Mike Adenuga is Nigeria’s second richest man after Aliko Dangote. He made his wealth from telecommunications and oil production. Globacom, his mobile phone company, is Nigeria’s third largest operator, with 55 million members. Conoil Producing, his oil exploration company, operates six oil blocks in the Niger Delta. Adenuga earned an MBA from Pace University in New York while working as a cab driver to support himself as a student. At the age of 26, he made his first million selling lace and distributing soft beverages.
Early Life & Education
Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr. was born on April 29, 1953. His father, Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Sr., was a schoolteacher, and his mother, Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga, was a royal Ijebu Igbo entrepreneur.
Mike Adenuga completed his secondary school education at Ibadan Grammar School in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, and his Higher School Certificate (HSC) at Comprehensive High School in Aiyetoro. To help pay for his academic tuition, he worked as a cab driver. He obtained business administration degrees from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University in New York.
At the age of 26, Mike Adenuga made his first million, selling lace and distributing soft beverages. He was granted a drilling license in 1990, and his Consolidated Oil (now Conoil) discovered oil in the shallow seas of Southwestern Ondo State in 1991, making it the first indigenous oil business to do so in commercial quantities.
In 1999, Mike Adenuga was given a conditional GSM license; after it was cancelled, he was given a new one in 2003 when the government held another auction. Globacom, his telecommunications company, grew swiftly and began to compete with the MTN Group. It began operations in Benin in 2008 and has since expanded to Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, with more licenses being sought in other West African nations.
In August 2007, he was voted African Entrepreneur of the Year at the inaugural African Telecoms Awards (ATA). Adenuga made a $600 million buyout approach for Ivorian mobile telecom company Comium Côte d’Ivoire in May 2015. He also owns stakes in the Equitorial Trust Bank.
Mike Adenuga has had two marriages. In his first marriage, he had six children, and with his second, he had two. The names of his children are Oyindamola, Babajide, Mike, Belinda, Abimbola, Eniola, Folashade, and Richard.
Honours and Titles
- Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger by the government of Nigeria.
- Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan.
- Commander of the Legion of Honour by President Emmanuel Macron of France.
- Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019.
Forbes estimated Mike Adenuga’s net worth at $6.2 billion as of May 2022, making him the second richest person in Nigeria after Aliko Dangote who has a net worth of $13.9 billion.