January 1, 2021

Vanguard Personality Award: Businessman of the Year – Abdulsamad Rabiu

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BUA Founder/Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu

BUA Founder/Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu

…Why Abdul Samad Rabiu is Vanguard Businessman of the Year 2020

By Emeka Anaeto, Business Editor

THE year 2020, has not only proved to be a very challenging year especially to businesses, but one that has thrown up many great moments, corporates and individuals, pointing at great lessons in resilience and industry.

The Vanguard Board of Editors, in the search for the bests among the great corporates and individuals for recognition and honour, received resounding recommendations on Abdul Samad Rabiu, Founder/Executive Chairman, BUA Group and Chairman, BUA Cement Plc.

Justification of the recommendations, a further inquest into his activities in 2020 indicated several bold initiatives in business development starting early in the year while ending the year in stallion performance. And in between while coronavirus, COVID-19, raged, he has also been found in the forefront of the national fight against the pandemic in public interest.

In January 2020, his cement subsidiary, BUA Cement, successfully listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a market capitalisation of a N1.2 trillion making it the third largest company in Nigeria as at the time of listing. This also opened the company’s profits to millions of Nigerians as a source of investment income.

With a firmly established reputation for innovation, BUA Group has now become one of the largest contributors to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and is among its largest employers of labour, even while most companies are downsizing employment under the weight of COVID-19.

In the highly challenging business year of 2020 BUA Group signed a contract with AXENS of France to start the development of its 200,000barrels per day refinery and polypropylene plant. This refinery to be sited in Akwa-Ibom State, will be completed in 2024, to save Nigerian economy from huge foreign exchange drain in import of petroleum products. The employment generation capacity is also huge.

Also, BUA, in August 2020, signed an agreement with Milleral of Turkey to build its newest flour milling plants in Nigeria with a total milling capacity of 2,400 tonnes per day (3 x 800tpd).

When completed in 2021, the plants will bring BUA’s total installed flour milling capacity to 4000tonnes per day. BUA currently operates an installed flour milling capacity of 1,600 tonnes per day and five lines of pasta of 720 tonnes per day.

Furthermore, in October 2020, BUA Group signed an agreement with FAVA of Italy for the supply and installation of a pasta processing plant with a total capacity of 720 tonnes per day (tpd) of pasta across five lines which, when completed in 2021, will see BUA become the second-largest pasta producer in Nigeria. This new plant will complement BUA Group’s already existing 720 tpd pasta processing plant in Port Harcourt, bringing BUA’s total installed pasta processing capacity to 1,440 tpd across 10 lines by the end of 2021.

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As the difficult year drew to a close, BUA Cement signed a contract for the building of additional three production lines of three million metric tonnes of cement per annum each. The contract which was signed with Sinoma CBMI of China, will, by 2022, establish a  nine million tonnes combined capacity plant, the single largest contract ever awarded in the Nigerian Cement Industry for the construction of new cement plants at the same time by a single company in Nigeria.

Upon completion, this will bring BUA Cement’s total capacity to 20 million metric tonnes. The expansion decision would transform the Nigerian manufacturing sector and put the nation’s cement production capacity more firmly in the map of the comity of cement economies. More important is that at full production it will help moderate the current rising prices of cement which was caused by supply gap.

To bridge this huge deficit gap in Nigeria and in the absence of new major investments in the industry, BUA Cement has taken this bold decision to invest and build these new plants at a total project cost of $1.05billion.

In addition to cement manufacturing, the conglomerate which Abdul Samad Rabiu established in 1988, also has business interests in sugar refining and plantations, rice milling, oil and gas, construction, real estate and logistics.

Besides his strong showing in the business world 2020, Abdul Samad Rabiu, through the BUA Foundation, has also contributed immensely to various philanthropic and social development activities in various areas from healthcare to education, sports, water and sanitation amongst others. This year, he commenced the development of a N7.5billion 200-bed specialist hospital in Kano State.

He has also championed Nigeria’s donation to the COVID-19 intervention by a single individual or corporate through the BUA Foundation with over $20million committed so far to mitigating the impact of the pandemic in cash donations, food supplies, medical supplies and equipment, grants, amongst others.

For this and many more record performances in 2020 Abdul Samad Rabiu emerged first in the Vanguard Newspaper choices for the honour as ‘The Businessman of The Year, 2020.’ Abdul Samad Rabiu studied Economics at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, USA and holds the Nigerian National Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON.

Vanguard News Nigeria