TY Danjuma: The retired army common who made Forbes richest listing

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It isn’t on daily basis you come throughout a retired Military General who stays within the limelight greater than 4 many years after retiring from energetic service and for causes completely unconnected to the army service. This might be the rationale why some would possibly take into account General TY Danjuma to be one of the controversial businessmen and retired generals in Nigeria.

Vocal as he’s in Nigerian political issues, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma is a drive within the enterprise surroundings, pulling weights in a few of the most notable firms. Much of his wealth is attributed to his transport and petroleum pursuits.

As at 2015, he was value $750 million and ranked thirtieth among the many high 50 in Africa’s 50 richest listing (as compiled by Forbes), till he dropped off the next 12 months as a result of weak oil costs. His companies nonetheless continues and he stays on a number of boards nonetheless placing his enterprise acumen to make use of, even in his eighties. The story of his transfer from the barracks to the boardroom makes for an attention-grabbing learn.

Birth and training

Theophilus Yakubu was born on 9 December 1938 to Kuru Danjuma and Rufkatu Asibi in Takum, a farming neighborhood in Gongola (now Taraba state). Like many different kids born throughout this time, he joined his father to plant yams, rice, cassava, and benniseed.

When he got here of age, he had his main training at Wusasa, and moved to Benue Provincial Secondary School, Katsina-Ala for his secondary training. Theophilus confirmed nice curiosity in cricket and have become the captain of the varsity cricket group. This, nonetheless, didn’t detract from his intelligence and he nonetheless bagged his Higher School Certificate in 1958, and instantly enrolled on the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology in Zaria (Ahmadu Bello University) to review historical past on a Northern Nigeria Scholarship. He barely spent a 12 months there, as he left quickly after to enrol into the Nigerian Defence Academy.

Military profession

Danjuma was commissioned into the Nigerian Army as second lieutenant and platoon commander, and commenced his army profession in The Congo.

He took half within the UN Peace-keeping drive in Sante, Katanga Province in Congo in 1963, was concerned within the Nigerian Counter-Coup of 1966 with the 4th Battalion in Mokola, Ibadan. He commanded the Nigerian Army’s 1st Infantry Brigade, and in addition led a battalion that freed Jaja Wachuku, first Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives in addition to first Ambassador to the United Nations and first Foreign Affairs Minister, from detention by the Ojukwu authorities.

On a number of events, he was despatched as Nigeria’s consultant inside and out of doors the nation for a number of diplomatic missions. He served in energetic army service from 1960 to 1979 the place he retired as a Lieutenant General, and within the highest workplace within the army – Chief of Army Staff beneath the army administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo. He later served as Minister of Defence between 1999 and 2003, beneath the President Olusegun Obasanjo civilian administration.

Business forays

General Danjuma made his first main foray into the transport enterprise when he based the Nigeria American Line (NAL) and leased a ship known as ‘Hannatu’ to facilitate commerce between Lagos and Santos in Brazil. At this time, Nigeria’s bilateral commerce settlement had opened the ocean routes to economies within the South American markets and so NAL had patronage from Nigeria’s National Supply Company (NNSC) to usher in authorities items.

Its shopper listing later grew to incorporate DICON Salt (Nigeria), Iwopin Paper Mill, ANNAMCO and Volkswagen Nigeria. From about 12 staffs in a single location in 1979, NAL grew over the subsequent three many years to nearly 300 staffs.

Danjuma additionally arrange COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Limited in 1984 to behave as an agent for NAL and COMET grew to develop into one of many largest unbiased brokers working in Nigeria, dealing with many sorts of vessels and cargo at Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri Ports. NAL-COMET acquired a roll-in-roll-out port (RORO) in Lagos in 2005 and have become the most important unbiased port operators in Africa.

He nonetheless retains his stakes in NAL-Comet.

Oil enterprise

After 15 years working the transport enterprise, Danjuma determined to veer into oil exploration and manufacturing and he based the South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) in 1995 to function a car for this curiosity.

Three years later, the ministry of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO, with a bloc masking a complete space of two,590 sq. kilometres (1,000 sq mi). The firm introduced in Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Ltd (Petrobras) as companions in its oil prospecting.

The prospecting led to the invention of Akpo (a condensate discipline), the Egina Main, Egina South, Preowei and Kuro. In 2004, SAPETRO gained a young course of for an oil exploration contract masking 550 sq. kilometres offshore from the Republic of Benin and this opened the best way for different transnational offers.

In June 2006, SAPETRO divested a part of its contractor rights and obligations to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), however Danjuma nonetheless stays Chairman, whereas his spouse is Vice Chairman.

He additionally owns some actual property and has stakes in Notore Chemical Industries (producer of urea fertilizer).

Other pursuits and honours

TY Danjuma holds the nationwide honour, General Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). He additionally has a number of different nationwide and worldwide awards and titles, in addition to honorary doctorate levels from totally different universities, inside and out of doors Nigeria.

Besides the businesses he based, General Danjuma has sat on the board of different firms just like the NatCom Development & Investment Limited “NatCom”, (buying and selling as ntel) the place he assumed place as Board Chairman in 2016. He additionally served seven years because the chairman of Agip Africa till 1995 when he left to start out SAPETRO.

He has additionally been appointed into a number of committees and councils by the federal government, like in 2003 when he served as Chairperson for investigative committee on the Warri battle. Danjuma additionally serves as Chairman of the Victims’ Support Fund Committee, supporting the victims of terror such because the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping.


The TY Danjuma Foundation was arrange in December 2008 and now companions with a number of Non-Governmental Organisations throughout the nation to hold philanthropic gestures to the hinter areas and alleviate poverty.

The basis targets the availability of fundamental facilities, training for youngsters and younger adults, and free medical take care of indigent folks. Over ₦3 Billion has been awarded as grants to NGOs working associated objectives within the space. Although the works first began in Taraba, Danjuma’s residence state, it has prolonged to different areas. About 290 tasks have been carried out throughout 31 states and the FCT, with over 8 Million folks reached.

Every 12 months since its inception, the muse requires idea notes and functions for funds from organisations with tasks targeted on well being and training.

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