Almost 60 years of Nigeria’s tryst with destiny, the country is still making history as the world’s biggest black country and Africa’s largest economy. The freedom and rights that come with these are not just for people but also applies to business. There’s no gainsaying that in the almost six decades of Nigeria as an independent nation, there are some selected —in fact, very few— Nigerians who have contributed significantly to its prosperous trajectory. These titans have built hugely successful corporate giants that are shining examples of what an independent Nigeria can do and they are defining our path towards the future. Notably on this exclusive list is Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, a quintessential billionaire businessman who has become one mogul many find fascinating by his leadership style.
As part of the lead-up to Nigeria’s diamond anniversary celebrations —the country will clock 60 this October— Adenuga and some select great men who have made Nigeria proud would have a Federal Government-endorsed trans-generational book titled Nigeria@60: Foremost Nigerians of the Last 60 years dedicated to their industry and patriotism. The new book, authored by celebrity journalist and entrepreneur, Lanre Alfred, highlights the impacts of Adenuga and other titans of Corporate Nigeria —past and present— who have made such good use of the independence to do business that the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides its citizens. Alfred said the book is especially dedicated to this self-effacing tycoon popularly called ‘The Bull’ as a “homage to his humanity and relentless strides at rewriting the African business narrative; for standing tall and wading through odds with the courage of a knight and confidence of a champion.”
Hugely successful, yet, affectionately humble, the Globacom chairman is one of those risk-taking individuals that toe new paths rather than the easier route of accepted success. Adenuga, a Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON, Nigeria’s second highest honour, has proven over time that he possesses quality of constant invention and self-improvement that has earned him worldwide acclaim and prosperity. “Adenuga does not believe in impossibilities. With just tenacity of purpose and a terrier devotion to his dreams, he bestrides, successfully, the gap between creativity and commerce. He started from the scratch, but kept his nose to the grindstone and has turned many seemingly insignificant ideas into behemoth industries,” the author wrote about the wealthy tycoon. In a country dogged by human and infrastructural lapses, Adenuga’s humanity and entrepreneurial ingenuity nourish the glands of kith and kin even as his genius oils the wheels of industry. Unlike the proverbial warrior who loves to sing the song of his own deeds and derring-do, Adenuga, remains impressively humble and immune to conceit, treading a rare path to acclaim. The story of his Globacom —and how it has survived myriad of odds including a hostile economy, harsh government policies and competition— remains his magnum opus. Glo —a proudly Nigerian company with the wellbeing of Nigerians as the core of its business principle— has positively impacted on the lives of Nigerians. The telecoms giant gives many uncut brains a platform to harness their talents through its reality television shows while gifting hundreds of lucky subscribers life-changing prizes through its promos and providing direct and indirect employment to millions of Nigerians. In the intervening years, Globacom has made home-grown stars from the entertainment industry the faces (ambassadors) of its brand, while making them worth their popularity in affluence and influence. “In an era beleaguered by the infamy of the human species, Adenuga’s handiwork unfurls as an undying tribute to mankind’s better nature. He challenged resolve with steely grit and exploited the arduous planes of ambition and toil, till he encountered grandeur at the crossroads where wild contemplation and hard work morph into triumph,” explained Alfred, who has also authored among others three coffee table books including Titans…The Amazing Exploits of Nigeria’s Greatest Achievers and Highlife – Lifestyles of Nigeria’s Rich and Famous.
Adenuga, 67, is a self-made billionaire who built a fortune through hard work, great investments and strategic positioning. He made a colossal fortune in the 1990s through oil exploration and importation. He has since grown phenomenally with interests in banking, energy, telecommunication, oil exploration, aviation, construction and real estate. Forbes, in its last release, estimated Adenuga’s net worth at $5.6 billion and ranked him 286th on the global wealthiest list and the third richest African in 2020.
Spotlight learnt that many business and political leaders have expressed delight with the dedication of the new book to Adenuga who they acknowledged has successfully turned generosity, excellence and humaneness into an art form. The book —endorsed by the Federal Government through the National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC and Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation— will be launched and presented to the public in October to commemorate the 60th independence anniversary of Nigeria.