Biography of Mike Adenuga

How Mike Adenuga Made His First Million at 26 and His Entry Into Telecom Sector

Last updated on April 28th, 2022 at 09:17 am


Owner of Globacom and Chairman of Conoil Producing Limited, Mike Adenuga is a prominent Nigerian businessman. He used to be the second richest person in Nigeria until recently the founder of BUA Group dislodged him to third place on Nigeria’s billionaire list.


  • Full Name: Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr
  • Date of Birth: April 28, 1953
  • Home Town: Ijebu Igbo
  • State: Ogun
  • Wife: Titi Joyce Adenuga
  • Education: Pace University, Ibadan Grammar School

Born on the 29th of April 1953, to Oloye Michael Adenuga Snr and Omoba Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (née Onashile, of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo), his mother a businesswoman of royal Ijebu heritage, therefore it’s reasonable to assume that he has inherited her commercial acumen as well.


For his secondary school education, ‘John Bull’ as he is affectionately known attended Ibadan Grammar School before moving to Comprehensive High School Aiyetoro for his SSCE. Adenuga holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from North Western Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Pace University, New York.


Home Town of Adenuga

Some of the publications online claim that the Globacom founder hails from Ibadan, Oyo, this is not true. The Globacom founder hails from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, South-West geopolitical zone. The fact that he had his secondary school education in Ibadan doesn’t turn him into an Ibadan man.

Early Career

His career path was not as straightforward as one may imagine. As a cab driver in New York City, the then young Adenuga had to raise money for his university education.

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We might claim that fate had a hand in Mike’s success. The regime of Ibrahim Babangida introduced a policy through which he was granted a drilling licence to partake in Consolidated Oil discovered off the coast of Ondo state in the shallow seas around 1990.

Telecommunication Adventure

He spotted another possibility in Telecommunication and obtained a GSM license from the federal government in 1999. Today, Globalcom is one of Nigeria’s largest telecommunications companies with millions across Africa.

As of 2008, he expanded Globacom services in Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. However, he is currently actively pursuing further licenses in West African countries.

How He Made His First Million At 26

In 1979, at the age of 26, Adenuga made his first million-selling lace and distributing soft beverages, as simple as this sounds, that was what gave him his first millions.

To further his million journeys, after his company acquire the mining license, it was the first time an indigenous oil business will discover commercial quantities of crude in shallow seas of Southwestern Ondo State in 1991.

An auction in 2003 gave him another GSM licence after the first one he acquired in 1999 was revoked by the government.

From Benin through Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire to additional nations in West Africa, the company has expanded rapidly since it began offering services.

At the first African Telecoms Awards (ATA) in August 2007, he was awarded African Entrepreneur of the Year.

Comium Côte d’Ivoire, the Ivorian mobile telecom provider, was also acquired by Adenuga in May 2015 for $600 million.

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Business Empire:

Apart from his ownership of Conoil Producing Limited and Globacom (a major player in the African telecommunications market they offer services such as Glo Gateway, Glo Broad Access, Glo mobile, and Glo-1 coverage), he also owns shares in several companies within and outside Nigeria.

Philanthropic Gestures

Mike Adenuga tries to keep his good deeds to mankind a secret, but some of them are in the public domain and are implemented through the Mike Adenuga Foundation.

This foundation helps Nigeria and other African countries. In the aftermath of a devastating flood in Bayelsa, the foundation donated N500 million. The Glo founder also pumped in millions of naira into the sponsorship of the CAF Award. He also sponsors lots of sporting activities in Nigeria.

Recognition And Awards

As a telecom heavyweight in Africa, he has won more than five dozen of awards within and outside Nigeria, the biggest among the are:

  • African Entrepreneur of The Year at ATA in 2007
  • Grand commander of the order of Niger (GCON) in 2012
  • Commander of the Legion of Honour in 2018
  • Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG) in 2018
  • 100 distinguished and Eminent Nigerians Centenary Awards in 2018


Two international and one domestic creditor in 2021 sued conoil for a total debt of more than $140.5 million.

Several sources in the oil and gas industry report that despite several promises to pay, Mr Adenuga’s Conoil and other firms failed to make good on their obligations to do so. But we heard that the cases are being resolved out of court

Several of Mr Adenuga’s businesses have encountered tax troubles in the past because of the non-payment of $610 million in tax, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) shut Conoil and Continental Oil and Gas’ Lagos headquarters in 2009.

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In the past, FIRS sealed the Lagos headquarters of Globacom, the second-largest mobile phone firm in Nigeria, owned by the billionaire, for allegedly failing to submit Value Added Tax worth N24.3 billion.

In 2016 it was reported that his real estate business Covenant Apartments Complex Limited borrowed N2.4billion from Wema Bank.

Wife and children

The glo founder is married to Titi Joyce Adenuga. Their marriage is blessed. Adenuga scions are:

  • Paddy
  • Bella Disu,
  • Eniola
  • Adetutu Oyindamola Emilia,
  • Michael Babajide
  • Abimbola

Net Worth 

For several years, he ranked as the second richest person in Nigeria and top five on the African continent. But as of January 11, 2022, BusinessInsider reported that the founder of BUA Group Abdul Samad Rabiu dislodged the Glo founder to the third position.

At the time of this report, the net worth of Mike Adenuga was $6.7Billion (now $7.2 according to Forbes) while the owner of BUA was sitting on $7Billion (now $6.8 Billion). As such, Adenuga is the third richest man in Nigeria, according to the 2022 Forbes richest African list


Riches they say is relative, but when you are in search of very rich and prominent individuals in Nigeria and Africa, then we will not forget to mention Mike Adenuga of Globalcom. His company Globalcom has a presence in Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, and Ghana.

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  • By Independent Newspaper

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