Friday, 1 January 2016

BEHOLD DR. MIKE ADENUGA, THE SHREWD ENTREPRENEURIAL COLOSSUS

Dr. Mike Adenuga
Otunba Dr. Mike Adeniyi Ishola Adenuga Jr. (GCON), Chairman, Mike Adenuga Group, can be conveniently described as the triumph of African enterprise. He symbolizes the African enterprising spirit of passion, unalloyed commitment, resilience and hard work.

He is today one of the most recognisable names on the African continent; sitting atop what is arguably 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 players. In the oil and gas sector, for instance, Conoil Plc is known as one of the largest and most profitable oil marketing companies in Nigeria.   Conoil Producing Limited, the upstream 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 (ETB) 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 Dr. Adenuga. Two years ago, ETB merged with Sterling Bank.

Direct employment
Dr. Mike 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.
In telecoms, Globacom is known as one of the most innovative networks in Africa and has operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, Senegal, Gambia and Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Adenuga made history in 2010 when his telecoms firm commissioned its international submarine cable, Glo 1.

The cable has provided a solution to the long-standing problem of insufficient internet bandwidth for Africa and has led to a much faster and robust connectivity for voice, data and video.

He is credited with the telecom revolution in Nigeria as Globacom flagged off operations with Per Second Billing and crashing of SIM cost to as low as N100 when competitors had consistently told Nigerians it was impossible. This feat led to the company being the second largest operator in the country today, in terms of number of subscribers connected.The network also pioneered such revolutionary products as Blackberry, mobile internet and mobile banking services in Nigeria.

He was born in 1953, in the ancient city of Ibadan, into the family of Chief Mike Adenuga Snr. and Madam Oyindamola Adenuga, a successful trader and Yeyeoba of Ijebuland. He 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.

In recognition of his business accomplishments and outstanding contributions to the growth of the country, he was last year awarded the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON). He also holds an honorary doctorate degree conferred on him by Ogun State University.

Biggest supporter of football
During Nigeria’ 50th anniversary celebration, Dr. Adenuga was one of the 50 pre-eminent Nigerians who were conferred with the Special Golden Jubilee Independence Anniversary Awards by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

A self-effacing philanthropist, Dr. Adenuga Jr., through his company, 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. The company has so far spent over N9 billion in cash and kind on Nigerian football.

It has also transformed the annual CAF Awards and made it the most glamorous sports event on the continent. CAF has awarded Dr. Adenuga the Pillar of Football in Africa for his strong support for African Football at both national and continental levels.

Business accomplishments
 Dr. Adenuga has won numerous other awards in recognition of his personal and business accomplishments among which is the African Telecoms Entrepreneur of the year for his courageous and rapid investment in the telecoms sector. In early 2010, he was voted Nigeria’s Most Outstanding Business Personality in the last 50 years.

In 2009, Dr. Adenuga won the Silverbird Man of the Year Award, polling over 75% of the votes cast to edge out other eminent personalities nominated for the award. Yet, in spite of his towering achievements, Dr Mike Adenuga Jr, remains an epitome of modesty. (Vanguard)