Home Profile in Excellence Mike Adenuga – Second Richest Man in Nigeria

Mike Adenuga – Second Richest Man in Nigeria

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Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr (born 29 April 1953) is a Nigerian billionaire businessman, and the second-richest person in Nigeria. His company Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator, and has a presence in Ghana and Benin. He owns stakes in the Equitorial Trust Bank and the oil exploration firm Conoil (formerly Consolidated Oil Company). Forbes has estimated his net worth at $5.8 billion as of 2017, which makes him the second-wealthiest Nigerian behind Aliko Dangote, with a net worth of $14.1 billion

Early life and education

His father, the Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Sr, was a school teacher while his mother, Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (née Onashile, of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo), was a businesswoman of royal Ijebu descent.

Adenuga received his secondary school education at Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, and Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, for his Higher School Certificate (HSC). He worked as a taxi driver to help fund his university education. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University, New York, with degrees in Business Administration.

Career

In 1990, he received a drilling license and in 1991, his Consolidated Oil struck oil in the shallow waters of Southwestern Ondo State, the first indigenous oil company to do so in commercial quantity.

He was issued a conditional GSM licence in 1999; after it was revoked he received a second one when the government held another auction in 2003. His telecom company Globacom spread quickly and started challenging the giant MTN Group. It launched services in Benin in 2008, and has continued its spread across Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, with more licences currently being prospected in other West African countries.

He was named African Entrepreneur of The Year at the first African Telecoms Awards (ATA) in August 2007. 

In 2009, Adenuga was detained for money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. He subsequently left the country and lived in London until the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regime granted him a pardon. 

In May 2015, Adenuga made a takeover bid to purchase Ivorian mobile telecom’s operator Comium Côte d’Ivoire for $600 million. 

In June 2016, it was revealed that Adenuga was being pursued for a combined debt of US$140.5 million, after his company ConOil failed to pay debts owed to, among others, the French oil giant Total. Bellbop, another company owned by Adenuga, had an interim injunction placed on it by the High Court in Lagos, after it too failed to pay the $9.4 million owed to the US oil and gas firm Baker Hughes. 

Honours 

In 2012, he was made Grand Commander of the Order of Niger by the government of Nigeria.

He holds a Yoruba tribal chieftaincy as an Otunba of the Ijebu clan.

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