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The Mike Adenuga brand and the allure of savvy exclusivity – Toni Kan

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News of Mike Adenuga’s re-emergence as the second richest man in Nigeria got many Nigerians excited on Friday 12th January, 2024. Forbes re-evaluation of his net worth put it at $7.4bn as of January 11th 2024.
The news has led to fevered speculation as to how soon Adenuga, the moving spirit behind Globacom and Conoil, will attain the Number One position.
Conoil was among the 11 enterprises promoted by entrepreneurs that included M. K. O. Abiola, Alhaji Dantata, Alhaji Indimi, Alhaji Mai Deribe, Chief Michael Ibru, Kase Lawal, Chief Lulu Briggs, who received discretionary oil licences in 1990.

Mike Adenuga’s Consolidated Oil which got OPL 113 and is now known as Conoil, was the first to bring its field to first oil and has been producing ever since transforming that licence into one of Nigeria’s most successful indigenous oil and gas stories and making Adenuga the Godfather of Nigeria’s indigenous E&P companies.
Globacom has been around for over 20 years during which it has become one of Nigeria’s second largest telecommunications company beloved by subscribers and the generality of Nigerians for pioneering per second billing and causing a seismic shift in the industry.
Beyond Conoil and Globacom, Adenuga has substantial interests in banking and finance.

His recent valuation by Forbes as Nigeria’s second richest man and 5th in Africa is premised on the giant strides Globacom has made especially in corralling over 30% market share in Nigeria’s telecommunications ecosystem.
But this piece is not about Globacom or Conoil or his philanthropic exertions which have assumed legendary status. This piece was excited by a comment gleaned from a Whatsapp platform where someone had quipped: “How can someone with this kind of money maintain such an invisible profile?”
In a 2021 piece I published on Decoding Mike Adenuga, I had made the following observation: “When the story of 20th and 21st century Nigerian enterprise and industry is told, one name will stand out and confound those whose job it is to chronicle such things because they will have so little to go on because Mike Adenuga has built a public persona defined by near invisibility. In the age of social media and over-exposure, the man who admirers and traducers often refer to as The Bull, has no social media account, seldom ever attends events, rarely makes public appearances and hardly does media interviews, yet he is always on the pages of our newspapers and on the lips of many Nigerians.”

This piece will concern itself with Mike Adenuga’s personal brand. Adenuga is an enigma; the fabled elephant which yields different aspects to the fabled blind men.
Hailed as The Bull for his tenacity; heralded as the Great Guru for his business acumen and saluted as the Great Kahuna for his sagacity, Mike Adenuga has often been wrongly described as a recluse; on account of the fact that his public appearances have been likened to Halley’s Comet; a rare occurrence.
To return again to my old piece, I posed the question: “Why is this so? Why are we so enamoured of a man who prefers to operate from behind-the-scenes?”
It is because human beings are attracted to mystery. And that mystery, in the case of the Mike Adenuga brand, is deliberate and intentional. When it comes to his personal brand, Adenuga has mastered the art of “savvy exclusivity” and it is telling because he is a businessman who has amassed amazing wealth from providing freely available products that impact millions from Conoil’s low priced but high quality lubricants to Globacom’s per second billing and mass market product offerings.
By keeping his public interactions to the barest minimum, Mike Adenuga invites speculation and in speculating we exaggerate and in exaggerating we amplify his brand essence and value.

He is the big masquerade that appears once in a blue moon and such appearances lead to mass hysteria.
Here is a case in point: After President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was sworn in as incumbent president, his office was, understandably, besieged by visitors but no visitor received as much bandwidth and newspaper acreage as Adenuga even though he gave neither interview nor photo-op. The mere fact of his seeming emergence from his cocoon was enough to excite frenzy.

As far as news reports go, his last public appearance before heading to Abuja was at the Awujale’s palace and before then at the Igbinedion wedding.
By limiting his public sightings, Mike Adenuga is taking a leaf from the pages of marketing strategy which deal with scarcity and demand, something Robert Cialdini defined as the “scarcity principle of persuasion” in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion .
This principle holds that the more difficult it is to access a service, obtain a product, or get hold of an offer, the more valuable it becomes. This is the principle behind scalping; where tickets to important events are, for instance, purchased in bulk thereby leading to scarcity and invariably driving the price up.
If Mike Adenuga was a product, he would be uber premium; a product that people would know of yet clueless as to how to purchase it. He would be more than a limited edition, thriving on savvy exclusivity and thus making the Mike Adenuga brand sui generis; in a class all of its own.
This is because as Lisa Ditzlmüller writes in L’officiel, by “deliberately limiting availability, they create an aura of specialness and create high demand for their exquisite goods.”

Mike Adenuga is defined by that savvy exclusivity and “specialness” and that is at the core of our eternal fascination with Nigeria’s second richest man who we never tire of talking and writing about.
As speculations continue as to how long we have to wait before Adenuga becomes Nigeria’s richest man, I will borrow words from a loquacious friend whose response to anything the baffles is always a simple – “if we don see ninety nine, wetin be hundred!”
Soon come.

***Toni Kan, a former Head of PR at Globacom, writes from London.

Society

LP national chairman, Julius Abure, arrested

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Julius Abure the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), has been arrested by the police in Benin City, Edo State.

It is currently unclear the reason behind his arrest but sources say it may not be unconnected with the recent crisis rocking the party.

Recently, he was accused of forging the signatures of some political aspirants in Ebonyi and Plateau States.

Now, it has taken another dimension. This time around, it is financial allegations. Allegations coming from no other person than the national treasurer of the party, Mrs Oluchi Oparah. The Exchequer of the Labour party who is supposed to be 100% in the know of the party’s finances accused Abure of forging the signatures of the party’s late national chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam to withdraw funds totalling N21 million.

Before this most recent allegation, a governorship aspirant of the party from Ebonyi state, Mr. Eze Oko, had accused the Party’s National Chairman of alleged forgery and conspiracy that led to his replacement few days to the March 18 gubernatorial election.

Specifically, Oko alleged that at the heat of political activities leading to the gubernatorial election in Ebonyi state, the national chairman initiated moves to illegally remove him as the gubernatorial candidate with an alleged forged withdrawal letter submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

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Energy Mogul, Adewale Tinubu, takes Centre Stage at Guyana Energy Conference

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Adewale Tinubu, CON, boss of energy giant, Oando Group, is always a delight to watch when in the boardroom or engaged in anything concerning business.

He usually leaves his watchers and admirers enthralled by his articulation and aplomb. He is always graceful in his fine grasp of business intricacies, with a very strong sense of deep erudition in discussions, especially in the area of economic development in Nigeria.

Of course, the foregoing may not be news to many. But what many may not know about this technocrat is that beyond his feats in the oil sector, he is endowed with oratorical power.

 That excellent trait was much on display at the ongoing Guyana Energy Conference, where the top oil player once again showcased his God-given talent.

While speaking on the topic, ‘Upstream Activities Required for a Resilient Oil and Gas Value Chain, the oil and gas mogul received intermittent standing ovations, accompanied with several rounds of applause for his dazzling and awe-inspiring speech.

Oando, Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions provider, is diamond sponsor of the third edition of the Guyana Energy Conference and Supply Chain Expo, which started on Monday, 19th February to Thursday, 22nd, 2024, attracted participation, at the highest level, from more than 21 countries also drawn in 19 sectors – outside of the energy sector.

 Participating companies at the conference tackled important concerns affecting the energy sector, as well as the challenges of climate change mitigation and maximizing the benefits of local content development in Guyana and the region.

Commenting on the conference, Mr. Tinubu posted on his social media handles.

He wrote:

 ‘’Spent the last two days at the Energy Guyana Conference and Supply Chain Expo – a first time attendee and 3rd time visitor to this beautiful country.

Myself and the #HumansofOando welcomed the President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaa1, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Keith Rowley and the Minister of Petroleum, (Trinidad and Tobago) Stuart RYoung 1 to our exhibition booth, where we walked them through Oando’s journey to date in curating Nigeria’s energy mix.

The oil and gas industry in Guyana is rapidly evolving, thus the importance of creating an enabling environment for growth cannot be understated.

Yesterday, I delivered a keynote address to industry leaders and other esteemed guests explaining the winning Oil and Gas Industry Strategy.

With the warm welcome we received we are assured of promising collaboration towards successful oil and gas venturing in Guyana’’.

Other speakers at the event include His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Bharrat Jagdeo, Vice President, The Cooperative Republic of Guyana; the Honourable Vickram Bharrat, Minister of Natural Resources, The Co-operative Republic of Guyana; Stuart Young, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; Antonio Almonte, Minister of Energy and Mines, the Dominican Republic; His Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani, Prime Minister of the State of Qatar; Alistair Routledge, President, Exxonmobil Guyana and Her Excellency Jane Miller OBE, British High Commissioner to the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, among several other world class personalities.

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Hope In Time Of Crisis: A Call For Unwaivering Faith In Nigeria.

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By: Ayobami Ladipo

 

 

Dear Nigerian Youths, Friends and The Social Media Community.

 

I feel the need to share some words with you this morning, not just for communication sake but because it’s the right thing to do at a time like this when we’re all groaning in pains.

 

Indeed, times are hard, the pain is unbearable, the cost of living has tripled and ripple effect of the current economic hardship on the common man can only be imagined.

 

Truth be told, we are all SUFFERING!

 

Let’s take a moment to situate this correctly, especially for those of us who are not public office holders but campaigned for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believed in the manifesto and still optimistic that he’ll deliver his good promises to Nigerians, it’s not been easy.

 

Believing in a mantra or giving support to the president at a time like this does not take away the pain, it doesn’t not alienate me or any of his supporters from the people or the present economic hardship, it just shows that we still believe that pain is normal when something good is about to be spring forth.

 

Standing on the mandate no mean say leg no dey pain oh, but just like Isaac believed in Abraham his father to the point of death when he had thought he would be slaughtered as a sacrifice to God before the Almighty provided a ram, we also believe that the ongoing reforms will yield a great result and restore our country’s lost glory.

 

When we stop believing, hope fades away and nothing good will come through, hence the PLEA for calm and for us all to put aside our political or ethnic differences right now, let’s persevere a little more and keep up the conversation for a better and working Nigeria.

 

We won’t stop talking, we won’t stop engaging government, we won’t stop registering our displeasure via the right channels but PLEASE let’s come together as one and show some love to one another at this trying time.

 

Just like the Bible says, weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning, May the joy of Nigeria come so quick and May we all be alive to witness a new Nigeria that’ll be full of prosperity and greatness .

 

As I conclude, I want to plead with you all that we refrain from the needless curses, insults and abuse, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and TOGETHER shall we witness greatness at the end.

 

Naija Shi Ma Dun

 

God Bless Nigeria 🇳🇬🙏🇳🇬

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