I picked special interest in Mr Abdulsamad Rabiu yesterday after seeing his name on the Forbes of the world richest men. I was quite taken aback as for a Nigerian being that rich and not well-known by all and sundry is a feat that cannot be achieved easily.
Born in Nigeria’s northwest state of Kano, Rabiu, age 55, is the son of well-known businessman Isyaku Rabiu, who made a fortune in trade and industry in the decades after Nigeria’s independence from the UK in 1960. By the 1970s, Isyaku emerged as a key sponsor of the National Party of Nigeria, which became the ruling political party after the country returned to civilian rule following the elections of 1979. A military coup in 1983 toppled the government and led to the arrest of then-President Shehu Shagari and many of his close associates, including Isyaku.
Around this time, the younger Rabiu earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He returned home to find his father’s business in a precarious state following his incarceration. Barely 24 years of age, with little business experience, Rabiu had to lead his father’s business empire during dark days.
He is the Chairman and CEO of BUA Group, a privately owned conglomerate active in sugar refining, cement production, real estate, logistics and port operations. He broke into the Forbes List of the World Richest men in 2013 ranking 23rd on Forbes new 2013 list of Africa’s 50 Richest.
Although, he was born with a silver spoon, he turned this spoon into a golden one by turning his millions into billions.
On behalf of the Celebrating Progress in Africa (CP Africa) team, I celebrate a cool, calm, and reserved billionaire, Mr Abdulsamad Rabiu.