Biography of Abdulsamad Isyaku Rabiu, Owner of BUA

Updated: May 23, 2022
By Bello Abdullahi
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Abdulsamad Isyaku Rabiu CON is a Kano-born billionaire who, according to Forbes magazine, is estimated to have over 6.8 billion dollars, making him the fifth richest man in Africa and the 380th in the world as of 4 April 2023.

He played a significant role in stopping the business monopoly of sugar production carried out by Dangote Group; Abdulsamad is reported to have said he hated monopoly in business, as it isn’t good for any business environment. He equally holds the philosophy of Afrocapitalism, similar to that of Tony Elumelu, and Aliko Dangote a business philosophy that promotes African businesses for Africans by creating a habitable working environment.

Abdulsamad Rabiu is known as a sturdy businessman and a hearty philanthropist.

Where is Abdulsamad Rabiu From?

Abdulsamad was born on 4 August 1960 in Kano, the Northern-Western part of Nigeria, two months before when Nigeria got its Independence. He comes from a family of businessmen, as his father, Khalifah Isyaku Rabiu, was equally an outstanding Industrialist during the ’70s and ’80s.

He founded Isyaka Rabiu and Sons, which had dealings in manufacturing, real estate, and banking.

Abdulsamad Rabiu attended Federal Government College, Kano, after which he gained admission to study Economics at the Capital University Columbus, Ohio, in the United States of America.

Early Business Career

Abdulsamad returned to Nigeria when he was 24 years old. He immediately oversaw the day-to-day activities of his father’s business, during which his father was detained by the then Buhari military government for not paying import duty on rice.

In 1988, Abdulsamad founded BUA International Limited with the primary aim of commodity trading. The company imported flour, cooking oil, and rice and even dealt with iron and Steel, among other activities.

Delta Steel Company, a government-owned company in 1990, signed a contract with BUA to supply its raw materials in exchange for finished products. This partnership gave the new company a steady balance in the business world and the needed gas fee to expand further.

The company was hand-dipped further into importing iron ore, producing billets and Steel, and eventually constructing several rolling mills. A few years down the line, BUA bought the Nigerian Oil Mills Limited, Nigeria’s giant cooking oil processing plant.

In 2005, NUA further ventured into flour production by building two milling plants in Lagos and Kano’s hometown. In 2008, the company went heads-on with the Dangote Group to break the eight-year-long monopoly of the sugar industry in Nigeria, building the second largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As of 2009, Abdulsamad’s company had obtained a majority stake in a cement company in Northern Nigeria that was publicly listed and began the construction of a $900 million plant in Edo State, finishing it in the early part of 2015.

In early January of 2020, Abdulsamad annexed his own privately owned Obu Cement with the listed Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. Combining the two firms birthed BUA Cement Plc, which trades on the Nigerian Stock exchange, with Abdulsamad Rabiu owning 98.5%.

In early January 2022, Abdulsamad again listed his sugar and food conglomerate on the Nigerian stock exchange; he retained a 96% stake in the company, which had a market capitalization of about $2.8 billion.

Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Philanthropy

Abdulsamad Rabiu Isyaku uses the foundation he created, named after himself, the Abdulsamad Rabiu Africa initiative (ASR Africa), for his Philanthropic activities. Amongst them is the construction of a seven thousand square meter pediatric ward at Aminu Kano Teaching hospital, the building of the center for Islamic Studies at the Bayero University Kano, and the yearly 100 million dollars African Endowment fund for social development, amongst others.

In February of 2022, his brainchild, the ASR Africa initiative, gave 85 modern medical equipment to the Gwarimpa General hospital in Abuja, following a grant awarded to the hospital the previous year.

Personal life and Family

Abdulsamad Rabiu is married with four children two sons, and two daughters: Isyaku Rabiu, Junaid Rabiu, Rukkayah Rania Rabiu, and Khadijah Rabiu (Cookie).

Abdulsamad lives a highly private life as very little is known about his wife or family affairs. He has forty-two siblings, including Rabiu Rabiu (also known as Alhaji Karami), the Chairman of IRS Airlines.

Achievements Awards and Accolades

The CEO and owner of the BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, has achieved so much and, as a result, has received countless awards and accolades for those achievements. He was recently appointed Chairman of the France-Nigeria Investment Club by French President Emmanuel Macron, a considerable achievement milestone.

In 2020, he received the Businessman of the year award from the Vanguard of 2019-2020 Award. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporters Philanthropic Awards lists him as Person Of The Year.

He bagged the Africa Industrialist of 2016 by CNBC and the All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) South Africa, amongst many others.

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