The French President, Emmanuel Macron, on Wednesday in Lagos conferred France’s highest national honour of Commander of the Legion of Honour on Globacom Chairman, Dr Mike Adenuga, Jr.
Macron bestowed the prestigious award on Dr Adenuga at the new Alliance Francaise Mike Adenuga Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos
Explaining why the French Government decided to confer the country’s highest honour on Adenuga, President Macron said the legendary business guru is “a true role model for Africa” who has contributed immensely to the growth of African and French economy.
Dr. Adenuga thus becomes the first Nigerian to be decorated with the award of Commander of the Legion of honour, a promotion from his previous honour as Chevalier(Knight) of the Legion of honour awarded to him in 2017.
According to the French Embassy, it takes 13 years to be promoted from Chevalier to Commander, but this higher order for Adenuga has happened in 8 months.
President Macron applauded Dr Adenuga on his promotion of the French language and culture in Nigeria, and also commended Bella Disu, Chief Adenuga’s daughter who conceived, coordinated and executed the Alliance Française project.
The French Ambassador, Denys Gauer, congratulated Dr. Adenuga, saying that ”his outstanding entrepreneurship and business ingenuity has today created so many jobs for Nigerians and, more importantly, value for the country.”
Gauer noted that Dr. Adenuga has developed strong business relationship with France through Alcatel in telecoms and Total in petroleum, adding: “I am very happy that your contribution to the development of the French-Nigerian relations and your appreciation of the French culture are in this manner recognized and honoured.”
He disclosed that in his two and half years in Nigeria, he can testify that Nigeria holds one trump card that is more important to surmount all challenges it may be facing now. This, he said, is the “incomparable spirit of entrepreneur, tenacity and ability to think out of the box,” adding that “Dr. Adenuga personifies all these qualities.”
The audience at the investiture included Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
He also holds the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON), Nigeria’s highest honour for a civilian who is not in government in the country as well as Ghana’s highest civil award, the Companion of the Star of Ghana (CSG).