Home » 5 companies owned by Africa’s fifth-richest billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu

5 companies owned by Africa’s fifth-richest billionaire Abdul Samad Rabiu

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Abdul Samad Rabiu

In a testament to the diversified operations of BUA Group, one of Africa’s fastest-growing conglomerates, Nigerian billionaire and industrialist Abdul Samad Rabiu has firmly secured his position as one of the continent’s wealthiest individuals and an exemplar of philanthropy.

Rabiu’s remarkable journey to prominence traces back to 1988, when he laid the foundation for BUA International Limited, initially a commodities trading firm. In less than a year, Rabiu expanded the company’s scope to encompass the importation of essential commodities such as rice, edible oil, flour, iron, and steel, setting the stage for BUA Group’s continuous expansion into one of Africa’s premier manufacturing conglomerates.

Boasting a net worth of $5.6 billion, Rabiu now ranks as the fifth-richest man in Africa, trailing behind the likes of Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris and South African tycoon Nicky Oppenheimer, who hold the fourth and third positions, respectively.

In 2020, Rabiu achieved a major milestone in his journey when he merged his privately-owned Obu Cement Company with Cement Co. of Northern Nigeria.

The merger formed BUA Cement Plc. Subsequently, he listed the company on the Nigerian stock exchange. Later, Rabiu made another significant move by listing BUA Foods, his unified foods businesses, on the Nigerian Exchange.

Beyond his extraordinary achievements in the African business landscape, Abdul Samad Rabiu has distinguished himself as a renowned philanthropist.

Rabiu made headlines in 2022 when he launched the Nigeria Security Support Fund, a monumental donation of N10 billion ($23.8 million) dedicated to providing security equipment, medical supplies, and other essentials to the families of soldiers courageously combating terrorists in Nigeria’s northeast region.

The contribution stands as the single largest philanthropic donation made by a Nigerian businessman. Earlier this year, Rabiu generously donated N5.5 billion ($11.8 million) to 22 institutions under ASR Africa’s Tertiary Education Grants Scheme (TEGS) to drive infrastructure development. 

Billionaires.Africa, has identified and monitored five prominent companies under Abdul Samad Rabiu’s commanding interests. Rabiu exerts control over the following companies:

  1. BUA Cement: Formed in 2008 through the merger of Obu Cement Company and the Kalambaina Company, BUA Cement PLC is the second-largest cement producer in Nigeria after Dangote Cement. In 2020, BUA Cement Plc was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, consolidating all cement operations with a combined installed capacity of 8 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) and a market capitalization of N3.35 trillion ($4.3 billion). 
  1. BUA Foods: In 2005, Rabiu founded BUA Foods, a top food and FMCG company specializing in processing, manufacturing, and distributing various food materials like sugar, flour, pasta, rice, and edible oils. BUA strategically owns mills, plants, refineries, and plantations across different regions in Nigeria. In 2001, BUA Group acquired Nigeria Oil Mills Ltd., the largest vegetable oil processing company in West Africa. The entire food business was consolidated into one entity, and on Jan. 5, 2022, BUA Foods was listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX). Rabiu owns a significant 92.6-percent stake worth nearly $2.9 billion in the company.
  2. BUA Ports & Terminals: BUA Ports & Terminals, a subsidiary of BUA Group, was established in 2005 and holds a concession for Terminal ‘B’ at the Nigerian Ports Authority (Rivers Port) in Rivers State, Nigeria. This concession was obtained through a competitive bidding process under the Public Enterprise (Privatization & Commercialization) Act No. 28 of 1999, with the aim of improving port logistics efficiency. The port operates at MARSEC level 2, ensuring the security of both people and goods during its operations. It achieves this through a combination of well-trained personnel, competitive tariffs, and exceptional customer service.
  1. BUA Mines and Steels: Rabiu, through BUA Mines and Steels, has a strong presence in the iron ore industry in Kogi State, Nigeria. BUA Group was initially awarded the acquisition of Delta Steel Company Ltd. via government privatization, but the process was later reversed. However, BUA Group is currently setting up a comprehensive steel plant in Kogi State, which will be the only steel mill in West Africa, converting iron ore into steel.
  1. BUA Real Estates: BUA Estates, the real estate arm of BUA Group, possesses a diverse portfolio of residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties in major Nigerian cities. Some notable projects are BUA Hills, BUA Court, BUA Business Park in Abuja, and BUA Towers, and The BUA Place in Lagos. These developments demonstrate BUA Group’s commitment to improving urban landscapes and contributing to Nigeria’s growth. Led by a team of real estate experts and developers, BUA Estates upholds international standards and best practices, providing lasting value and meeting the growing demand in Africa’s real estate sector.

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