Dr. Mike Adenuga @71: Happy Birthday, “Mr. Per Second”


Dr. Michael Ishola Adenuga, a businessman par excellence and Chairman of Globacom, Conoil and other top businesses around the Globe is 71. Happy Birthday to the man made of Gold. An iconoclast and clairvoyant personality who sees tomorrow and prepares well in advance.

The bull as he is fondly called started early and was able to conquer the world of business at a very early age.

For a man who owned two top banks: Equatorial Trust and Devcom by mid-thirties he must surely be determined from onset, especially after his education in the United States of America where he obtained first and second degrees in Business Administration.

A tenacious and resourceful businessman, Adenuga ensures that he personally administers all his companies with utmost efficiency and they all became successful over the years.

Glo subsequently rolled out services in 2003 with panache. While other networks, which started operations about two years earlier, claimed that “per second billing” was impossible, Adenuga proved the doubting Thomas wrong with Glo entering the market in a grand style and offering Nigerians the elusive per second package and eventually forcing other networks to follow suit to the delight of millions of Nigerians.

In 20 years and under Adenuga‘s astute leadership Globacom has achieved a lot and also contributed immensely to the development of the nation’s telecommunications’ industry. Some of them include:

Glo disrupted the industry by crashing the price of SIM cards thus making telephone accessible to millions of Nigerians. Before Globacom launched its services, GSM SIMs were selling for between N20, 000 and N25, 000. Glo brought this down to N6, 999 and later to N100.

Committed to uplifting and empowering the greatest number of Nigerians, Globacom made sure subscribers no longer paid N50 per minute for calls. Glo crashed the tariff to as low as 1kobo per second.

Glo recorded another milestone as the first network in Nigeria to launch the 2.5G GPRS technology thus enabling multimedia convergence. This made it possible for subscribers to share pictures, audio and video for the first time in Nigeria. It was also the first company to launch nationwide 4G/LTE technology in Nigeria. This has led to ultra-fast and reliable data service on the network, thus earning it the sobriquet, The Grandmasters of Data.

In addition, it pioneered Blackberry services which supports push button e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, web browsing and other wireless information services, as well as pioneering a lot of innovations in the Nigerian telecommunication sector that included Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) and International MMS; pioneered Mobile Banking; first to launch Mobile internet service; pioneered Vehicle tracking; first to Launch Prepaid Roaming and first to launch In-Flight Roaming.

The company was also the first operator to launch 3G Plus services which in addition to giving customers high- speed mobile internet access, allowed them to do video calls and video streaming on their 3G mobile handset. It also offers other advanced mobile services such as Video Greeting Kiosk, Video Mailbox, Video conferencing on both Phones and PCs and so many other services

To address Africa’s bandwidth deficit and in order to provide enough capacity for the region, Glo became the first African telecom company to single handedly build an international submarine cable.Glo-1, connecting thousands of kilometers of national fibres to all parts of Nigeria and neighboring landlocked countries across Africa to the world.

In 20 years, the company has emerged the biggest promoter of African football. For many years, it sponsored the Premier League, the Super Eagles and the NFF as well as other national teams, the Supporters Club, Glo CAF Awards and Glo Soccer Academy among others.

In addition, Glo has a unique brand strategy of supporting cultural festivals and initiatives, Glo has emerged the biggest corporate supporter of Nigerian arts and culture with its sponsorship of the Ojude Oba, Lisabi, Ofala festivals, amongst others.

Glo currently has about fifty five million subscribers including multinational corporations, decision makers in the public and private sector, students, artisans and those in rural communities. These subscribers are enjoying access to high quality products and affordable telecom services.

Glo and other companies in the MA Group are providing Nigerians with employment while Dr. Adenuga’s unrivalled philanthropy is empowering Nigerians as well.

For sure, Nigerians would continue to enjoy endless benefits under the people’s billionaire, Dr. Mike Adenuga jr.

This is wishing the Chairman many more years ahead.

Adeleke is an Abuja –based Communication Consultant