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ELUMELU, NAOMI OSAKA MAKE TIMES MAGAZINE’S 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE 2020

Nigerian multimillionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, Chairman Hiers Holding, the United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation and world highest paid female athlete, tennis star, Japan;s Naomi Osaka are Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, 2020.

The list released Tuesday were selected by Times editors, with recommendations from the magazines international staff and Time 100 alumni  

Tony Elumelu was born on 22 March, 1963 and has two degrees in Economics, a Bachelor’s degree from Ambrose Alli University and a Master of Science degree from University of Lagos.

The Chairman of United Bank for Africa which operates in over 20 African countries, the United States and the United Kingdom made the list from 100 people from different walks of life who are making an impact on business, art, sport, music and more across the world.

Tony Elumelu born in Jos but hails from Onicha-Uku in Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State, He started his career as a young banker and by late 90s, he led a group of small investors in taking over a struggling commercial bank in Lagos, Nigeria, the commercial city of West Africa. The bank later crystal stared to Standard Trust Bank, years later it became profitable bank and eventually merged with the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in 2005.

Elumelu leadership style and the origination of the Africaptitalism concept, driving through hard work, investment, and entrepreneur led to the establishment of The Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2010 .The foundation provides seed capital, mentorship and funding for entrepreneurs which is changing lives and creating businesses not only in Nigeria but across the continent of Africa.

In 2015, Elumelu, started the mentorship and pan-African training program, committing to investing $5,000 each in 1,000 young entrepreneurs every year across 54 countries on the continent. Through the platform, more than 7,000 aspiring business owners have gone through the program, so far.

Tony who has investments in real estate, major stakes in power and health care on the continent, in March, during the global panic, suspension of sporting and economic activities due to Covid-19 pandemic. Donated through UBA Foundation N5Billion (USD14 million) to Covid -19 Relief Support across Africa to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Japanese tennis star and world highest paid female athlete, Naomi Osaka also made the list of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, 2020.

The 22-year old who pulled out of the Western & Southern Open in New York in protest “continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police” before returning to the tournament in the semi-final after consultation with WTA and USTA made the list in the Icons category.

The social activists and tennis star won the 2018 US Open, 2019 Australian Open and 2020 US Open. She top the list of female highest paid with a staggering £28.2million in 2020 with a total £2.5million coming from prize money and endorsement at a whopping £25.7million.

Other Nigerians that made the list of Time Magazine’s top 100 Influential people are Nigeria’s Tomi Adeyemi and Dr Tunji Funsho. Adeyemi, is the author of “Children of Blood Bones”. In 2018 her book “Children of Blood and Bones” spent 90 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and in same year won the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Debut Novel.

While, Dr. Tunji Funsho is a Nigerian cardiologist and chair Rotary International’s polio eradication program in Nigeria. With efforts from him and his team, Nigeria has marked four years without a case of polio. This has been achieved through the partnership with the World Health Organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UINICEF and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that enhanced and getting polio vaccines to millions of children in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Tony Elumelu has thanked Time Magazine for the recognition through his The Tony Elumelu Foundation, describing the year as one that has been tumultuous for all of us –challenging, humbling and forcing us all reflect why am I there?.

Tony Elumelu also won the Vanguard Personality of The Year 2018, for his philanthropy through Tony Elumelu Foundation and contributing positively to economic development of Africa through his Africapitalism investment in changing lives to not only creating businesses for young Nigerians but across African continent..

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