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Adenuga @ 70: His benevolence and Globacom’s life touching empowerment

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THOMAS IMONIKHE

 

For Dr. Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr, GCON, who clocks three scores and ten on April 29, his life journey has been that of great fulfillment, great service to his Creator and uplifting humanity as a whole. This is not surprising given his grass-to-grace experience to the pinnacle of diverse businesses where he currently calls the shots.

 

An exceptional business mogul, industrialist, philanthropist and workaholic, truly, the Chairman of the telecommunications giant, Globacom’s generosity is astonishing but not surprising since it is borne out of a spiritual guiding philosophy, he expressed thus, “If God has given you this kind of resources (wealth), it is not for you and your family alone”.

 

But many of his peers do not agree with such a disposition. In other words, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr derives utmost joy in alleviating poverty, especially when he sends his emissaries to identify and rehabilitate Nigerians whose predicaments caught his attention, creating thousands of jobs for the unemployed through his chain of businesses and more importantly empowering many individuals to establish their enterprises rather than doling out fish to them.

 

Similarly, he relishes facilitating empowerment promotions through, his companies regularly giving out valuable prizes like houses, cars, tricycles, huge sums of money and tools of trade such as sewing machines among others. For example, Globacom’s legacy of empowering its subscribers under various promotional schemes over the years had largely transformed the lives of many under privileged members of society majority of whom have sweet tales to tell.

 

According to a limb-impaired construction technician in Onitsha, a beneficiary of the recently concluded Glo Festival of Joy promo, a 30-year-old Chukwuemeka Chikezie, life instantly turned on a happy rebound when he became the owner of a brand new car, courtesy of the telecommunications giant.

 

Recall that the physically challenged man reportedly lost the use of his left arm as a result of a job-related mishap he suffered in 2019 and to further compound his woes, lost his father in the wake of the unfortunate accident. Notwithstanding this double jeopardy, Chukwuemeka however, steely resolved never to become a burden unto the society, not beg for alms but determined to succeed in life.

 

Fortunately, he was among the scores of winners who emerged in the Onitsha edition of Globacom’s customer reward promo smiling home with a brand new Kia Car, while others got houses, power generating sets, sewing machines, rechargeable fans amongst other gifts across the major cities of the country including Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Ibadan.

 

Though Otunba Adenuga presides over a business empire comprising, Conoil Producing, Conoil Plc, Cobblestone Properties& Estate and has controlling shares in Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the Ogun State-born billionaire effectively shot into the national and perhaps global limelight with the establishment of Globacom telecommunications giant on29 August 2003 and the subsequent introduction of per second billing by the company.

 

The enigma had blazed the trail in the budding sector when he founded the first fully owned Nigerian telecommunication brand to be launched after two foreign brands licensed by the federal government to operate the Global System for Mobile Communications, GSM, had the privilege of a two-year head start. Truly Globacom came with innovation and a bang complemented by its Per-Second Billing system which instantly won the hearts of most Nigerians, who were told before then that such billing was a taboo in the telecom market. This incredible feat also earned the Chairman the name Gamechanger in the industry.

 

The company since then has grown by leaps and bounds. Asat the last quarter of 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Globacom which has Mrs. Bella Disu, (Adenuga’s daughter) as Executive Vice Chairman accounted for 43million out of a total number 154.8million Internet subscribers and a 60million of active voices subscribers of 222.6million recorded nationwide, during the period, which is a clear testament of the tremendous positive impact made by the company under 20years of existence.

 

Consequently, interrogating the strings of successes pulled by the companies owned by Bullas he is also known, as one who is quick to spot and convert business opportunities, therefore requires that one review his work ethic for budding professionals and those who look up to him as their perfect role model to learn some hard lessons moving forward.

 

According to the leading  Nigerian and African business icon, there is no quick fix to success in life maintaining that, “The harder you work, the luckier you get’’ which contrasts sharply with the get rich quick at all cost syndrome of most of our teeming unemployed and working youths today, a mindset that continues to drive hundreds to seek greener pastures abroad.

 

Again, unknown to many, Adenuga, who early in life imbibed the virtues of humility, diligence, integrity, perseverance, hard work and fear of God since he wasn’t born with a silver spoon, consistently burning the midnight oil before attaining huge successes in his chosen endeavors, should serve as a perfect role model to Nigerian youths today striving for a breakthrough in their vocations. To a large extent also, his disciplined upbringing further explains why despite his amazing generosity, he doesn’t hesitate to demand accountability and make people, among them his erstwhile private secretary account for their misdeeds any time.

 

Currently ranked the third richest person in Nigeria coming behind Aliko Dangote and Abdul Samad Rabiu, by Forbes and with an estimated net worth of $6.1 billion as of April 2023, Adenuga Jr, going by the tremendous growth attained by his businesses in the past few decades, has not only demonstrated his abiding faith in social, economic and technological development of Nigeria but proven to all that the black man can hold his head high in any chosen career and still play by the global best practices.

 

Born 29 April 1953 to Oloye Michael Agbolade Adenuga Sr, who was a school teacher and Omoba (Princess) Juliana Oyindamola Adenuga (née Onashile, of Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo), in Ogun State, a businesswoman of royal Ijebu descent, Adenuga attended Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan, in Oyo State and Comprehensive High School, Aiyetoro, in Ogun State for his Higher School Certificate (HSC).

 

But his thirst for higher education and the proverbial greener pasture saw him leaving the shores of Nigeria for the United States of America,

USA where as a student there, it is on record that he worked as a taxi driver to help fund his varsity education. He graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University and Pace University, New York, with degrees in Business Administration and upon his return to his fatherland, he joined the unpredictable and often challenging world of business where he has towered among his peers, creating jobs for thousands and boosting the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

 

A cultural ambassador and Africa’s pillar of sports and entertainment, the business mogul’s unprecedented numerous attainments across diverse fields have been appreciated not only at home but globally. For example, he was honoured with the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), the nation’s second highest national honour usually conferred only on Vice Presidents and Chief Justices of Nigeria, CJN, Ghana’s highest civil award, the Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG) and the African Entrepreneur of The Year at the first African Telecoms Awards (ATA) in August 2007.

 

It is also noteworthy that the Digital Guru has been honored with France’s highest national award of Commander of the Legion of Honour by the incumbent French President, Emmanuel Macron, who rated Adenuga as “a true role model for Africa” and one with “incomparable spirit of an entrepreneur, tenacity and ability to think out of the box” even as he eulogized the latter’s profound contribution to the growth of both African and French economies as well as for the promotion of the French language and culture particularly the Alliance Française project in Nigeria.

 

Dr. Adenuga Jr holds a Yoruba chieftaincy title of the Otunba Apesin of the Ijebu clan in Ogun State and he is happily married with children. As the visionary, philosopher and renowned business icon celebrates his 70th birthday anniversary on Saturday, April 29, this writer and the entire Management and Staff of Champion Newspapers join other teeming Nigerians and his admirers to wish him a happy birthday and sound health.

 

 

 

For a better society

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