3 June 2011
I was hoping that at some point,
’s two billionaires — Mike Adenuga and Aliko Dangote — would participate in Bill Gates’ Giving Pledge. But that is very unlikely. Even though several Nigerian millionaires have more money than they know what to do with, they’d rather keep it to themselves than give it away. Nigeria
However, a Nigerian oil magnate and former defense minister, TY Danjuma just might be a different breed. The 73-year old has put over $100 million of his own money into his Charity, the TY Danjuma Foundation- making it one of
Africa’s largest charities, and Danjuma, the country’s biggest philanthropist.
TY Danjuma, a retired military General was
’s Chief of Army Staff in the 70s and served as the Minister of Defense during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure between 1999 and 2003. Danjuma has always been one of Nigeria ’s most influential people. He was a close ally, loyalist and confidante of the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, who rewarded General Danjuma with an oil block. The block, which was located in Nigeria in the Niger Delta region, was left unexploited for several years. In 2006, he reportedly sold it to Port Harcourt ’s offshore oil company CNOOC for what Danjuma said was $1 billion. After taxes, and paying off various dues, he said was left with over $500 million. China
But he did not know what to do with the money, so he set up the TY Danjuma foundation with a $100 million endowment. During a public forum in February 2010, he recounted his reasons for setting up the charity: