Home » Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s BUA Group eyes lithium mining

Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu’s BUA Group eyes lithium mining

by Yusuf Abdulfatai
Abdul Samad Rabiu

BUA Group, a leading manufacturing conglomerate led by Nigerian billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu, has expressed interest in mining lithium, a key raw material in the production of batteries for electric vehicles, as the conglomerate reevaluates its strategic diversification and expansion plans.

Under the leadership of Rabiu, Nigeria’s second-richest man, BUA Group has grown into a leading food, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing conglomerate with diversified investments spanning important sectors of the African economy.

The move, announced by BUA Group Group Executive Director Kabiru Rabiu, marks a strategic shift in the group’s business model as the Nigeria-based conglomerate seeks to tap into lithium’s vital role in energy transition, driven by a surge in demand for the commodity a crucial raw material in the production of batteries for EVs.

Kabiru Rabiu, who noted that several states were sitting on abandoned lithium deposits that could be converted into material gains, acknowledged BUA Group’s growth in pasta, flour, and cement production, and explained that it was considering a move into crude oil refining and petrochemicals as part of its expansion plans.

“We also want to go massively into mining. We acquired a company called PW Nigeria. PW Nigeria is a civil and mining company in which we are the majority owner, and it does most of our mining. We will use that capacity to look at lithium. Lithium is something that is in huge demand because of electrical vehicle batteries,” he said.

While commenting on the opportunities in the agro-allied sector, he explained that Nigeria’s importation of fertilizer has contributed to the product’s high price.

He emphasized that huge deposits of phosphate vital in fertilizer production exist in Sokoto, a state in Nigeria’s northwest, and that Nigeria is well-positioned to mine phosphate and process it into fertilizer that could be made affordable locally.

BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing manufacturing conglomerates, has recently recorded impressive growth across its core subsidiaries, which can be attributed to effective cost-cutting strategies implemented by management, as well as the acquisition of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to drive down operating costs.

BUA Cement Plc, a leading cement manufacturing company under BUA Group, reported a 48.2-percent increase in profit to N33.14 billion ($79.74 million) in the first quarter of 2022.

The double-digit percent increase in earnings was driven by a 58.5-percent increase in revenue from N61.2 billion ($147.26 million) to N97 billion ($233.41 million), which follows the launch of a 3-million-metric-tonne cement plant, increasing the company’s production capacity to 17 million metric tonnes.

BUA Foods, the group’s food division, earned N22.84 billion ($55 million) in the first quarter of 2022 thanks to a 28.3-percent increase in revenue during the period under review. The newly consolidated food business also received the first of two shipping vessels to supplement its sugar export operations to West Africa.

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