Journalism of Courage

Tony Elumelu: Catapulting women to fame, in career trajectories


…a peerless example in women empowerment

A sweeping women empowerment fillip and sweepstake in employment and promotions at executive management and directorship levels has been unveiled by the Chairman of UBA Group, Mr Tony Elumelu, a watershed in the history of empowerment by any individual, organization or government in the country and in Sub-Saharan Africa.


The appointments and elevations were announced recently in UBA, the Transcorp Plc and other subsidiaries of Elumelu’s businesses in a pace-making move far exceeding the 1995 Beijing, China Affirmative Action on 50 percent public offices to women globally.


He has set the benchmark for individuals, organizations and government and remains to be either beaten or raise the bar.


On February 12, Transcorp Hotels Plc made five major appointments.  With new CEOs for the group and Transcorp among others, four out of the appointees are women and two women are CEOs.


In UBA, five women are also on board of UBA while women are CEOs of Avon Medical Practice and Afriland Properties Plc. In UBA, we have:

  1. Foluke K. Abdul-Razaq; Non-Executive Director
  2. Owanari Duke; Non-Executive Director
  3. Erelu Angela Adebayo, wife of ex-Governor of Ekiti State,    Otunba Niyi Adebayo; Non-Executive Director
  4. Angela Aneke; Non-Executive Director
  5. Noellie Tiendrebeogo; CEO, UBA, Burkina Faso
  6. Sarata Kone;  Sarata Kone, CEO, UBA, Cote D’ivoire
  7. Chioma Mang;  Chioma Mang, CEO, UBA, Gabon
  8. Nkechi Arizor; Nkechi Arizor, CEO, UBA, Liberia
  9. Adesola Yomi-Ajayi, CEO, UBA, New York
  10. Bola Atta; Group Head, Corporate Communications
  11. Dupe Olusola; Group Head, Marketing
  12. Amie Ndiaye Sow; Regional CEO, West Africa 2
  13. Abiola Bawuah; Regional CEO, West Africa 1
  14. Patricia Aderibigbe; Group Head, Human Resources
  15. Emem Usoro; Directorate Head Abuja & North Central Bank
  16. Uju Hassan Baba, Non-Executive Director


Others are : Africa Prudential

  1. Eniola Fadayomi MFR Chairman

Afriland Properties

  1. Uzoamaka Oshogwe, Managing Director/CEO
  2. Agatha Obiekwugo, Board Member

Transcorp Plc

  1. Oluwatoyin F. Sanni, Non-Executive Director
  2. Obi Ibekwe, Non-Executive Director
  3. Helen Iwuchukwu, Group Company Secretary
  4. Chinweugo Nwafor, Head – Internal Audit

Transcorp Hotel:

  1. Mrs. Owen Omogiafo, MD/CEO
  2. Ms. Okaima Ohizua, Executive Director
Okaima Ohizua_Executive DirectorChief Operating Officer of Transcorp Power Ltd
  1. Hajia Saratu Umar, Independent Non-Executive Director


  1. Dr Awele Vivien Elumelu is Chairperson of Avon Healthcare Limited.
  2. Adesimbo Ukiri, Chief Executive Officer

AVON Medial Practice

  1. Dr Awele V. Elumelu, Chief Executive Officer

Tony Elumelu Foundation

  1. Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu – CEO
Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu- Elumelu Foundation Boss


In all, the appointments unmistakably have watermarked Elumelu’s avowed commitment to women and empowerment while also giving men opportunities to prove themselves.


Dupe Olusola_MDCEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc1


The Plateau-born banker of international renown and father of five girls, has not only prioritized women empowerment, he remains an incurable advocate and believer in the principle and ensuring that they occupy the driver’s seat in businesses and corporate governance.

As a businessman, Elumelu has identified the potential of women as frugal harnessers of human and material resources for impact and mobilizes them for the attainment of corporate goals and institutional success.


Helen Iwuchukwu_Executive DirectorChief Operating Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc


Virtually on the same scale, he is equally empowering youths through the Elumelu Foundation by creating thousands of jobs which won Presidential recognition in 2019 as presented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.


The major thrusts and imperatives of Elumelu’s policy are raising the dignity, self-confidence, self-reliance, socio-economic empowerment and capacity of women to deliver and be in charge, a departure from marginalization, repression, oppression and exclusion.


To Elumelu, he believes in the maxim that “if you empower a woman, you have empowered a nation’’ just like the dictum in education that “if you educate a woman, you have educated a nation and by extension the world.


The strategic agenda of the UBA chairman is clear and unmistakable to change the fortunes of women as well as their men folk in line with the Beijing Affirmative Action. In September 1995 in Beijing, the fourth World Conference convened by the United Nations on Women on Action for Equality, Development and Peace, the Affirmative action was ratified for the advancement of women the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas including women and poverty, education and training of women, women and the economy, women in power and decision-making as well as institutional mechanism for the advancement of women.


Some countries including African countries have gone beyond implementing the Affirmative Action to electing and inaugurating women as presients and prime ministers. As at 1999, 10 women were already serving in those capacities in Bangladesh, Guyana, Ireland, Zealand, Switzerland and others. In Africa, we have Liberia’s first woman president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and Joyce Hilda Banda of Malawi.


In Sub-Saharan Africa, the age-long cultural belief of consigning women, even better educated than men and endowed by God, to the “other room’’ or to the background, is gradually going into extinction, thanks to Elumelu and others who see empowerment of women as a necessity for organizational development and societal progress.

Women empowerment, according to Wikipedia, is a movement involving respect, honour, and recognition towards women; accepting and allowing women outside the decision-making process into the political space, structures, economic spheres, and raising their status.


Elumelu, no doubt, has encouraged women in administrative and executive positions, helping them to push barriers, breaking stereotypes, moving them from passive roles to be at the forefront or driver’s seat.

In UBA, Trancorp Plc and other companies, women have moved forward in their career trajectories, thanks to Elumelu’s vision and scrupulous implementation of his policy.


Just as sustainable poverty reduction is the overarching objective of the World Bank, so it is to Elumelu who sees it as the benchmark by which performance as a development institution is rated and therefore, has fully committed himself and his organization to the accentuation of prosperity among the people particularly women.


Female administrators, they say, tend to be different from their traditional role models. The difference is positive. This quote from a book authored by Karin L. Porat, a Canadian, “Successful professional women said what they really thought and did what they needed to do to avoid compromising their personal integrity’’, is instructive and remains a signpost to the integrated and multi-level women empowerment.


A scholar also said “the adjectives that are used in describing women attributes or virtues are the terms that are associated with effective administration on their part and he listed them as nurturing, sensitive, empathetic, intuitive, caring, cooperative and accommodative. These have made them much sought after in public life and corporate governance with less boardroom squabbles and bad politics.


Owen Omogiafo_PresidentGCEO of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc


Elumelu’s paradigm in women and youth empowerment and advancement is peerless, nonpareil, unequalled and unmatched. Posterity and this generation cannot and will not forget a man whose intervention has helped to reverse and change a world so structured by men to benefit men politically, socially and economically to the detriment of women; the world being exclusively for men where premiums and preferences were naturally given to males. It is commonly referred to as a “Man’s World’’. Oppression, exploitation, discrimination and subjugation of women, a global phenomenon, with our women living under the condition of abject deprivation are being fought like a scourge by the likes of Elumelu.


The huge investment in our womenfolk and their tremendous potential is celebrated and applauded by men who have imposed on themselves burdensome but heartening sustainable women empowerment as human rights, serving the cause with diligence and candour.


Editor’s Note

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) is a publicly quoted conglomerate with a diversified shareholder base of over 300,000 investors. Our portfolio comprises strategic investments in the power, hospitality, agribusiness and oil and gas sectors. The businesses include Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja; Transcorp Hotels Calabar; Transcorp Power Limited and Transcorp Energy Limited.
Transcorp Hotels Plc (“Company”) is the hospitality subsidiary of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. The Company owns and operates the multiple award-winning Transcorp Hilton Abuja, which provides luxury accommodation, world-class cuisines, conferencing and leisure facilities to business travellers and tourists from all over the world. The Company also holds 100 percent interest in Transcorp Hotels Calabar Limited, which owns and operates the Transcorp Hotel in Calabar.
Transcorp Power Limited (Transcorp Power) is the power subsidiary of Transcorp. The company is a leader in the Nigerian power space and drives Transcorp’s strategic investments in the power sector, with 972MW of installed capacity power generating plant at Ughelli, Delta State. Transcorp Power has consistently led power generation in Nigeria in terms of electricity generated and distributed into the national grid. 


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