Stella Dimoko Nigeria's Billionaire Tony Elumelu And Why He Can Afford The 'Soft Life'


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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Nigeria's Billionaire Tony Elumelu And Why He Can Afford The 'Soft Life'

Tony Onyemaechi Elumelu, may perhaps be the most visible Nigerian billionaire across three of the most active social media.

The smooth-operating business mogul who has almost a million followers on Instagram, 458,000 on Facebook, and a little over a million followers on Twitter is intentional about curating and documenting his day-to-day activities on his social media pages.

These activities range from business meetings, closing deals outside the country, family time with his wife and seven kids, attending events hosted by friends, or even working out in one of his numerous gymnasiums, with the resultant effect of an Adonis body and aura which effortlessly draws to him, some of the finest species of womenfolk.

All these he does with relatively little effort. His video posts are oftentimes accompanied by songs from the repertoire of Nigerian 21st-century music makers, with the songs depicting most times, what the video is all about.

While it is common knowledge that Elumelu is an affluent man, the pictures and videos he shares on social media further break down the reality of his fame and fortune to the ordinary Nigerian.

From riding in the latest editions of Maybachs or any top-of-the-range luxury car, flying private, working out in gymnasiums located in high rises, vacationing in some of the most exotic places on earth, and owning opulent homes and designer ensembles, it is easy to see that he lives and exudes the ‘soft life’ (local slang for living a life of luxury).

For someone who received an interim dividend of N476.2 million ($1.11 million) from his stake in UBA after the bank reported a profit of $164.6 million at the end of the first half of 2022, it is little wonder he can afford to live as much of the ‘soft life’ as he can.

Elumelu owns 6.96 percent of the bank or 2,380,941,756 ordinary shares. The dividend brought his total earnings from the bank this year to $4.7 million. But how did Tony become such a wealthy power broker to enable him to have the kind of lifestyle that he projects which many yearn to have?

As far back as 2015, Elumelu was reportedly worth about $700 million, according to Forbes. The influential American journal rated him as the 31st richest man in Africa with a net worth of $700 million.

And he didn’t catch the attention of Forbes magazine by lazying around, he faced the grind, kept his eyes on the ball, and today, he is the better for it. Despite bagging a second class lower in Economics from the Bendel State University, now Ambrose Alli University, and a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos.

Elumelu knew banking was the way for him to go and he started out early working for Allstates Trust Bank, which was owned by a one-time godfather in Nigeria’s banking industry now a Bayelsa monarch, His Royal Majesty, Ebitimi Banigo.

He proved his worth, which was why he was able to pull together a small group of investors in the late 1990s to take over a struggling Crystal Bank. The bank was later renamed Standard Trust Bank and he turned it profitable within a few years.

In 2005, he led one of the largest mergers in the banking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa by acquiring United Bank for Africa (UBA). He was only 47 at the time.

Today, the bank has branches in over 20 African countries including New York, London, France, UAE and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit-taking presence in the United States. The bank currently has assets estimated at more than $19 billion.

Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading producers of electricity in Nigeria, and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Elumelu’s assets include Nigerian oil block OML17, with a current production capacity of 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and 2P reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, with an additional 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources of further exploration potential.

He owns extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in mobile telecom firm MTN Nigeria, among other assets. Then there is HEIRS Holdings, an investment company committed to improving lives and transforming Africa through long-term investments and which maintains a portfolio of investments across several countries on the African continent.

He also gives back from his wealth via his Tony Elumelu Foundation which nurtures and funds young African entrepreneurs.

from TheWillNigeria


  1. You deserve all the accolades sir, hopefully and with hard work,I will achieve my own feat of success,amen

  2. You have done well sir. Enjoy the dividends to the fullest!

  3. This man inspires me

  4. My Boss! God bless you!
    I love you.

  5. He was born into a wealthy family. Simple . That was how.

    1. Nah. They weren't rich. At all. His mum was a second wife. His father's people never accepted her so she moved to her village Onicha-igbo and raised her kids. They suffered growing up. Hence Tony doesn't send his fathers village now onicha-ukwu even though they are trying to claim him. His mum suffered to raise all her kids in her village. The only Elumelu who looks at onicha-ukwu is the one in national assembly because of politics..

  6. I celebrate you sir.👏


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