Rabiu: Setting the Benchmark

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Abdul Samad Rabiu

To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter, said Aristotle.

Nigerian billionaire, Abdul Samad Rabiu applies the same tenets to philanthropy as he does to business: to find a need and fill it. When the spotlight was beamed on Nigeria’s private sector to rise to the occasion and support government in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, Rabiu took the lead as the first to make a substantial donation of N1 billion through his BUA Foundation. This set a benchmark, with subsequent donors understanding the need to commit substantial resources to contain the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19.

However, Rabiu has gone beyond just transferring money into the coffers of the dedicated Central Bank COVID-19 account. Through his BUA Group, he placed orders for additional equipment and medical supplies including face masks, testing kits, safety goggles, gloves and personal protective gear for nine states across the country. States to benefit include Lagos, Kano, Adamawa, Edo, Kwara, Rivers, Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Sokoto.

In addition, the BUA Group announced another donation of N300 million to Sokoto, Edo and Ogun States to assist in galvanizing a coordinated response and adequate preparedness in the fight against COVID-19. The donations to Sokoto and Edo States were on behalf of its cement subsidiary, BUA Cement, which has its major operations in those states while Ogun was also selected as a beneficiary due to its proximity to Lagos which had been the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria.

In his comments, Rabiu said although these states have been identified for this intervention in the first instance, “BUA is monitoring the situation closely and is also looking at other states that may need additional help. We will continue engaging with these states and relevant partners including the NCDC in the areas where they need support to win this fight against COVID-19.”

Rabiu also urged other well-meaning Nigerians – individuals and corporates alike, to join hands in supporting the efforts to put the virus in check in Nigeria, financially and otherwise. “Our country needs us now more than ever. This is the time to come together and support.”

The industrialist is the founder and chairman of BUA Group, a Nigerian conglomerate concentrating on manufacturing, infrastructure and agriculture, producing revenue in billions of dollars. A man of immense means who hates to flaunt his wealth like some and gives freely to help the needy. He answered to national emergency without being prompted and others have followed his worthy example.

Rabiu certainly has the Midas touch. According to Forbes, he is the only Nigerian billionaire to have increased his fortune in 2019. From sugar to cement, ports and terminals to real estate, his business model is not just about profit, but in making essential commodities and services available to Nigerians. As is evident, this also includes being at the forefront in times of need.