Tony Elumelu's Relationship With Otedola And African Billionaires
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Tony Elumelu’s Relationship With Otedola And African Billionaires

Tony Elumelu’s ability to build strong connections with fellow African billionaires and foster collaborative relationships has earned him widespread admiration and recognition.

As founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF and a member of the African Leadership Network (ALN) Elumelu’s relationship with other African billionaires exemplifies the power of unity and cooperation in driving Africa’s growth and prosperity.

In this article, we will briefly examine Elumelu’s remarkable rapport with other African billionaires, highlighting the significance of these relationships and the profound impact they have had on the continent’s economic landscape. 

Dangote: The king of the boys

Elumelu reportedly enjoys a cool relationship with Africa’s richest person, Aliko Dangote. They have both been sighted at events together. Elumelu who was present at the recent commissioning of the $19 Billion Dangote Refinery said, “I congratulate my dear friend, a man I call the King of the boys!” Also, they both shared their thoughts about the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited earlier this month. 

Elumelu and Dangote both noted that NNPC possessed the capacity to position itself as Africa’s biggest energy company. They are also co-founders of the African Energy Leaders Group, a group of high-level African business leaders and heads of state. They both urged the passage of Electrify Africa Act. 

The bill directs the US President to establish a multiyear strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa, implement national power strategies and develop an appropriate mix of power solutions, including renewable energy, to provide access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable power in order to reduce poverty and drive economic growth.

Describing Elumelu, Dangote said, “A  mere handshake says a lot about Tony Elumelu. His gritty grip underlines his charming, tenacious personality: a man who hardly backs down from any challenge…After deepening the financial market in Africa, he has found an equally important niche: giving a voice of hope to millions of youths across Africa.”

Otedola: We call ourselves brothers

Elumelu’s relationship with Femi Otedola dates back over 15 years ago. They have both had several business dealings since Elumelu’s days in the now-defunct Standard Trust Bank. Recently, Otedola revealed that he gave Tony $20 million to acquire United Bank Africa, UBA. He also disclosed that Elumelu acquired his shares when he was Chairman of Transcorp Hotel in 2007.

While the relationship between both African billionaires has experienced some storm because of Otedola’s proposition to buy Transcorp Plc for N250 billion, Elumelu still refers to him as a very good friend. 

Speaking during an interview, Elumelu said, “There are only two people I follow on Instagram; my wife and Femi Otedola; that shows you the level of friendship that we have and he’s a man I admire and respect as a friend. We call ourselves brothers.”

Elumelu and billionaires outside Nigeria

As a member of the World Economic Forum’s Africa Regional Council, The Nigerian investor has related with billionaires outside Nigeria on a number of occasions. One such was when he shared the stage with Mo Ibrahim and Strive Masiyiwa at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDG) Success Event and the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.

Elumelu’s relationship with African billionaires can be closely linked to his understanding that collaboration will bring about the sustainable development the continent desires. This is reflected in one of his quotes, which reads, “Instead of having a pyramid of few billionaires, I prefer a large base that has prosperity, happier people, and people whose basic needs are met. I think that is what will give us the sustainability we need in Africa.”

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