DR. MIKE ADENUGA, JR
FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, THE MIKE ADENUGA GROUP
A quintessential businessman
The profile of Dr. Mike Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga Jr. (CON), Chairman of the Mike Adenuga Group, probably the biggest business empire in Africa, can fittingly be summed up as the story of African enterprise. He is today one of the most recognisable names on the African continent. Adenuga is a quintessential businessman who has made his mark so distinctly that world leaders speak about him in positive superlatives. One of the world’s wealthiest men, Dr. Adenuga sits atop what is generally regarded as one of the continent’s largest business empires comprising oil and gas, telecoms, aviation, banking and real estate.
In each of these sectors, Dr. Adenuga has moulded his companies into major, if not dominant, players. In the oil and gas sector, for instance, Conoil Plc is one of the largest and most profitable oil marketing companies in Nigeria. Conoil Producing, the downstream arm of the conglomerate, made history by becoming the first Nigerian company to strike oil and produce it in commercial quantity in 1991. In banking, Equitorial Trust Bank was one of the few banks that effortlessly met the N25b capital requirement during the 2005 banking consolidation exercise without going to the stock market.
It only merged with Devcom Bank which was also owned by Adenuga. In telecoms, Globacom is not only the most innovative network in Nigeria, it is also the fastest growing in Africa and the Middle East, with operations in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic…Adenuga also has a multi-billion dollar investment in real estate. These companies provide direct employment to thousands of workers and millions of others indirectly.
Dr. Michael Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga Jr. (CON) was born in 1953, in the ancient city of Ibadan, into the family of Chief Mike Adenuga Snr., a school teacher and Madam Oyindamola Adenuga, a successful trader and Yeyeoba of Ijebuland. Adenuga is a native of Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State of Nigeria. The young Adenuga attended the famous Ibadan Grammar School, in Oyo State, Nigeria, for his secondary education and studied Business Administration at Northwestern State University, Alva Oklahoma in the United States.
He also earned a Masters degree at Pace University, New York, majoring in Business Administration with emphasis on Marketing. An encounter with Otunba Adenuga would reveal a man of uncommon intellect; a man with a deep passion for his calling; a man who has achieving as a personal mantra and a life that thrives on hard work. His sojourn in the United States of America in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece added an exciting chapter to his impressive resume. Even though the young Adenuga came from a relatively comfortable background, he paid his way through school with money he raised from driving taxi cabs and working as security guard, at different times.
Dr Mike Adenuga Jr (3rd right) joins in cutting of the cake to mark the launch of Glo in Benin Republic in 2008. With him are (left to right) Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe; Nigeria’s former Minister of State for Information and Communication, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande, Beninese Minister of Communication, Mr. Desire Adadja, Group Executive Director of Globacom, Miss Bella Adenuga, and Folashade Adenuga.
Adenuga is certainly no new kid on the block as far as entrepreneurial acumen is concerned. He had attracted national attention as far back as 1991 when his Consolidated Oil Limited struck oil in commercial quantity. He is reputed to have distinguished himself in the business of importation at the young age of 22! And ever since, Dr. Adenuga has bestrode the world of modern business like a colossus. His latest achievement has been the laying of an international submarine cable, Glo 1, which has gigantic capacity to Africa directly to Europe and America. The optic fibre cable being laid by Globacom will provide excess bandwidth to all the cities connected to the cable, and lead to a much faster and robust connectivity for voice, data and video.
The man Adenuga means different things to different people. A husband, father, team leader, role model, an entrepreneur par excellence! Though he has made giant strides in several business categories, Nigerians would probably remember him more for his timely intervention in the telecommunications arena, where he seems to hold the aces that determine the pace of play. Globacom’s historic introduction of Per Second Billing was the first time any network had launched on the billing platform. When the history of telecommunications industry in Africa is written, Adenuga surely would earn a chapter as a man who disrupted an oligarchic convention for the benefit of mankind. He was honoured by the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the National Awards of the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) and later with the award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
Chairman of Globacom, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr, receiving the CAF Order of Merit award, the highest honour of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), from CAF President Issa Hayatou, in Lagos in 2009.
Dr. Adenuga Jr. has always been in the news on account of several patriotic initiatives. Globacom is the biggest supporter of football in Africa and has raised the profile of football in Nigeria and Ghana with the sponsorship of the Premier Leagues and national football teams of the two countries. It has also transformed the annual CAF Awards and made it the most glamorous sports event on the continent, while the Glo-Lagos International Half Marathon is now one of the biggest races in the world marathon calendar.
CAF has awarded Adenuga, the Pillar of Football in Africa for his strong support for African Football at both national and continental levels. At the 2nd edition of the Glo-CAF Awards held in Ghana, former President John Kufour declared Adenuga Africa’s No.1 Businessman for his promotion of the continent through his business empire. He has won several awards, among which is the African Telecoms Entrepreneur of the year for his courageous and rapid investment in the telecoms sector. In spite of his towering achievements, he remains an epitome of modesty.