Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr is a Nigerian business tycoon, and the second richest person in Nigeria. His company Globacom is Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator which also has a presence in Ghana and Benin.
He also 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 second wealthiest Nigerian behind Aliko Dangote as well as the third richest person in Africa.
How He Built Globacom, The Second Largest Telecommunications Company In Nigeria
Adenuga had his secondary school education at the Ibadan grammar school, Oyo State. He worked as a taxi driver and security guard to support his education while studying at the university.
He graduated from Northwestern Alva Oklahoma State university and Pace university New York, with a degree in Business administration.
The business tycoon made his first fortune at age 26 in the 1970s when he returned to Nigeria after studying in the US. He took over his mother’s sawmill business and distributed lace and other materials, he also sold Coca Cola. He made some powerful friends in the Nigerian military and relied on those relationships to corner lucrative state construction contracts. Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, awarded him an oil prospecting license which he used to build Conoil and became the first Nigerian to strike oil in commercial quantities.
In 1990, he received a drilling license and in 1991, his consolidated oil struck in the shallow waters of South Western Ondo State, the first indigenous oil company to do so in commercial quantity.
Adenuga was issued a conditional GSM license in 1999, after it was revoked he received the second one when the government held another auction in 2003. His telecommunications company Globacom spread quickly and started challenging the MTN Group.
It launched services in the Republic of Benin in 2008 and has continued its spread across Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, with more licenses currently being prospected in other West African countries. He was named African Entrepreneur of the year at the maiden African Telecoms Awards(ATA) on august 15, 2007.
Mike Adenuga has built a fortune in mobile telecom and oil production. Globacom started operations on 29 August 2003 and has an estimate of over 34 million subscribers (April 2016) of which 26 million are internet subscribers.
It currently operates in four countries in West Africa, namely Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. As of June 2009, the company has employed more than 2,500 people worldwide.