Mike Adenuga, born in the ancient city of Ibadan to Micheal Agbolade and Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga, is one of the world’s most powerful businessmen. He is a billionaire telecom and oil and gas tycoon.
Despite coming from a relatively successful family, his entrepreneurial success began in the trenches. His father was a successful trader, and his mother was a teacher.
To make money, Adenuga sold lace materials and distributed drinks. He had made his first million by the age of 26. Since then, he has built a thriving business empire that has propelled him into Forbes’ list of billionaires.
His business empire is primarily focused on telecommunications and oil and gas. In 2003, he entered the telecom industry by establishing Globacom. He entered the industry at a time when many Nigerians couldn’t afford sim cards or airtime.
He transformed the industry by making sim cards and airtime affordable to the average Nigerian. Glo, as it is colloquially known, quickly became a household name in Nigeria and neighboring Ghana. Glo now has over 55 million subscribers.
Adenuga also entered the Nigerian oil and gas industry by establishing Conoil Producing. He was the first Nigerian to discover commercial quantities of oil. He discovered oil in an unusual location, 50 to 60 kilometers northeast of Okitipupa, Ondo State.
Many experts dismissed the area as unsuitable for oil exploration. Adenuga’s intuition and research, on the other hand, suggested otherwise. He explained why he remained optimistic about finding oil despite expert warnings:
“It takes God to strike oil. The man who knows never tells you where the oil and gas are. Even God doesn’t tell you. You must make the effort to find it. That is the challenge. You must look for it. God has put it there but you must use technology, you must use everything you can to get it. When you get it, you are lucky. If you don’t get it, you go back and you sharpen your pencil again. In oil and gas, you never say die.”
Today, he operates 6 oil blocks in the Niger Delta.
Adenuga is now West Africa’s third richest man. He is also the sixth wealthiest man in Africa. His net worth was $6.7 billion in the 2022 ranking of Africa’s billionaires, making him the 324th richest man in the world as of January 23, 2022.
Adenuga had a Real Time Net Worth of $5.7B at the time of filing this report, making him the 394th richest man in the world.
Adenuga is a mother of seven children. He graduated with honors from Pace University in New York, where he supported himself as a student by working as a taxi driver.