Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (TY Danjuma) is a retired army General, businessman, politician, billionaire and philanthropist.
TY Danjuma ranks as one of the richest people in Nigeria.
He was born on December 9th, 1938 to Kuru Danjuma and his Rufkatu Asibi in Takum, Taraba State.
General TY Danjuma is the Chairman and Founder of the TY Danjuma Foundation
TY Danjuma had his elementary education at St Bartholomew’s Primary School Wusasa, before heading to Benue Provincial Secondary School in Katsina-Ala where he obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1958.
He proceeded to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University) for his tertiary education before dropping out to join the Nigerian Army in 1960.
Danjuma was commissioned as a second lieutenant and platoon commander into the Nigerian Army in the Congo.
When he joined a UN peacekeeping team in Sante, the Kataga Province of Congo, he eventually attained the rank of Captain.
Theophilus Danjuma oversaw a battalion that liberated Jaja Wachuku from the Biafran administration led by Ojukwu during the civil war in Nigeria.
In the 1970 International Court Martial in Trinidad & Tobago, Danjuma represented Nigeria. In a subsequent case presented against participants in an aborted coup, he was chosen to serve as the tribunal’s president.
He earned Colonel status in 1971.
He received a promotion to the position of General Officer Commanding in 1975, earning the rank of Brigadier (GOC).
He was appointed Chief of Army Staff under Olusegun Obasanjo’s military rule in 1976.
Theophilus Danjuma left the Nigerian army in the year 1979.
TY Danjuma established Nigeria America Line (NAL) after his exit from the Army.
The company’s primary trading hubs were Brazil and Lagos. NAL today employs well over 251 people, compared to its initial workforce of less than 13.
In order to represent NAL, Danjuma established a second business in 1984 called COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Ltd. Since its founding, COMET has handled a wide variety of vessels and cargo with great expertise.
He began exploring and producing oil in 1995 and launched a firm called South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO) specifically for that endeavour.
In 1998, Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 was issued to the business by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. A total of 2,590 kilometres squared are included in the licence (1,000 sq. miles). To begin prospecting on OPL246, SAPETRO teamed up with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd (TUPNI) and Petrobras.
Additionally, Theophilus Danjuma has stock in Notore Chemical Industries, which produces urea fertiliser.
NatCom Development & Investment Limited was established in 2016, and TY Danjuma was appointed its board chairman. Ntel is a network connection firm that provides internet access in Nigeria and is an arm of NatCom.
He also owns the TY Danjuma Family Office Ltd in Surrey England.
TY Danjuma Family Office Ltd is a privately owned office in Surrey, England. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma’s assets are managed by this office.
Some of his assets include:
- TY Global Conservative Fund
- May & Baker Nigeria PLC
- Notore Chemical Industries
- Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc
- The Wheatbaker
- Novotel Hotel Port Harcourt
- The Kings Arms Hotel
- Star Child Pictures
- Danjuma Collection
- South African Atlantic Petroleum
- NAL-Comet Group
- TY Properties (UK) Ltd.
- TY Advisory Services (UK) Ltd.
Danjuma participated in the Counter-Coup of 1966 by taking courageous and decisive action against those responsible for the murders of political leaders, including Sir Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa, and other military personnel
He was an advocate for democracy and the rule of law. He was in charge of renaming all army barracks after civilians.
The General was opposed to President Obasanjo’s proposed third-term agenda
Some of his political appointments include:
- Minister of Defense under President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 1999.
- Chairman of the investigative committee on the Warri conflict in 2003.
- Nominated chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council by the then-acting President Goodluck in 2010.
Wife and Children
TY Danjuma is married to Daisy Ukpomwan Ehanire Danjuma, an ex-senator of Edo South Senatorial District of Edo State
The couple is blessed with children but there is no public information about the number of children
According to a report on Bloomberg, TY Danjuma’s net worth is valued at an estimated $1.2 billion.
Aside from politics and business, General TY Danjuma is also a philanthropist whose arm of philanthropism has touched lives.
The Victims’ Support Fund Committee is led by TY Danjuma. The champions the course to assist victims of terrorism and insurgencies with economic, educational, medical, and psychological assistance.
Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma also established the TY Danjuma Foundation in 2009. The foundation provides education and medical treatment to the less fortunate. In Nigeria, they collaborate with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), faith-based organisations, youth organisations, women’s groups, and other organisations. Every year, the foundation makes awards to small enterprises.
In 2009 his company, SAPETRO constructed the South Atlantic Petroleum Medical Centre for the Nasarawa State University.
TY Danjuma MBA Scholarship was established in 2011 by the TY Danjuma family office. It provides scholarships to five African postgraduate students who are accepted to study for the MBA degree at any of the world’s top ten business schools (Schools rated by Financial Times).
This scholarship has so far been awarded to citizens of Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Morocco, and Ghana.
Recognitions and Awards of General TY Danjuma include:
- Director, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies Kuru between 1979-1982.
- Chairman, Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria between 1984-1994.
- National Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission Chairman between 1989-1992.
- Benue State University Chancellor between 1997-2003.
- Chairman, Presidential Policy Advisory Committee in 1999.
- Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) chairman in 2010.
- Sardauna magazine “Life Time Award” 2008.
- Champion for the Conservation of Biodiversity 2015.
- Forbes Africa’s 50 richest in 2015.
- Jukun Development Association of Nigeria(JDAN) Award for Excellence 2016.
- Honorary Fellowship of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy 2018.
- Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger, GCON
- Leadership Person of the Year 2011
- D.Sc. honoris causa, Ahmadu Bello University, 2013
- Jarmai Zazzau 2013
- LLD honoris causa, Bayero University Kano 2011
More recently, General Danjuma was appointed as a Chairman of the Committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the North-East sub-region of Nigeria
In February 2022, Theophilus Danjuma commissioned the Jukun Bible Institute in his hometown Takum in Taraba state. The institute is to ensure easy access to the Bible in the Jukun language
As an individual, TY Danjuma has also donated to education and humanitarian causes in Northern Nigeria. He donated N2.3billion to ABU fund-raising for expansion projects and he also massively donated to Bayero University, Kano for the building of its Faculty of Computer Engineering
In 2018, TY Danjuma accused the Nigerian Army of colluding with killers in Taraba state. Stating that the Army has failed to protect the people of the state.
He reportedly described the killings as an act of ethnic cleansing “being perpetuated against the people of Taraba, specifically and Nigeria at large must stop”
In response, a publication reported that the Nigerian Army cautioned the elder statesman for his statement and refuted the claim.
“There is a need to urge for caution on the part of the elder statesman in view of the security implication of such comments.’’
In 2019, TY Danjuma was named in the Panama Paper leaks. The revelation from the paper is described as one of the biggest scams on the international financial scene.