60 secret facts you don’t know about Mike Adenuga Jnr. | ….Does Voice over commercial for his Glo brand + 59 other secrets

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Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. With him, there is nothing like 'Impossibility'

  • ¨    Best confidant is Aunty Nora, his Sierraleonian Secretary
  • ¨     His Dad (Mike Adenuga Snr.) was a Teacher
  • ¨     Dad died of Motor Accident
  • ¨     He is the youngest of Parent’s 5 kids
  • ¨     Dad gave him his own name despite not being 1st child
  • ¨     1st child to be named by dad as against his 4 elder siblings named by grand dad
  • ¨     Worked & Lived in Lagos with aunt as kid
  • ¨     Sold Ogi by products in Ibaban as a kid
  • ¨     Attended Ibadan Grammar School

  • ¨     Mum, Oyindamola was a stream stress by training
  • ¨     Got his first degree @ NWOSU
  • ¨     Once worked as Security Guard, Waiter & Driver in the US
  • ¨     Sold Commodities @ age 20
  • ¨     Sold Military Wares @ age 22
  • ¨     Hits Jackpot through IBB’s policy @ age 37
  • ¨     Made first real breakthrough in Ondo State @ 40
  • ¨     Named his first oil well after second daughter, Bella
  • ¨     Owns Nigeria’s largest Indigenous oil company
  • ¨     Loves holding his chaplet @ Public functions
  • ¨     Only granted interview once to a defunct magazine
  • ¨     Had his telecoms company, Glo @ age 50
  • ¨     Lost $20 million dollars in his first telecommunication deal
  • ¨     First Nigerian to offer $200 million dollars for a deal
  • ¨     Does Radio & TV voice over jingles by himself for Glo
  • ¨     Has his Glo brand in 4 African countries
  • ¨     First African Entrepreneur to own a Private Submarine Cable
  • ¨     Nigerians thinks he fronts for ex-President IBB but he acts otherwise
  • ¨     Hates to share business with anybody
  • ¨     Described as Modern day Houdini
  • ¨     Loves to give charity secretly but hate being seeing publicly……
Dr. Mike Adenuga....Always in a Prayer mood with his chaplet
Preamble…
It is not every time that Ovation (An International Magazine) pays tribute to individuals. Here, we (The Magazine’s Management) play our own special kind of music which celebrates Africa and Africans, but in many cases, we allow the events, the pictures and the people themselves tell the story.
But when you find someone remarkable, a hardworking risk-taker, a towering symbol of enterprise, an undisputed game changer, someone who is passionate about African economic independence, someone whose business philosophy is based on touching and affecting as many lives as possible, then it is necessary to do a re-think, press the pause button, change the music and pay homage-and that is what we are doing on this occasion for a great son of Africa—Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. As he turns 60! (Few Years ago)
Who is Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr? Not very many people would be competent or confident enough to answer that question because Adenuga is a complex puzzle, difficult to understand and mysterious. Simply put an enigma, a spirit and modern day Houdini who has perfected the art of escaping from people!
Apart from his close family members, the only competent person who can deconstruct his life is none other than his age-long Secretary, the Sierra Leonean fondly called Aunty Nora. Aunty Nora has been handling his affairs business and private, for decades. Therefore, many of the so-called intimate tit-bits you read about him are tales woven in the realm of conjecture.
Trust me, his life may seem boring, but that is far from the truth. He has witnessed so many twists and turns. And in actual fact, his life has been as action-packed as a Chinese film. Just read on.
Born on April 29, 1953, in Ibadan to Chief Michael Agbolade Adenuga Snr, a teacher from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun state (South West Nigeria) and Chief (Mrs.) Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga, Dr. Michael Adenuga is the youngest of his parent’s children.
In African culture, when a baby is born, his names are thoroughly thought through. They are very significant because names are said to guide the child and even have a great impact on the child’s life. And this is very true in the case of Adenuga.
Dr. Mike Adenuga & Wife, Titi greeting Ovation International Magazine Publisher, Basorun (Dr.) Dele Momodu
The Story of his birth & mystery of his name
At birth, his official name was Michael. He was given the same name as his father despite not being the first child. We gathered that unlike his siblings who were all named by their grandfather, he was named by his father. That was providence in action and sure sign that he was a child of destiny.
For those who don’t know, his name Michael means No one is like God and Adenuga has realized this from way back. In an interview he granted Newswatch magazine, he revealed that God has played a key role in his life. Dr. Adenuga boldly attributes his success to hard work, God’s blessing and luck.
He revealed how he grew up in a very strict, disciplined and God fearing home. It is no surprise therefore that today, he never leaves home without his chaplet and even at public functions, he is seen mediating and whispering prayers.
Dr. Mike Adenuga grew up in Ibadan, but his first few years were spent in Lagos with his aunt when his parent travelled to the United Kingdom for studies. He attended famous Ibadan Grammar School and his classmates all remember him for his numerous adventures.
Despite not coming from a poor home, his parents ingrained in him the values of humility, sacrifice and back-breaking hard work. Key to his upbringing was the business acumen of his mother. She was a Seamstress and Trader, who traded in any and everything.
Each time she had a new venture, the children had to participate. Adenuga at a point in time sold animal feed, by-products from the corn meal used from making ogi  (pap). Unknown to her, the business student she was nurturing was a very fast learner and in actual fact she was about to unleash a raging mogul on the world.
Dr. Mike Adenuga is not your run-of-the-mill overnight wealthy individual. He was rich long before he became known to the public, long before his now famous brand Globacom. In actual fact he has been gradually laying his building of success, one brick at a time.

“Mike lost $20 million, but he never lost hope. He never gave up. He kept hope alive; that is one thing about my brother: he is an eternal optimist. Something kept propelling him not to give up on the matter”

When Henry Long fellow wrote; “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they while their companion slept were toiling upward in the night”.
He was indeed referring to Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr....The Man with so many mysteries
Mike the working student (Academic gut)…
Adenuga has proven time and time again that he has the drive, ideas and tenacity to turn challenges into opportunities. As a student in the United States of America, (He studied Business Administration at North Western Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) and later got an MBA from Pace University, (New York), he worked at various times as cab driver, waiter and security man.
After his studies, he had saved up some money of his own, he added this with some contribution from his mother and dabbled into trading—buying commodities from America and selling in Nigeria.
Mike the man of commodity (Biz Acumen)…
By the age of 22, he was on a roll. Like his role model, mentor and mother, whom he loves to bits, Adenuga had become a full-time trader. He sold everything from Tomato puree; sawmill equipments, electronics, automobiles, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and later military hard ware.
That was not all, he also delved into textiles. In that famous interview in Newswatch, Adenuga revealed how he entered the textiles trade.
“I went on a trip to New York and when I was coming back, I missed my flight, being on British Airways, so I had to fly Swiss Air and I sat next to the owner of one of the biggest lace manufacturing factories in Austria. So, we were talking and he got me interested in importing laces, and all sorts of things”.
Unlike many rich men, as his success grew, the more humble the African Business Icon became.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. with Afrojuju Music Creator, Sir Shina Peters with Mrs. Ahmadu Ali & Mrs. Nduka Irabor
Mike the humble Giant…(His Character trait)
Talking about his humility, before you shake his baby-soft hands, Adenuga usually greets you with a bow. It is not because he is not confident; it is just the way he was brought up. To give everyone their due respect.
This unassuming attitude endeared him to many older men. Many who have now become his inner circle of friends and have helped to shape his life.
Now blessed with some financial freedom, he was constantly looking for new terrains to conquer and greater challengers to surmount and it came in form of a rare pronouncement in 1990 by the then Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida through a Petroleum Act that granted oil exploration and exploitation licenses to Nigerians.
Adenuga was one of the lucky few. He was young and ambitious, and saw the bigger picture. While others were still contemplating what to do, Adenuga has begun to put machinery in motion.
But as usual, he first had to confer with his mother. She was very skeptical. She was scared that this was a turf he knew little about and that the capital required was huge. For the second time, (The first being when he went to study abroad instead of the University of Ibadan), he defied his sweet mother.
It was not a happy moment for him but as someone who knows the cardinal rule of business: the bigger the risk, the sweeter the victory, his mind was made up.
So he set to work on OPL 113. He engaged only Nigerian oil experts, hired a $5million oil rig, and nine months later, on Christmas Eve of 1991, his oil well, Bella I located offshore in Ondo State struck oil!
It was an emotional and historic moment as his company Consolidated Oil became the first indigenous oil producing company in Nigeria.
His excitement that day knew no bounds and one of the very first people he called to break the good news was of course his mother “Maami, we have found oil” he reportedly screamed in excitement with tears of joy rolling down the corners of his eyes.
That adventure has made him through and through an oil baron because his company, Conoil Producing Limited is the largest indigenous oil production company in Nigeria. While Conoil Plc which was previously government owned—National Oil and Chemical Marketing (NOLCHEM) Plc is one of the largest petroleum marketing companies in Nigeria.
Adenuga was now in the real big league, and stories began to make the rounds about the source of his wealth and that was probably why he decided to do the Newswatch interview to put his wealth into perspective and stop the warped rumors.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. (R) with ex-President John Agyekum Kufour of Ghana (L) and a guest
His ‘most difficult’ breakthrough…
The next great business achievement was not single-handedly establishing two banks: Devcom Merchant and Equitorial Trust Bank (Now Sterling Bank), it was the arrival of Globacom.
Globacom is another evidence of Adenuga’s never-say-die spirit. He showed with Globacom that failure is not final but only an avenue to show your inner strength and strong will.
Richard DeVos, the American millionaire and owner of Orlando Magic basketball team said about success “The only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try it and the faith to believe it is possible”
This point was supported by Orison Swett Marden, Author and Founder of the Success Magazine, who said “Great men have found no royal road to their triumph. It is always the old route by way of industry and perseverance” Globacom is a symbol of Adenuga’s perseverance and his entrepreneurial acumen.
His venture into the telecoms industry was tortuous. In 2001, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) announced that Nigeria was ready to auction Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) licenses and called for bids.
At the end of the process, four companies including Adenuga’s Communication Investment Limited (CIL) were declared winners. Immediately, everyone had to make a mandatory $20m (Twenty Million dollars) payment and then pay the $265 Million (Two Hundred and sixty-five million US dollars) license fee in 14 days.
While Adenuga was in the process of effecting payment, his technical team discovered a problem. He had been allocated a license that was in dispute. He was now in a dilemma, should he pay such a huge amount for a venture that was a subject of litigation or withdraw?
The Lion-hearted Adenuga decided to make payment but with condition. The government later announced that CIL had failed to meet the deadline—and his license was revoked.
Dr. Mike Adenuga with late Stephen Keshi & Joseph Yobo as PILLAR OF SPORTS
Mike Jituboh, Globacom’s Executive director, Special Projects who led the CIL team to the 3-day GSM Auctions on January 17, 2001 at the Nicon Hilton Hotel Abuja recollected the painful incident as published by the Technology Times Nigeria.
Jituboh revealed, “A day after winning one of the three GSM licenses, a CIL team led by Dr. Adenuga headed for Paris for negotiations with BNP Paribas. After several days of protracted negotiations, agreements were reached on the terms and condition for a loan facility of $265 million for paying the balance of the GSM license. The deadline for making payments was 5pm of 9th February 2001 and on the fateful day all was set for a transfer by swift instruction when word came in from our colleagues in Lagos that the frequency allocated to CIL was the same frequency that had been allocated to and being used by Motophone. The later was in court to challenge the government’s withdrawal of her frequency”.
According to the Globacom Director, the CIL team faced a debacle that needed quick and decisive action in the light of the fact that its assigned frequency spectrum was under litigation form Motophone owned by the Chagouris and the dilemma of meeting  the strict deadline for the provisional license assigned by NCC, the telecoms regulator that auctioned the spectrum.
“With its assigned frequency under litigation and the deadline for payment approaching, we had to decide whether or not to pay the huge sum of $265 and hope that Motorphone’s litigation would not end up ensnaring both the money and our ambitious plan, of establishing one of the biggest and best telecommunications network in the world. With no time left to resolve the matter with the government before making payment, we decided to make payment with condition that the money should be released after government gives CIL an indemnity to cover the possibility of Motophone winning its suit and retaining the litigious frequency”.
“Consequently payment of $265 million was made by BNP Paribas before the deadline hour on 9th February 2001 directly to the designated account at JP Morgan, New York, along with the aforementioned condition”.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. The ex-taxi driver who became a billionaire
“As most Nigerians will recall, the government rejected the condition that was placed on the payment and cancelled the CIL license. The government refused all entreaties and the funds were ultimately returned to BNP Paribas! That explanation puts paid to the story that made the rounds at that time that Adenuga could not raise the required funds”.
His elder brother, Otunba Ademola Adenuga had this to say about that setback “Mike lost $20 million, but he never lost hope. He never gave up. He kept hope alive; that is one thing about my brother: he is an eternal optimist. Something kept propelling him not to give up on the matter.”
And like the dogged fighter that he is, Dr. Adenuga took that upper cut firmly on the chin, brushed it aside and went on. That was on February 9, 2001.
Another $20 Million Dolars at Stake
In August 2002, the government again decided to auction another license; this was by all ramifications a bigger pie: The Second National Operator (SNO). The license entitles the winner to operate a GSM and fixed wireless service as well as have data technology.
The NNC had pegged the reserved price for the SNO license at 200 Million US dollars (Two hundred million Dollars) Ominitel Nigeria Ltd, AFZI (Telecommunications) Ltd, Renic Investment Ltd and Globacom were short-listed and were to pay the mandatory reserved price of $20 million. Only Globacom met the deadline-and it later paid the remaining $180 million and thus, Adenuga’s Globacom was born.
Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. (The Man who can call you but you cannot call him)
Odd things Mike Adenuga does for Glo
Through Globacom, Dr. Adenuga is propagating his philosophies of life to the African continent.  Glo has taught us to ‘glo with pride’. It has encouraged us to rule our world. Now, it is propelling us to believe that opportunities for success on earth are UNLIMITED”. Interestingly, it is said that the billionaire sometimes personally voice some of the Glo commercials, a testimony of his commitment to the cause.
The Glo of Africa continent…
Apart from spreading these messages of hope, Glo which aims to become one for the world’s leading telecommunication network has been spreading smiles and good fortune.
In Nigeria for example, Globacom is described as the company that democratized the telecoms sector through it’s per second billing technology in addition to its other innovative and value-added services.
Dr. Mike Adenuga with Isah Hayaotu of Confederation of African Football (L) and others
Globacom which now operates in Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire is making giant strides. It is affecting lives positively, giving more people the opportunity to connect, employing and creating jobs fort thousands. The company’s huge support for sports and entertainment has led to a major revolution in Africa.
Ovation Reporter’s Testimony
In 2008, this reporter (Ovation Correspondent) was at the launch of Globacom Service in Cotonou, Benin Republic. And witnessed first –hand the magical effect of Glo. The vibe in the city that day was gripping.
“Before the official event”, the reporter narrated “I decide to feel the town and was awe-struck by the scenes. At the main Glo retail outlet, in the heart of the city, the queue was as long as the eye could see. You would think that people were waiting to enter a football stadium. That is the type of effect Glo has had on Africa. It is a people-centered network” the Ovation reporter noted
Dr. Mike Adenuga being confered with his Grand Commander of the Order of Niger (GCON) title by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan
And the Glo-1 Submarine Cable…
Another major achievement of the company is the 9,800 km Glo-1 submarine cable. Glo-1 is the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria, and Globacom is the first individual African company to embark on such a project.
Glo-1 is helping to provide high speed internet series, faster, more reliable and cheaper telecom service for the public.
Dr. Mike Adenuga with two of his star kids, Paddy & Bella  with other staff of Glo
The IBB theory
Despite his exploits in business, the Guru as some call him is still a subject of heavy rumors by doubting Thomases who say he is fronting for some imaginary people (Including ex-President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida)
“I am sure the business mogul with a combustive temper, would explode in the face of any who dares say such a thing in his presence because those who know, reveal that Adenuga never enters into partnership. He is a one man riot squad”. The Ovation reporter explained
“He likes to be the main man, the conductor of the orchestra, and has his own peculiar set of rules. In all the business ventures he is involved in, he reports to no one except God Almighty. 

(Read Part 2 titled “Real reason why Mike Adenuga stopped attending Public functions” & 30 more secrets you never heard about him on Asabeafrika shortly)

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