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Theophilus Danjuma – Biography Of TY Danjuma, Founder Of SAPETRO

Theophilus Danjuma also known as TY Danjuma is a retired Nigerian soldier, a high profile businessman and a philanthropist. He is the chairman of South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO), May and Baker and ntel.

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Theophilus Danjuma Background.

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

Theophilus Danjuma was born on the 9th of December 1938 in Takum, Taraba State, Nigeria to Kuru Danjuma and Rufkatu Asibi. He is married to Daisy Danjuma.

See Also: Top richest entrepreneurs in Nigeria mining the gold of the land.

Theophilus Danjuma Educational Background.

Theophilus Danjuma attended St Bartholomew’s Primary School Wusasa, after which he went to the Benue Provincial Secondary School, Katsina-Ala for his secondary education. He was the captain of the cricket 1st XI team during high school. He concluded his Senior School Certificate Examination in 1958. Afterwards, got the Northern Nigerian Scholarship with which he enrolled at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria (now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria) to study history. He left the university without completing his studies in 1960 to join the Nigerian Army.

Theophilus Danjuma’s Military Career.

As a soldier in training, TY Danjuma was dedicated, committed and enthusiastic about his tasks. As a result, he got appointed as the second lieutenant and platoon commander of Congo just after his training. He was among the UN Peace-keeping force in Sante, Katanga Province, Congo in 1963. His continuous hard work paid off when he was made a captain in 1966. He was also part of the 1966 Counter-Coup with the 4th Battalion in Mokola, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Being diligent and hardworking pays, this played out in the life of TY Danjuma. Just a year after he became captain, he was made lieutenant colonel. This came just at the beginning of the civil war. Close to the end of the war, Theophilus Danjuma led a battalion that released Jaja Wachuku, first Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives as well as first Ambassador to the United Nations and Foreign Affairs Minister from detention by the Ojukwu government.

In 1970, Danjuma represented Nigeria at the International Court Martial in Trinidad and Tobago. He was the president of the special military tribunal for a case against those who staged a coup attack in Trinidad and Tobago. He became colonel in 1971, as colonel, he took it upon himself to head the military court for officers who were involved in corrupt practices and misconduct.

Once again, he was promoted to Brigadier and General Officer Commanding (GOC) in 1975. The next year, he was made the Chief of Army Staff to the Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo. He helped the President in opposing the Dimka Coup in 1976 and he retired from the army in 1979.

Theophilus Danjuma Business Ventures.

Nigeria America Line (NAL).

General TY Danjuma (Rtd) established the Nigeria American Line (NAL) in 1979. The company started with about 12 staffs, and in 2009, the staff strength increased to almost 250 persons, with about 12 expatriate staff. At inception, the company had only one office in Lagos, but has now expanded to Port Harcourt.

He started the company with a rented ship called ‘Hannatu’. The ship’s dealings were between Lagos, Nigeria and Santos, Brazil in accordance to Nigeria’s bilateral trade agreement to import goods into the country via the seaports from South American countries.

Theophilus Danjuma


TY Danjuma later established COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Limited in 1984. The company was founded basically to be the broker for Nigeria American Line (NAL). COMET became one of the largest self-sufficient brokers in Nigeria with expertise in handling various vessels and cargos. The names NAL and COMET were later merged to become NALComet.

The company’s clientele included The Nigeria National Supply Company (NNSC), DICON Salt (Nigeria), Iwopin Paper Mill, ANNAMCO and Volkswagen Nigeria. The company became a member of American West African Freight Conference (AWAFC), Brazil-Nigeria Freight Conference and the Mediterranean Line (MEWAC).

Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days

In 2005 NALComet acquired a roll-in-roll-out port (RORO) in Lagos. This feat made the company the largest self-sufficient port broker in Africa. As at 2009, the company could handle over 200 vessels at the ports of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri.

South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (SAPETRO)

South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) is an oil and gas exploration and production company established by General TY Danjuma in 1995. SAPETRO is the second largest oil block in operation in all offshore East and Southern Africa.

NatCom Development & Investment Limited

NatCom Development & Investment Limited trades as ntel. The company announced General TY Danjuma as the Board Chairman. The news was made public after Danjuma’s inaugural board meeting on July, 2016. ntel started its 4G/LTE-Advanced network operations in Lagos and Abuja on the 8th of April 2016 after a series of voice and data test calls.

The network is one of Nigeria’s leading mobile 4G/LTE network that gives superfast Internet Access. It also allows high-definition voice, data and video services. ntel’s services includes: National Bandwidth; International Voice Termination, International Bandwidth, Mobile and Fixed Communications services.

TY Danjuma Family Office.

TY Danjuma Family Office Ltd is a privately owned office in Surrey, England. The office handles the assets of General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma.

TY Properties (UK) Ltd.

TY Properties is a real estate development company that handles TY Danjuma’s properties. The company also rents out private properties in UK and Singapore and commercial properties in UK. The organization is presently building its own structure near its office in Esher, Surrey, England.

TY Advisory Services (UK) Ltd.

TY Advisory Services provides first class services for clients who want to establish their own family business or need help to run their existing family business.

Theophilus Danjuma in Politics.

Lieutenant Danjuma became a key player in Nigerian politics in 1999. He stood for democracy and the Rule of Law. He oversaw the name change of all the army barracks named after civilians. The General was against President Obasanjo’s plan to reinstate himself and all state governors for the 3rd term in office.

Some of his appointments in politics are:

  • Minister of Defense under the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime in 1999.
  • Chairman for investigative committee on the Warri conflict in 2003. 
  • Nominated chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council by the then acting President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2010.

Theophilus Danjuma Philanthropic Activities.

  • TY Danjuma is the Chairman of the Victims’ Support Fund Committee. The committee provides economic, educational, medical and psychological support to victims of terrorism and insurgencies.
  • TY Danjuma Foundation – The Foundation was created by Lt. General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma in 2009. The foundation makes education and medical treatment accessible to the less privileged. They partners with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations, youth organizations, women’s groups and other related bodies in Nigeria. The foundation also gives grants to small businesses every year.
  • TY Danjuma MBA Scholarship – This scheme was launched in 2011 under the TY Danjuma family office. It gives scholarship to the five African post graduate students who gain admission to study for the MBA Degree in any of the top 10 Business Schools in the world (Schools rated by Financial Times). Thus far, recipients of this scholarship are citizens of Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Morocco and Ghana.
  • SAPETRO built a medical centre for the Nasarawa State university in 2009 which they called South Atlantic Petroleum Medical Centre.

Awards and Recognitions of Theophilus Danjuma.

  • 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 honored him with the “Life Time Award” in acknowledgement of his selfless leadership qualities in 2008.
  • The President, Mohammadu Buhari awarded him as “Champion for the Conservation of Biodiversity” at a Gala Night celebration of the World Environment Day at the Banquet Hall of the State House in 2015.
  • He was number 30 on Forbes Africa’s 50 richest in 2015.
  • The Jukun Development Association of Nigeria (JDAN) honored General Danjuma with the prestigious JDAN Award for Excellence in 2016.
  • Awarded the Honorary Fellowship of the Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy in 2018.

General Theophilus Danjuma Net Worth.

His net worth was estimated to be $750million by Forbes in 2015.

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1 thought on “Theophilus Danjuma – Biography Of TY Danjuma, Founder Of SAPETRO”

  1. Joel Isaiah JUTUM

    Oh, General of Generals,

    My prayer is for God to keep and protect you in good health, wherever you are.

    Your prolific profile is intimidating, educative and a masterpiece for mentorship, especially for someone like me, whose dreams are challenged by some uncertainties. I also wish to have the opportunity to meet you in person and be blessed by you.

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