He doesn’t like to be called rich. He prefers to be called blessed. He can transform hard work into solid net worth.
This multi-billionaire has an aura of determination to work on the goals he set and overcome setbacks. In the 2022 Forbes list, he ranked the second richest man in Nigeria with a $7.3 billion net worth.
He built his wealth through oil exploration, banking, and telecommunication services.
Up Close and Personal
He is Chief Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr CSG GCON or Mike Adenuga Jr. He was born last April 29, 1953, in Ibadan, Nigeria. His father is Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Snr, a schoolteacher, and Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (née Onashile, of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo), a businesswoman of royal Ijebu descent. His two siblings are Demola Adenuga and Otuba Adenuga.
He described his childhood as a pleasant memory. He studied at Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his Secondary Education, and pursued Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro for his Higher School Certificate (HSC). He proceeded with his university education at Oklahoma State University and Pace University where he graduated with degrees in Business Administration.
His studies abroad were costly. His business prowess was exhibited when he sold drinks, and lace to earn money. His being hardworking was shown when he engaged as a taxi driver. It was a round-the-clock study and work-life for a college student.
His sacrifice in studying abroad made Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. an even more empowered man. He is wise and confident. Armed with educational qualifications, intelligence, and good personal relations, he pursued his entrepreneurial goals. When he went home from Oklahoma studies in 1974, he saw that there is no stereo, and no aircon in cars so he started selling stereo, aircon, and other car accessories.
He played actively in whatever business he engaged in. He described his beginnings as he was able to be ahead of the competition at that time. He hired competent people to do the work; honest people who made sure to be his partners in his growing company. In a speech, he said, Gentlemen, I have always known my strengths. One of them is to look through people and identify talents.
In 1979, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. made his first million. He was 26 years old and over the years, he grew his wealth to become one of the richest men in Africa.
Wives and children
He first married Adefolake Emilia Adenuga (née Marquis). She kept a low profile. They had 5 children namely: Oyindamola, Jide, Paddy, Bella, and Eniola. His second and current wife is Titi Joyce Adenuga who is popular as the wife of billionaire Mike Adenuga Jr. and for her chic style in fashion. They have 2 children Niyi and Sade. All children are doing great in their chosen fields.
His house is located on Banana Island. It is called ‘Gold digger’s den’. It is more than a mansion as the entire 3 hectares estate has 9 duplexes. A duplex on a gold roof is his personal residence and office. The place which is worth N1 billion is complete; there is a mosque, two watch towers, a multi-purpose hall, a church, an indoor swimming pool, car park, helipad, and yacht deck.
He finds time to relax at the gym, play sports, and enjoy the best luxury with family, as well as with his friends and employees.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. then ventured into the oil business. He applied for a license in 1980. His application however was denied. When a new policy was made by the Oil Minister, Professor Jubril Aminu during General Ibrahim Babangida’s regime, it allowed individuals to venture into oil exploitation and exploration. He obtained the drilling license in 1990 at Southwestern Ondo State. He established Consolidated Oil (Conoil) in 1991 which became the first company to strike oil in industrial quantity.
His entrepreneurial spirit again ventured into the telecommunication industry. and acquired a conditional GSM license from the Federal Government in 1999.
After it was revoked, he obtained another license in 2004 through a government-held auction. He used this license to establish Globacom in Nigeria, which has now grown into other African countries, the Benin Republic and Ghana. In May 2015, he made a takeover bid and acquired the Ivorian mobile telecoms operator “Comium” in Cote d’Ivoire for $600m. As of 2019, Globacom has 3,379 employees.
His life is not at all a sugar and spice and everything nice. In 2009, he was apprehended by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for money laundering. He went into self-imposed exile in London. He was granted a pardon during the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regime. Dr. Adenuga returned to Nigeria, and yet again he faced charges for the combined debt of $140.5 million that his company Conoil owed to a French oil company. Through all this, Dr. Adenuga became steadfast in his business.
To help Nigeria and other African countries achieve social and economic independence, he founded the Mike Adenuga Foundation, a Pan-African philanthropic foundation.
He said, “If we don’t develop our country, no foreigner will come and develop it for us.”
During The Elites Nigeria Live, The Republic of Ghana conferred its highest civil national award of “The Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG)” on Globacom Chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., held at the Accra International Conference Centre.
President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama said the Award “is in recognition of Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr.’s unique and outstanding contribution to business enterprise both in Ghana and the continent of Africa.”
He also holds the highest civilian national award in Nigeria, the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) awarded by the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2012.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr. is called Pillar of Prosperity and The Bull. The two names are opposite yet make sense. As a pillar of prosperity, his companies, Conoil and Globacom give jobs, and his foundation offers help. While as the bull, he decides and strategizes his business operations with a superior performance making him Africa’s second-richest man with a $7.3 billion fortune.