Nigeria with an estimated 170 million people is blessed with so much natural resources, spanning oil and agriculture and mineral resources.
These opportunities, ordinarily should provide business opportunities for all Nigerians if, the enabling environment, which is the direct responsibility of government was provided.
However, some Nigerians, in spite of all odds, have surmounted these challenges and seized the opportunities of the numerous business windows to record their names on the Nigerian business map and, automatically migrated into the Nigerian club of billionaires.
Notable among these privileged and few Nigerians trending in the world of business is General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd).
Suffice to say that General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma is a holder of the prestigious national award title of Grand Commander of Nigeria (GCON) as well as several other merit awards and honours, including traditional titles.
It is important to state that this soldier turned politician was born on December 9, 1938 and married to his sparkling wife Daisy Danjuma, was born to the family of late Kuru Danjuma and Rufkatu Asibi.
A Jukun man from Taraba State, northeast Nigeria and unarguably one of the very rich Nigerians whose wealth runs in billions, Danjuma is in the forbes list of rich Africans. In fact, Forbes report of 2015 estimates Danjuma’s wealth to be $1.1 Billion. Fobes believes too, that TY Danjuma is the 22nd richest man on the whole of the African continent and, that is honestly incredible.
A former Chief of Army Staff between July 1975 and October 1979, General TY Danjuma as he is popularly called is one of the notable Billionaire philanthropist in Nigeria through the famous TY Danjuma Foundation whose activities and interventions in the education, health and many other sectors is almost next to none.
It is worthy of mentioning that TY Danjuma, now a household name in Nigeria and beyond had his early education at Saint Bartholomew’s Primary School Wusasa in the old Gongola State, now Taraba, before proceeding to the famous Benue Provincial Secondary School Katsina-Ala in Benue State, where he obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1958.
In 1959 Theophilus Danjuma got enrolled into the Nigerian College of Arts Science and Technology in Zaria, Kaduna State (now Ahmadu Bello University), but later answered his calling and joined the Nigerian Army in 1960.
He had a successful career in the military, where he headed many military troops in successful operations within and outside the shores of Nigeria and, consequently earned for himself global recognitions.
In the world of politics, Danjuma held sway as Defence Minister under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2003, when the country returned to democratic rule.
He ventured into the business world when he first floated a shipping line, known as Nigeria America Line (NAL) in 1979, which dominated the lagos-Santos route in Brazil.
This shipping line which took off with as little as 13 staff, can now boast of not less than 251 staff, a money spinning business that is not common amongst other Nigerians.
But in 1984, the Taraba born billionaire added another fleet, apparently because of the success story of NAL, this time what was referred to as COMET shipping Agencies Nigeria as act agent for NAL with the responsibility of handling vessels and cargo.
It is important to stress here, that COMET, today remains one of the biggest handlers of all types of vessels and cargo for shipping companies within and beyond the Nigerian waters.
TY Danjuma, in 1995, took another bold step into the highest money spinning business across the globe when he floated the famous South Atlantic Petroleum Limited, an oil exploration company. An oil Prospecting license (OPL) was granted SAPETRO in 1998 by the petroleum ministry two years after it was established, as OPL 246, covering a total area of 2,590 km2 (1,000 square miles).
It might be of interest, to note that South Atlantic Petroleum Limited owns nothing less than 16 per cent stakes in the famous Akpo deepwater oil field alongside operator Total and china’s CNOOC.
General Danjuma equally has stakes in Notore Chemical Industries, a manufacturer of urea fertilizer, which is another diversification into the agro-chemical world, which undoubtedly presents the soldier, politician and businessman as a man of diverse thoughts.
The TY Danjuma Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life of Nigerians by supporting initiatives that improve access to health and educational opportunities. Based in Abuja, Nigeria, the Foundation was established by Lt. General TY Danjuma (Rtd.) and works with a distinguished Board of Trustees.
But beyond making money for himself through his businesses, General Danjuma equally believes in also giving back to the society, especially the needy , hence the establishment of the TY Danjuma Foundation whose vision includes building a Nigeria where all citizens have access to quality health care, education and equal opportunities to held them quickly realize their potentials.
Major amongst the goals of the TY Danjuma Foundation is to enhance community health care by providing free medical services to rural communities which lack adequate medical facilities, to improve the quality of education of children and young people of 18 years and below.
The goals of the TY Danjuma Foundation also includes alleviation of extreme poverty in communities across the country by providing clean drinking water, and encouraging the education/empowerment of women.
Only recently the foundation put smiles on the faces of the suffering people of Dako, in the Federal Capital Territory when his foundation donated a solar powered 20,000-litre borehole facility to LEA Dako Primary School, Gwagwalada Area Council.
While performing the commissioning ceremony in Dako, the founder, TY Danjuma Foundation, Lt.-General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd) said the facility was in fulfilment of a promise of a borehole made to the primary school in 2014 after a modern teacher’s residential house was commissioned.
Danjuma told the people that his foundation had in the past, provided grant to one of its guarantors, Total Child Care Initiative (TCCI) to construct a block of three classrooms, gender-segregated toilets and renovate a classroom block.
Dako is a community located in a remote part of Gwagwalada.
Earlier he had splashed a whooping N2.2 billion at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria at the 50th anniversary of the pioneer northern university after a similar gesture was extended to Bayero University Kano, where the billionaire businessman made another whooping donation of N250 million in support of the institution’s development projects.
For those who probably do not know, it is important to state that General TY Danjuma flies a Hwaker 900XP Hawker private jet, and also the owner of a Challenger 605 Bombadier.
He owns first class hotels in Lagos and as well as choice residential homes in Lagos, Abuja and his country home in Taraba State.
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