Abdulsamad Rabiu: How Dangote’s Competitor Became One Of The Richest Africans for the Fifth Time

Posted on February 19 2020 , at 11:00 pm
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According to the Forbes list, Abdulsamad Rabiu is the eighth richest person in Africa and the 3rd richest person in Nigeria. He is one of four Nigerians who made it to the highly coveted list this year.

He is the founder and CEO of BUA Group, an import business he started in 1988 after inheriting land from his father, well-known businessman Isyaku Rabiu. Business Insider reports that the company deals in everything from sugar refining, cement production, real estate, logistics to port operations. 

Despite getting some help at the beginning of his business, Rabiu still faced major challenges in growing the business. However, through disruptive innovation, strategic movement and sheer stubbornness, he pushed through and built an empire.

He established BUA International Limited in 1998 to import rice, flour, iron, steel and crude palm oil. In 2000, his company acquired Nigeria Oil Mills in Kano and by 2005, he had set up the BUA Flour Mills factory in Lagos. He established the second-largest refinery in West Africa in 2008, after the Dangote Sugar Refinery and a $900 million cement plant in Edo State in 2015. He also runs a real estate business, BUA Group Estate Development Limited. 

In 2016, he was dropped off the Forbes billionaires list but he made it back to the list in 2019. He explained the cause of his temporal drop from the list to Forbes. He said, “most of our other assets were not being considered because once you are not listed, it becomes more challenging to get an accurate valuation. Our assets, in the cement industry alone, are worth more than $2 billion, but that is because Obu Cement [Plant], which is our biggest cement plant, is not listed”. He also attributed it to the devaluation of the naira. 

Forbes Africa stated that Abdulsamad Rabiu increased his fortune by working with a good strategy. “A firm believer in strategy, the cement and sugar tycoon boosted his fortunes by a whopping $650 million this year when he merged Kalambaina Cement, a subsidiary company of his BUA Cement, with the publicly traded Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), where he was a controlling shareholder”, they reported. “That calculated move has made him the third richest man in Africa’s largest economy, with a staggering net worth of $3.1 billion.”

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