Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga has been conferred with the French National Honor of Commander of French LegionL the first Nigerian to be so honoured. This happened on Wednesday, at the inauguration of the new Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to French President Emmanuel Macron, who bestowed the honour on him, it was recognition of his (Adenuga) “remarkable contribution to the development of the French-Nigerian relations, his appreciation of the French culture and also for the advancement and betterment of humanity.”
Already conferred with the highest national honour for a civilian who is not in government in Nigeria, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), this is not the first time he would be recognised by the government of another nation. Adenuga is also a recipient of Ghana’s highest civil award, the Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG).
Mike Adenuga financed the construction of the new headquarters of the Alliance Française Lagos which is located inside the Mike Adenuga Centre, Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. The new facility offers a world-class art gallery, a French restaurant, 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.
The event had in attendance Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
Adenuga, 65, is the founder of Globacom, Nigeria’s second largest mobile telecoms company with more than 25 million subscribers. He also owns Conoil Producing, an indigenous oil exploration company. He is into real estate too with an extensive property portfolio in Ghana, South Africa, France, U.K and the United States.
With a net worth of $4.4 billion, he is one of Africa’s richest men and Nigeria’s second richest man.