Tony Elumelu: 5 Most Powerful People in His Network
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Billionaires - August 9, 2023

Tony Elumelu: 5 Most Powerful People in His Network

Nigerian Investor, Tony Elumelu is celebrated not only for his own accomplishments but also for the influential network he has cultivated over the years. 

As the founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, TEF,  and the chairman of Heirs Holdings, Elumelu’s connections extend across business, politics, and philanthropy. 

In this exploration, we examine some of the most powerful individuals within Tony Elumelu’s network, highlighting their roles, achievements, and the collaborative efforts that have shaped Africa’s economic and social landscape.

Bola Tinubu

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu is one of the most powerful people in Elumelu’s network. Tinubu once described Elumelu as a principled man of character, adding that “one of his primary attributes is courage. 

Tinubu said, “He never backs down from a challenge and will not entertain the idea that a thing is impossible. Tony strives from the stars through difficulty and that is how he reached where he is.”

His relationship with Elumelu is also seen in his visit to his home, a few days after he was declared winner of the 2023 Presidential elections.

Revealing Tinubu’s visit in an Instagram post, Elumelu wrote, “Last (Tuesday) night, I was honoured to receive the Nigerian President-elect at my home. We discussed ways in which the incoming administration must empower and support our immensely talented Nigerian youth. We have so much young potential to unleash.” 

During the visit, Elumelu referred to Tinubu as “This man with 10 lives. The Last man standing and strong man.” Tinubu quickly and jokingly replied by saying: “I am still standing.”

Ajay Banga

The former bank Chief recently hosted  Ajay Banga, President of the World Bank Group, WBG, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. 

Describing him as a friend, Elumelu revealed that he first met Ajay when he served as CEO of Mastercard. He also hinted that they “spoke on how the WBG can play a significant role in catalysing the private sector in Nigeria towards a green energy transition for economic growth and prosperity.”

Elumelu further wrote, “My wife and I then hosted Ajay and his lovely wife Ritu to a private lunch at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Abuja where we continued our conversations on the World Bank Group’s plans for development in Nigeria and Africa, our shared passion for philanthropy and most importantly, caught up on how the children are doing!”

The Nigerian investor looked forward to deepening his relationship with Ajay and his partnership with the World Bank even more. Elumelu wrote, “We need to work together to unlock the true potential of Nigeria and our continent.”

Bill Gates

Another powerful person in Elumelu’s network is Bill Gates, the American billionaire business magnate who cofounded Microsoft. Elumelu who sees Bill Gates as an inspirational figure once said, “Bill’s acumen as a businessman stands out, especially what he’s been able to achieve in technology. But he is also a tremendous thinker and a fine thought leader.”

They met backstage at the Le Club de l’Economie in France in 2016 and were both featured on Time 100 Talk series in 2020. 

Aliko Dangote

Nigeria’s richest man, Aliko Dangote is also amongst the most powerful people in Elumelu’s network. Alicash as Elumelu fondly calls him said a mere handshake says a lot about Tony. He explained that “His gritty grip underlines his charming, tenacious personality: a man who hardly backs down from any challenge.”

Congratulating Alicash on the commissioning of the Dangote Industries Limited Refinery, Elumelu said, “I congratulate my dear friend, Aliko Dangote. A man I call the King of the Boys!”

Hakainde Hichilema

The Africapitalist also has Hakainde Hichilema, Zambian President in his network. Hichilema has often commended Elumelu for his philanthropic support around Africa and his involvement in enhancing the economy of Zambia through the UBA and the Tony Elumelu Foundation in Lusaka, Zambia.

Describing his meeting with Hichilema, Elumelu wrote, “It was great meeting a President that is also focused on empowering the youth.”

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