Who is General Theophilus Danjuma?

General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, popularly known as TY Danjuma, is a former Nigerian defense minister and a retired army general. He is also a Forbes recognized business tycoon.

Theophilus Danjuma Early Life

Theophilus Danjuma was born on December 9, 1938, into a respected family in Takum, Taraba state. His father, Kuru Danjuma, and his mother, Rufkatu Asibi, are hard-working farmers and traders who deal in farming tools. 

He was educated at st. Bartholomew primary school in wusasa and Benue provincial secondary school in katsina ala. In 1958, he obtained his Higher School Certificate. He was awarded a scholarship to study history at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science, and Technology Zaria in 1959. In 1960, Theophilus Danjuma dropped out of college to join the Nigerian Army.

Theophilus Danjuma Life in the Army

In the Nigerian Army, Theophilus Danjuma was commissioned as a second lieutenant and platoon commander in the Congo. He was among the soldiers sent to Katanga Province in Congo for a UN peace-keeping force in 1963. 

In 1966, he was a captain in the 4th Battalion in Mokola, Ibadan, where he participated in the 1966 counter-coup. Shortly before the Nigerian Civil war in 1967, Theophilus Danjuma was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

Between 1967 and 1968, he was the Commander of the Nigerian Army’s 1st Infantry Brigade. And just before the Civil war ended, Theophilus Danjuma was the Battalion leader that released a few critical personnel who Ojukwu’s government detained.

Among them, Jaja Wachuku, the first speaker of the Nigerian House of representatives and also the first Ambassador to the United Nations, and the first Foreign Affairs Minister.

In 1970, Theophilus Danjuma represented Nigeria at the International Court Martial in Trinidad and Tobago. While he was there, He was appointed as the tribunal president in a case brought against members of a failed coup attempt that happened in Trinidad and Tobago. 

In 1971, after he was promoted to Colonel, he was given the responsibility of court martialling Army officers who were found guilty of indiscipline and corruption and was on this assignment for two years. 

In 1975, Theophilus Danjuma rose to the position of General Officer Commanding (GOC), after his rank was raised to Brigadier. In 1976, he was made the Chief of Army Staff and was instrumental in countering the Dimka Coup that happened under the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo.

In 1979, he retired from the Nigerian Army.

Theophilus Danjuma Business Venture.

After Theophilus Danjuma retired from the Army, he went into entrepreneurship and went on to own several businesses in Nigeria and some other African countries.

Nigeria American Line(NAL) was established in 1979 by Theophilus Danjuma, a sea trade business that has succeeded over the years. The company began when Nigeria’s bilateral trade agreement had opened the sea routes to South American markets. NAL seized the opportunity to lease a ‘Hannatu’ ship to trade between Lagos and Santos in Brazil.

NAL thrived by winning patronage from Nigeria’s National Supply Company (NNSC) to bring in government goods. NAL continued to get more prominent clients like DICON Salt, ANNAMCO Iwopin Paper Mill, and Volkwagen Nigeria. NAL also joined some national and international conference bodies as an official member.

These include the Mediterranean Line (MEWAC), the American West African Freight Conference (AWAFC) and Brazil-Nigeria Freight Conference.

In 1987, when the National Maritime Authority (NMA) was formed, NAL gained more reputation as NMA urged Nigerian operators to invest in cargo trade that involves Nigeria and other countries.

In 1979, NAL started with 12 staff and increased to around 250 in 2009 when the name was adapted to NAL-COMET Group. A company that began at Lagos seaport branch has expanded to other states seaport at Port Harcourt, Warri, and Calabar.

In 1984, Theophilus Danjuma created COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Limited, a company whose primary purpose is to serve as an agent for NAL. But COMET grew beyond acting as NAL’s agent. It became the largest independent agent operating in Nigeria and Africa at large, which made COMET an expert in dealing with vessels and cargo, handling over 200 vessels.

In 1995, Theophilus Danjuma founded South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO). This company specializes in producing oil in Nigeria. in 1998, the company was awarded an OPL (Oil prospecting license by Nigeria’s ministry of petroleum Resources. SAPETRO became partners with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd in 2000, when an oil field was discovered in Akpo. in 2009, SAPETRO independently produced its first condensate oil. 

In 2016, T.Y Danjuma became the Chairman of NatCom Development & Investment Limited (also known as ntel), a company that provides internet network in Nigeria. 

T.Y Danjuma’s role in politics

Theophilus Danjuma was also active in Nigerian politics. In 199, he was the minister of Defence under the civilian regime of president Olusegun Obasanjo.

In 2003, he was made the Chairperson for an investigative committee on the Warri conflict. In 2010, when Goodluck Jonathan was the acting president, he was nominated as the Chairman of the presidential advisory council.

He did his best to curtail the unjust politics being played in the military. He renamed all the Nigerian barracks and cantons from civilian names or living persons to past military heroes. Theophilus Danjuma was also the Chairman of the victim’s support fund committee. A council set up to support the victims of terrorist attack.

 T.Y Danjuma Foundation.

The TY Danjuma Foundation was established in December 2008. The foundation is a philanthropic organization whose purpose is to provide long-lasting advantages to communities and individuals by implementing development programs. 

Some of the foundation’s objectives are, Education for children and youths, free medical care, and other basic amenities. The foundation partners with over 50 NGOs in Nigeria to help them accomplish their poverty alleviation goals.

One notable achievement of the TY Foundation is the $500,000 grants given to NGOs to ease the suffering of the people of Taraba state-Theophilus Danjuma’s home state. 

Theophilus Danjuma family and personal life

In a second marriage, Theophilus Danjuma is married to Daisy Danjuma, a senator and a divorcee. They both had children from their previous marriages.

Theophilus Danjuma’s children are all grown up and are doing well in their different fields. One of his sons, Ishaya Danjuma is married to Agbani Asenite Darego, the 2001 Miss World competition winner. Another of his sons, is a talented artist and is thriving well in the art world.

Musa Danjuma, the younger brother of Theophilus Danjuma, is an influential businessman and also a billionaire. He is married to a Nigerian actress by the name of Caroline Danjuma.

Theophilus Danjuma Net worth

As of 2015, Theophilus Danjuma’s net worth was around $750 million, according to Forbes. 

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