Mike Adenuga — Meet the billionaire CEO and owner of Globacom

Mike Adenuga is a revered name in the Nigerian business scene. A respected billionaire, Adenuga is popularly portrayed as a lead sample of a self-made billionaire. He’s considered an affluent personality with an air of self- unassuming; much probably due to his ‘little beginning’ success pathway.

You might know Mike Adenuga as Nigeria’s second richest billionaire, Africa’s third richest billionaire, or the CEO and owner of Nigeria’s ranking telecom operator, GLO Nigeria. However, there are more about this unique personage which demands more than just few lines of presentation. We review the account of the man’s life with a biased consideration on his telecom firm.

Mike Adenuga — The profile

Mike Adenuga, Globacom

Full Name:Mike Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr
Date of birth29 April 1953
Town of originIjebu Igbo, Ogun state
  • Ibadan Grammar School
  • Northwestern Oklahoma State University
  • Pace University
  • Founder of Globacom
  • Founder and chairman of Conoil
Net worthUS$ 5.9 billion (May 2020)
WifeTiti Joyce Adenuga

His little beginning

Michael Adenuga was born in Ibadan, Oyo State to a school teacher, Oloye Michael Akpolade Adenuga Snr. His mother, a businesswoman and dressmaker goes with the name, Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga. Juliana married Mike’s father at age 17, however, that didn’t deter her from giving the young boy a deserved maternal affection. Although haven tenderly been taken care of, Mike regularly recalls the many times during his childhood when he hawked goat meat in the streets of Ibadan. He was already gathering a business acumen from childhood.

Michael schooled at Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, and had a secondary school education at Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro. Although not much is known about his primary education in these two institutions, it has been established he got his first school leaving certificate (FSLC) and Higher School Certificate (HSC) from these institutions.

African third richest Billionaire

His undergraduate studies was at Northwestern Oklahoma State University. It’s a circulating buzz that Adenuga worked as a taxi driver to help fund this university education. Also recorded is that his mother disapproved of him schooling abroad. This led to reports to the police by the mother, but Mike was resolute. Juliana wanted Mike to study at the University of Ibadan, an institution where his brother was studying Biochemistry.

His next education was at Pace University, New York, where he did an MBA. From both institutions, his discipline was Business Administration, further relaying Mike’s appetite for business.

Mike Adenuga — Business

After study overseas, young Adenuga returned to the country. He didn’t opt for the white-collar jobs (popular for people of his qualifications then), but for mercantile.

From distribution of cold drinks, engaging in sawmill business, to selling detachable car stereos, the astute businessman never tired. In a narrative to newswatch newspaper, he disclosed how he got into lace importation business. According to him, after missing a scheduled flight with the British airways in one of his trip to the UK, he had to settle with the Swiss airways. Coincidentally, he sat with the owner of a lace manufacturing company — one of the biggest in Austria. The man, he said, spurred his interest in lace importation, “and all other things”.

Mike had good and powerful friends too. This helped him stitch up a reputable business empire for himself. One of them was Ibrahim Babangida, a former head of state. It should be noted that Adenuga befriended Babangida way before he became a military leader. When a policy aimed at affording private sector participation in oil exploration in the country was made, Mike due to this relation had little difficulty in securing an oil drilling license.

Nigeria's second richest billionaire

This was in 1990 at age 37.

A year later, he started his Consolidated Oil(ConOil) company struck oil in Ondo state. This first oil well was named — bella-1, and his oil firm was the first indegenous firm to achieve such rare feat. Presently, ConOil extracts, produces and sells crude oil as well as supplies a range of lubricants and household and liquefied petroleum gas for use by the domestic and industrial sectors. His oil business was a huge success, especially during the oil boom then. He however wasn’t satisfied with the achievement he set, and he moved to an emerging multi-million venture — telecoms.

Mike Adenuga and Globacom

A license to operate a telecom firm was issued him in 1999. This was however revoked due to some embroilment with the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo.

A later license was offered him for the start of a rebranded company, named Globacom. This came into fruition on 29 August 2003.  The Globacom company surfaced with an extremely discounted sim card price — much against the norm set by trail blazers line MTN. When MTN Nigeria vowed that Nigerians could not enjoy a ‘per second billing’ ten years coming, Glo carpeted this, and introduced it.


Landmark projects like an $800 million high-capacity fibre-optic cable known as Glo-1 has been completed by the firm. This project became the first successful submarine cable laid from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. The telecom operator is currently the second largest in the country, with similar subsidiaries in Ghana and Benin.

The telecom company is sponsor to various sports projects and events. The firm is a consistent sponsor of the African footballer of the year award, Nigerian and Ghana football.

Relationship & Children

Adenuga has been in different relationships. Currently, Mike Adenuga is married to Titi Joyce Adenuga. This relationship is evident with a child named Bella.

His other offsprings include: Adetutu Oyindamola Emilia, Tunde, Prince Michael, Abimbola, Eniola and Folashade Adeniyi.

Mike Adenuga’s Net worth and asset

Mike Adenuga networth

As of May, 2020, Mike Adenuga is worth US$ 5.9 billion. This is according to Forbes which rates the business man as the second richest man in Nigeria, and the third richest in Africa.

Adenuga lives in his mansion in Banana island, Lagos, Nigeria. The structure is befitting for a man of his wealth. It includes six duplexes and spans three hectares! There’s an indoor swimming pool, a mosque, church, bulletproof car park, two watchtowers, a home office, and a multipurpose hall with seats for 200.

Awards and Honours

Adenuga has several awards to his name, there are:

  • Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan, a Yoruba tribal chieftaincy title
  • Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger inferred on him by the government of Nigeria in 2012.
  • African entrepreneur of the year 2007 (African Telecoms Awards)
  • Commander of the Legion of Honour by President Emmanuel Macron of France in 2018.

As an assiduous entrepreneur, and a passionate philanthropist, Adenuga has shown that with hardwork characterised by diligence, nothing is impossible. In his own words, “I have worked harder all my life and I think am fortunate, although am a great believer in the man who said ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’.


A potential electrical/electronics engineer in the making, a phone addict and a motivating partner.While he's not researching through with his phone, Daniel spends his time with the books.★ Fav. quote: The habit of persistence is the habit of victory! ★

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