Chairman of Heir Holdings and United Bank of Africa, Tony Elumelu has made Nigeria proud with his recent achievement.
The business tycoon and philanthropist has been bestowed with Belgium’s oldest and most important national honor.
The distinction ‘Officer in the Order of Leopold’ was awarded to him in recognition of his philanthropy in poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of African youth.
Daniel Bertrand, Belgium ambassador to Nigeria, presented the royal decoration to Elumelu on November 15 – the Belgian King’s Day – in Abuja.
A statement released by the bank on Monday quoted Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), as saying Tony Elumelu’s poverty eradication priorities were similar to President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“Let me, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, express our deepest appreciation to the King and Queen of Belgium for recognising the wonderful work of Mr Tony Elumelu and what he is doing in our nation and on the continent of Africa by prioritising the empowerment of our youth,” Mustapha said.
“When we identify somebody in the private sector who believes in that core mandate, the government has no option but to continue to support your endeavours, and I can assure you that on behalf of the president, you will continue to receive it.”
The bank said the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) currently mentors and funds 9,600 young Africans through its $100 million entrepreneurship programme.
It added that the TEF partners with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in global youth entrepreneurship programmes.
This is not the first time he will be recognized internationally. In 2009, Tony Elumelu was conferred with the national productivity merit award in Nigeria and in 2020, he featured in TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world.