By Adekinle Aliyu
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.
Dr. Adenuga thus becomes the first Nigerian to be decorated with the award.
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 the African and French economy.
President Macron applauded Dr Adenuga on his promotion of the French language and culture in Nigeria, and also commended Bella Disu, Dr. Adenuga’s daughter who conceived, coordinated and executed the Alliance Française project.
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.”
Macron bestowed the prestigious award on Dr Adenuga at the inuaguration of the new Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The audience at the event included Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos, Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and captains of industry.
With this award, Dr. Adenuga adds another feather to his cap as 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).