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Mike Adenuga bounces back, regains position as Nigeria’s second-richest man


Nigerian billionaire, Mike Adenuga, has regained the position of Nigeria’s second-richest person with a net worth of $7.4 billion, surpassing Abdul Samad Rabiu, who is now in the third position.

Forbes re-evaluated the worth of Adenuga’s mobile phone network, Globacom, contributing to the surge in his wealth. Initially, Adenuga had slipped to the third position due to a considerable drop in his net worth. However, the recent reassessment by Forbes restored him to the second-richest position in Nigeria, just behind Aliko Dangote.

Earlier in June 2023, Adenuga faced a significant decline in net worth, dropping to $3.6 billion, influenced by factors such as the unification of the naira and a downturn in the performance of his stake in Conoil.

Chairman of Conoil and founder of Globacom, Adenuga’s net worth has experienced fluctuations, reaching $7.3 billion in 2022 and a peak of $10 billion in 2015.

Despite his billionaire status, Adenuga’s career has encountered challenges, including a recent partial disconnection of Globacom by MTN over interconnect debt.

Globacom Ltd. disputes any outstanding interconnect charges owed to MTN, asserting that the purported N1.6 billion had been paid without dispute.

Reflecting on 2006, Adenuga faced scrutiny from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a money laundering case, leading to his implication and detention. He chose to leave the country and reside in London until late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua granted him a pardon.

In June 2016, new challenges arose as Adenuga was pursued for a debt exceeding $140.5 million by foreign and local entities. Conoil, under Adenuga’s ownership, defaulted on payments to creditors, including Total. Another company, Bellbop, faced a court injunction for failing to settle a $9.4 million debt to Baker Hughes.

Adenuga’s financial struggles affected creditors, leading to operational issues for companies like Depthwize, a local oil servicing company, which had to lay off workers and suspend services on Conoil’s rigs due to a $40 million debt.

Despite challenges, Adenuga remains committed to philanthropy. The Mike Adenuga Foundation allocates nearly $20.5 million in scholarships and aid annually, supporting students worldwide. In 2011, he donated N500 million to aid flood victims in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adenuga contributed N1.5 billion towards virus-combatting efforts and donated $250,000 to Nigeria’s football team, the Super Eagles.


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