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Three Nigerians named among TIME 100 Most Influential People of 2020

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Three Nigerians, Tony Elumelu, Tomi Adeyemi, and Tunji Funsho have been named among the 2020 TIME annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The list which is now in its 17th year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals in their respective fields of human endeavour.

Bank for Africa (UBA) and Transcorp Plc Chairman, Tony Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists was acknowledged for his achievements in business, industry and development not only in Nigeria, but also in Africa.

Elumelu, who is also the Founder and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, is only one of four Africans on the 2020 list, recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.

He also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand, Premium Times reported.

Added to his many achievements, Elumelu is also prominent for creating the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), aimed at philanthropy and empowerment of a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, and driving poverty eradication.

In same vein, Tomi Adeyemi, a Harvard University-trained born Nigerian-American novelist and creative writing coach, is acknowledged by Wikipedia as the writer of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Children of Blood and Bone, the first in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.

The book won the 2018 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, the 2019 Waterstones Book Prize, and the 2019 Hugo Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book. In 2019, she was named among Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.

Also on the celebrated roll is  Tunji Funsho, a Lagos-based cardiologist and first Rotary member to be bestowed with this honour for the organization’s work to eradicate polio, following his role in ensuring Africa’s certification as wild polio-free in August, 2020.

Funsho works closely with Rotary’s partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Recall that on 25 August, the African region was certified wild polio-free. This historic announcement means that five of the WHO’s six regions, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the wild poliovirus.

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