•Why Globacom chairman excites the awe of global leaders
When a man is described as a respected entrepreneur extraordinaire, it is a no-brainer that he does big things quietly and makes bold moves without making a song and a dance of it. That is the way of Dr. Mike Ishola Adenuga Jnr. GCON, CSG, CLH. Spotting goldmine where many see landmines has set him apart from the crowd. Nigeria, and in fact Africa, is proud of him.
A multibillionaire businessman with a clear-cut vision, boundary-shoving commitment to birthing novel and noble ideas and passionate belief in the Nigerian dream, these are the ideals that have kept the chairman of Globacom alive and awake to the power and plausibility of his beliefs. Adenuga is a man perpetually in his element; his strides are blooming into peerless vistas and echoes of his attainments resound across the business and social firmament, like the silky-smooth refrain of a grand opera. His brilliance and lofty skills continually avails him leverage as the mythical magic carpet perfects the flight of the fabled Aladdin.
However, last Wednesday, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, on his second day in Lagos, unveiled the new Alliance Francaise Mike Adenuga Centre in Ikoyi. He also decorated Adenuga with the highest French National honour, Commandeur ordre national de la legion d’honneur(Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour). Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte. Dr. Adenuga is the only and first ever Nigerian that has so far received the award since inception.
Macron described Adenuga as a true role model for Africa. Macron said the centre was part of the measures to scale up the relationship between France and Nigeria and pledged the commitment of his government and people of France to develop infrastructure in key sectors in Lagos State. Predictably, the edifice has become the major attraction in the highbrow Ikoyi neighbourhood; construction gurus and laymen troop to the site to study it, while many people marvel and take pictures.
Everybody is in agreement concerning the genius that went into the project from inception, hence they continually give kudos to the brains behind the project, Dr. Adenuga, a rare factor on the African continent. An exquisite architectural masterpiece, the centre will offer numerous facilities: a world-class art gallery, a French restaurant with daily fresh bakery, a state-of-the-art cinema, artists’ studios, an outdoor amphitheatre, a library and e-library, nine fully equipped French language classrooms, translation and interpretation service, Campus France branch, offices and much more. Frequently likened to a champion and oftentimes, a business genius, the Globacom boss effortlessly depicts the image of a modern day General of Commerce.
A statement from Alliance Française expresses appreciation to Dr. Adenuga for his generosity to the French language and cultural institute. “Alliance Française has wished to move back to Ikoyi for many years. This wish has now become a reality due to the generosity of Dr. Mike Adenuga, who committed to build a brand new cultural centre in a pristine location.
Instead of demolishing the beautiful but shanty existing villa, it was decided to keep it and renovate it as a testimony of the architectural heritage of the City of Lagos and to add a magnificent contemporary building beside,” the statement said. Yet, Adenuga remains impressively humble and invulnerable to conceit. This is why he is continually revered and celebrated, among his clan and league of extraordinary men in the world.