Elumelu to global leaders: Rethink efficacy of sanctions — masses bear brunt

Tony Elumelu, the chairman of Heirs Holdings, has asked global leaders to rethink the efficacy of sanctions, as citizens are often mostly affected.

Elumelu spoke on Thursday in a summary of his interaction with Jutta Urpilainen, European Union commissioner for international partnerships, posted on X.

The discussion, which took place earlier in the week, focused on the EU’s approach to the Sahel in terms of its development interventions.

The entrepreneur said those who bear the brunt of sanctions are not the political elite but the masses.


“We feel the frustrations of the past, but the past cannot provide the way forward. We need to discuss what we do going forward by looking at the problems that have led to all of these and find solutions,” the chairman said.

“Those who bear the brunt of sanctions are not the political elite, instead it is the masses who suffer. Sanctions turn them around and make them hate those they think are causing these problems for them.

“The people don’t see sanctions as consequences brought on them by the actions of the political leaders in power. They see sanctions as punishment from hostile foreign governments.


“Sanctions should be reimagined; we need to rethink their efficacy. They may have worked in the past but certainly do not work in the current world.  It creates and breeds even worse extremism.

“There must be other ways to engage and force bad leaders out of office. Sanctions are dated and the world must revisit this traditional approach, because those who suffer the brunt of sanctions are the masses and not those in power.”

Speaking on leveraging partnerships, Elumelu said everyone must work together to bring solutions and not point fingers at each other, adding that working collaboratively is the only way to get the solutions needed in Africa.

He added that collaboration with the private sector provides a more effective means to creating economic empowerment and employment.

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