10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Mike Adenuga’

Chief Dr. Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr, better known as Mike Adenuga, is a renowned Nigerian business tycoon. Most famous for being the founder and chairman of Globacom, Adenuga’s business interests extend to telecommunications, banking, and oil. With a net worth of over $7 billion, he is one of the wealthiest people in Africa. Despite his fame and wealth, there are a few interesting facts about Mike Adenuga that remain relatively unknown. Here are ten things about Mike Adenuga you probably didn’t know.

1. He Started Earning at a Young Age

Before becoming a billionaire, Mike Adenuga had humble beginnings. His entrepreneurial spirit shone at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver and security guard during his university days. While studying in America, he worked to fund his education and also to support his family financially. This enrooted a strong work ethic that would later pave the way to his success in diverse industries.

Adenuga’s taxi driving shifts helped him learn vital lessons about business and life. These early jobs helped shape his grit, tenacity and dedication to work which would later be evident in his business ventures.

2. He Founded Nigeria’s Second-largest Telecom Operator

Mike Adenuga is the founder of Globacom, Nigeria’s second-largest telecom operator, with more than 50 million subscribers and operations in Ghana and Benin. The company was founded in 2003, and it became the first sole company to build a high-sea submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.

With Globacom, he pioneered the introduction of per second billing of telephone calls in Nigeria, a move which was initially argued to be impossible by dominant operators. This revolutionized the mobile telecoms industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

3. He Survived a Near Kidnap Experience

Mike Adenuga’s son, Paddy Adenuga, once shared an alarming event where his father was almost kidnapped. His status as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men made him a target for criminal elements. The whole experience shook the family, proving that immense wealth also comes with its security challenges.

Today, it’s known that Adenuga has robust security measures, ensuring the safety of himself and his family. Despite the threats, he continues to work diligently on his businesses and philanthropic activities.

4. Inside His Oil Business: Conoil Producing

Before his telecoms breakthrough, Adenuga ventured into the oil industry in 1990 under the name Consolidated Oil. His company was the first indigenous oil company to strike oil in commercial quantities in Nigeria. Today, his company – Conoil Producing, is one of the largest oil exploration companies in Nigeria with a production capacity in excess of 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

Conoil has six oil blocks in Nigeria and contributes significantly to the country’s oil production, economy, and Adenuga’s wealth.

5. Adenuga’s Philanthropic Activities

Adenuga is not just a businessman but also a philanthropist. He has donated generously to various causes, with a focus on education and health. He has reportedly donated millions of dollars to numerous educational institutions and medical facilities across Nigeria.

Through his Mike Adenuga Foundation, he supports a wide array of causes including child welfare, women and girl-child empowerment, and community development. He recognizes that wealth is not just for self-gratification, but also to improve the lives of others, especially the less privileged.

6. His Privacy Is Paramount

Despite his high profile status, Mike Adenuga values his privacy. He champions a low-key lifestyle and rarely makes public appearances. This privacy extends to his family too, who are often away from public attention.

Adenuga’s preference for discretion often sparks curiosity, but it’s clear that he prioritizes peace and tranquility, appreciating the calmness that comes with living privately.

7. He’s Received Numerous Honours and Awards

Adenuga’s contributions to Nigeria’s economic development have earned him numerous awards and honors both at the local and international level. He was the recipient of Ghana’s highest honor, the Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG) in 2018. He was also conferred the title of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) in Nigeria in 2012.

These are but a few of the numerous recognitions and awards given to him in acknowledgment of his contributions in various sectors. His work continues to influence, impact and inspire many in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

8. He’s a Family Man

Mike Adenuga is a proud father of seven children, all of whom have grown up to become successful in their respective fields. Despite his busy schedule and wealth, he has always been involved in his children’s lives, providing them with guidance, support, and motivation.

His children, while influential in their own right, are known for maintaining a low-profile, following in their father’s footsteps when it comes to valuing privacy.

9. He’s a Self-Made Billionaire

Adenuga made his first million as a student in America, selling laces and distributing fizzy drinks. His hustle, determination, and savvy business dealings in industries ranging from telecommunications to oil have led him to become one of Africa’s richest individuals.

Unlike other wealthy figures, Adenuga’s wealth is entirely self-made, a testament to his business acumen, tenacity, and resilience.

10. His Residence in Lagos is a Landmark

Adenuga’s residence in Lagos, known as the “Gold digger’s den” is often referred to as a landmark. The multimillion-dollar residence is one of the most flamboyant and biggest in Nigeria. Not only is it a symbol of his wealth, but it’s also a representation of Nigerian opulence and luxury.

With its impressive architecture and stunning interior design, this mansion is a dream come true for any fan of luxury living.


Mike Adenuga’s journey is an inspiring testament of what hard work, tenacity, and determination can achieve. From driving taxis to being a billionaire business mogul, his life teaches us that with the right mindset, we too can reach the pinnacles of success.

Further Reading and Sources

Forbes Profile – Mike Adenuga

Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index – Mike Adenuga

The Guardian Nigeria – Mike Adenuga News

Mike Adenuga Foundation

Globacom Limited

Conoil Producing Ltd