In a year that saw many billionaires lose chunks of their money due to plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, with the number of African billionaires shrinking to 20 from 23 last year, cement mogul and chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, returns to the Forbes Africa’s Richest List.
He was knocked off the list in 2015 but his return was facilitated largely, according to the influential American magazine, by the merger of his Kalambaina Cement firm with publicly traded Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, which he controlled. “Rabiu now owns 97% of Kalambaina, which operates a new cement production facility, and started selling cement in mid-2018. Separately, Rabiu’s OBU Cement recently expanded its operations, adding a new production line,” the magazine stated.
Indeed, the BUA Group commissioned its $350 million Kalambaina Cement Plant in Sokoto State in July 2018 with an installed capacity of 1.5 metric tonnes per annum and is the largest single private sector-led investment in North West Nigeria.
From the ancient city of Kano, Samad, a silver spoon, is the son of Isyaku Rabiu, one of the richest and most influential businessmen in northern Nigeria in the 1970s and 80s. After his education at the Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, he returned to Nigeria at the age of 24 to take over his father’s vast multi-million naira businesses. Samad started BUA Group in the late 80s as a private company specializing in iron and steel, shipping, port concessions, real estate and agricultural and industrial chemicals among others. Over the years, the company has evolved into a massive conglomerate playing in a wide range of sectors including oil and gas and shipping.
His breathtaking mansion in the fortress of the wealthy and powerful, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, is said to be one of the best. That is not all; he has prime properties in Abuja, London, South Africa and the United States of America. He also owns a private jet; and expensive cars in London and Lagos. Beyond his strides and successes in business and other endeavours, his rating and renown as a billionaire, Rabiu is a power dresser. Despite the shield and myth that money has created around him, Samad is reportedly a down-to-earth family man.