Richest men in Nigeria
Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga was born into the family of Mr. Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Sr, a schoolteacher, 63 years ago. His mother is Mrs. Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga, a businesswoman of royal Ijebu descent. He hails from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State in southwestern Nigeria. The business tycoon grew up under the tutelage of his late mother, a shrewd businesswoman by all yardsticks, whose business acumen he is said to have inherited.
You may admire his wealth and splendor now, but Mr. Adenuga didn’t have it all smooth and sail. He has had to work as a cab driver and a security guard so he could afford to pay his tuition. He has a degree in business administration from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and an MBA in marketing from Pace University in New York.
He took over the running of his father’s sawmill business when he returned from the US and later went into commodity trading in 1970. Mike proved his ability to recognize an opportunity when he started importing car stereos from the US and Austria at the age of 22 owing to its scarcity and widespread theft. He made his first million at the age of 26.
He received a banking license and incorporated Devcom Bank in June, 1989, with the bank commencing operation in the same year. He later received another license and incorporated another bank, Equatorial Trust Bank. Both banks merged into Equatorial Trust Bank a few years later.
In 1990, he received a drilling license, and in 1991, his company, Consolidated Oil, became the first indigenous company to discover oil in commercial quantities when it found oil in the shallow waters of Ondo State.
He was issued a conditional GSM license in 1999. He later received another license in 2003 after the first issue was revoked. Mike later admitted that the cancellation of the most difficult moments that he has faced. His company, Global Communication Limited, the only indigenous telecom company to date, was the first to introduce the Per Second Billing System, after it competitor, MTN had said that implementing the system was nearly impossible to achieve. Globacom has since become the official sponsor of the Nigerian Football League. He has also won the marketing rights as the nation’s national carrier for the Confederation of African Football awards, further cementing Adenuga’s place as one of the nation’s top businessmen.
In 2009, Mr. Adenuga was arraigned for money laundering by the officials of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). He fled the country and lived in the United Kingdom until the Yar’Adua administration granted him a presidential pardon.
- Ibadan Grammar School
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University
- Pace University
Net worth: $11.4 billion (April 2016)
Foundation or organization founded:
- Globacom Nigeria
- Consolidated Oil and Gas (Conoil)
- Equatorial Trust Bank
- CEO of the year (awarded by Thisday, 2004)
- African Entrepreneur of the Year (awarded by ATA, 2007)
- Man of the year (awarded by NITTA, 2007)
- Pillar of Sports (awarded by CAF, 2007)
- Silverbird Man of the Year (Silverbird Group, 2010)