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Celebrating Glo At 7

By Uche Nworah (

 Published September 6th, 2010

Glo, the mobile communications division of Globacom, Nigeria’s second national carrier which started operations on the 29th of August 2003 celebrated its 7th anniversary recently. This milestone in the life of the brand founded and funded with the personal fortunes of Billionaire business mogul, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Adenuga Jnr is being celebrated few weeks to Nigeria’s 50th anniversary celebration.

On several occasions, many Nigerians would have been saddened by the tales of woe and ruins about the Nigerian nation served up in the international media, and also by some local media. Such stories usually border on economic mismanagement, poor capacity utilisation, wastage of human capital, decaying infrastructure and so on. Reading such stories would seem to suggest that Nigeria is on the brink of collapse. Such tales of hopelessness and doom have also been actively amplified by some western countries that are still pursuing the ‘failed state’ agenda through their biased failed states index publications. Many western donor, research and think-thank agencies seem to be on a ‘wag the dog’ mission to witness the disintegration of developing countries in order to trigger in another era of colonisation and neo-colonisation, and to pillage highly indebted and poor African countries with ‘dead aid’, grants and dubious loans.

Gratefully, Africans and Nigerians are still standing. We are not finished yet, and we are not ever going to give up. For this reason, the story of Glo at 7 which is intertwined with the dogged and bullish story of Otunba Michael Adenuga Jnr becomes more profound at this period in our national life when we desperately need to identify and celebrate our true patriots, national heroes and icons. Doing so will help inspire the coming generation and also add an interesting chapter to the story of what is good about Nigeria at 50.

Not wishing to go the way of ‘Abiku’, the fabled reincarnated child in Yoruba folklore that  torments his parents with constant journeys to the earth through births and early deaths, Glo has against all odds come to stay despite the bitter experiences which led to the cancellation of the earlier license granted to Otunba Adenuga’s Communications Investments Ltd (CIL) during the first GSM licensing round in Nigeria when NITEL, MTN and Econet Wireless (Now Zain/Bharti Airtel) got their licences, and which gave them many years head start in Nigeria’s lucrative but highly competitive telecoms market .

Though a late entrant into Nigeria’s GSM market, within 7 years, Glo has become one of the fastest growing multi-national carriers in the world with a vision to be the biggest and best carrier in Africa. With an estimated subscriber base of over 25 million and operations in 4 West African countries (Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Ghana and Ivory Coast) and many more roll-outs planned across Africa, the brand is well placed to becoming a truly global brand made in Nigeria.

Glo Gateway, Glo’s international wholesale voice and data exchange trading business unit now covers 140 countries under its roaming services. It is currently connected to 235 networks. Glo’s data roaming for mobile phones, laptops and BlackBerry handsets has now spread to 72 networks in 29 countries. This now gives Glo the largest roaming coverage for voice and data in the whole of Africa.

The next big telecommunication thing Glo has embarked upon is the Glo1 submarine cable project which has been exciting telecommunication experts since the Alpha beach (Lagos) landing in 2009. The solely funded $800 million 9,800 km long high-capacity fibre-optic cable is billed as a revolutionary telecom endeavour and has the potential to decrease telecommunications cost and provide excess bandwidth to all the countries connected to the cable. It will provide high speed internet services, faster and more reliable telecom services. Glo1 will potentially enhance investment and employment opportunities in Africa, improve teleconferencing, distance learning, disaster recovery and telemedicine among several other benefits for Nigerians and Africans.

The future is bright for Glo in its home country Nigeria as well as in other countries where it operates as the brand continues to fulfill its brand promise of being the people’s telecommunications company of choice, providing seamless and cost-effective voice, data and multi-media services. Known for its many firsts in the industry, Glo was the first company to pioneer the per second billing platform which practically crashed telephone tariffs in Nigeria and helped demystify the GSM mobile phone concept thus enabling the average person irrespective of his or her socio-economic background to own a mobile phone.

Glo has endeared itself to the people by engaging in several life touching corporate sponsorships especially in the area of sports and sports development in Africa. It has been sponsoring the Glo (Nigeria) Premier league for many years now likewise the national supporters club of Nigeria and Ghana. Other assets in its sponsorship portfolio include the Glo Naija Sings, Glo Ghana Premier League, the Ghana National Football Team, Glo Lagos International Half Marathon, Glo People Police Marathon, Eyo Festival, Ojude Oba Festival, Eleghe Festival, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) yearly awards amongst several others.

All these have been possible due to one man’s resilience, vision, courage and enterprise. When the story of this century’s greatest Nigerians and one of the greatest business minds of the 21st century is written, Otunba Michael Adenuga’s name will be found comfortably placed amongst the very best. As the Glo brand enters another year in its operational life, a time that promises to be exciting especially with the infinite opportunities presented by the Glo1 submarine cable, one can only join millions of Glo subscribers in wishing the brand many more successful years in the future. For the Chairman, Otunba Michael Adenuga, millions of Africans are praying for God’s continued blessing upon his life and the lives of his family members as he continues to uplift the fortunes of Nigerians and Africans through his investments in telecoms and other sectors which have created thousands of employment and business opportunities across the continent.     


Nworah, a company executive wrote in from Lagos.

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