking renaissance, will continue to resonate across centuries.  In the thinking of others, Tony Elumelu is the man who has, through the UBA, put his life at the service of making the existence of others better. They are celebrating him this season for having had the savvy and sharing same with his successors and collaborators that what people need is banking and not banks.

Those who say Tony Elumelu is an inspiration to the globe capture his aptitude at the highest levels of responsiveness to change. He is always stretching himself to achieve new things and delivering new products to the banking world, African economies and the global financial industry. 

Beyond his constant decision to always lead, this season, as the UBA begins to celebrate its milestone for over seven and half decades and still counting, Elumelu’s tenacity and the quality of men he has raised, analysts are unanimous, make him a buoyant character of many positive exploits.

Albeit his succinct and inspiring rise to the top, Tony Elumelu, born on March 22, 1963, in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria, has a humble upbringing. 

The economist, philanthropist and Chairperson of the Heirs Holdings, Trancorp and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF, is among Africa’s most celebrated human resource export to the world. 

He is a native of Onicha-Ukwu, Aniocha North Local Government Area, LGA, of Delta State, Nigeria. With his real name Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu, your Personality of The Week earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, from Bendel State University, now Ambrose Alli University. He further studied in the same field and was awarded a Master of Science degree from the University of Lagos.

Tony Elumelu started off as a young and enthusiastic graduate, serving at the Nigerian Union Bank, where he did his National Youth Service in 1985. Tony Elumelu started his career as a salesman and was later recruited at Allstates Trust Bank.

The passionate banker was at the helm of a group of investors who bought over Crystal Bank and rebranded it Standard Trust Bank. Beyond reviving the bank that was battling for survival, Tony Elumelu hit another milestone that has changed the face of banking in Africa. This was the lead in acquiring United Bank for Africa, UBA, through a merger in 2005.

The Standard Trust Bank/UBA paved the way for Tony Elumelu to serve as Group Managing Director. He expanded the bank that was only present in Nigeria, to 20 African countries. He also expanded it to the United States of America, United Kingdom before stepping aside in 2010.

Besides the UBA, where he is still Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu is founder of Heirs Holdings. It is his family investment company, which has interest in energy, power and hospitality sectors among others. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he has been championing entrepreneurship across Africa.

He is known as the father of the concept of Africapitalism, with the understanding that “the African private sector has the power to transform the continent, through long-term investments, creating both economic prosperity and social wealth”. 

He has since 2015 invested 100 million US dollars in raising 10,000 entrepreneurs across Africa.

Tony Elumelu has won several awards and decorations across the globe.  Some of these are: Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, MFR, 2013; Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, for his service in promoting private enterprise; Daily Times Nigerian Man of The Year 2016. 

He was distinguished as All-Africa Business Leaders Awards, AABLA, Philanthropist of The Year Award in 2018 and 2019. He also holds a honourary Doctor of Philosophy, PhD, in business from the Bayero University, Kano State, Nigeria, conferred on him in 2019. 

Tony Elumelu also holds the National Productivity Order of Merit Award from the government of Nigeria, awarded in 2019. 

In 2020, he featured among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of that year. In 2020, your Personality of The Week, received the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic, CFR. 

Given his weight and influence in redynamising Africa’s development, many say and rightly so, that in the next coming years, Tony Elumelu and the UBA will shatter more glass ceilings and bring more honour to the continent. 

With this reasoning, they aver that your Personality of The Week remains a global African pacesetter of development.

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