Abdulsamad Rabiu Biography, Net Worth and How He became One of Africa’s Richest Men

Abdulsamad Rabiu (Born: August 4, 1960) is the founder, chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of BUA Group, a business conglomerate that deals in cement manufacturing, sugar refining, and real estate. The 63 year-old is ranked as one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men with a net worth of $7.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Apart from the business moves that have enriched him so much, Abdulsamad Rabiu is also renowned for his philanthropic activities and has earned enormous respect for his love for giving back to society.

Abdulsamad Rabiu Biography Summary

  • Full Name: Abdul Samad Isyaku Rabiu
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 4 August 1960
  • Johann Rupert’s Age: 63 years old
  • Place of Birth: Kano, Northern Region, British Nigeria (present-day Kano State, Nigeria)
  • Nationality: Nigerian
  • Education: Capital University in Columbus, Ohio
  • Religion: Muslim
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Children: Isyaku Rabiu, Junaid Rabiu, Rukaiya Rania Rabiu, and Khadijah Rabiu
  • Parents: Isyaku Rabiu (father)
  • Siblings: 42 siblings, including Nafiu Rabiu and Rabiu Rabiu
  • Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Net Worth: 7.6 billion USD

Abdulsamad Rabiu was Born Into A Wealthy Family

Abdulsamad Rabiu is a wealthy man who can afford to do anything he wants to do with money. This is not new to him as he was also born into a wealthy family. The businessman was born on the 4th day of August 1960 in Kano State, where he spent his early years and grew up with his siblings.

He is the son of the very wealthy Isyaku Rabiu who founded a major holding company and was one of Nigeria’s foremost industrialists in the 1970s and 1980s. Because of his father’s great success as a businessman, Rabiu enjoyed all the luxuries that rich kids could enjoy at the time and even traveled abroad for his university education.

He Received His University Education in the U.S.

Abdulsamad Rabiu had his early education in Kano State where he grew up with his family. However, upon the completion of his elementary and secondary schools, he relocated to the United States of America to continue his education. While he was in the USA, Rabiu attended Capital University in Columbus, a private university in Ohio from where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree. It is not known what class of degree he graduated with.

Abdulsamad Rabiu and Aliko Dangote

Rabiu Took Over The Family Business At A Young Age

In 1984, when Abdulsamad Rabiu was just 24 years old and was still in the United States, his father Isyaku Rabiu was detained by the administration of the then Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, for allegedly not paying rice import duties. This meant that a vacuum was created in the leadership of the family business. With there being an immediate need for someone to take over, Abdulsamad was considered the right man to handle the business.

Abdulsamad almost immediately returned from the USA when he was 24 years old and took over the family business. At the time, the young Rabiu did not have much business experience having been a student all that time, but he got the needed support to keep the business alive. It is believed that the experience he got while at the helm of affairs of his family business gave him the courage and insight to start his own business as time went on.

Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Thrilling Adventure As A Businessman

In 1988, about 4 years into managing his father’s business, Abdulsamad Rabiu decided to start his own business. He felt he had acquired the necessary experience he needed to begin a foray into the world of business and make his own name.

The Birth of BUA International

Following his decision to start his own business, Abdulsamad Rabiu established his company called BUA International Limited in 1988. He set up the company mainly for commodity trading at the time. BUA International Limited dealt in rice importation and also imported edible oil, flour, iron, and steel. The trading company hit the ground running and soon picked up, gaining massive popularity, especially in Northern Nigeria.

How A Deal With Delta Steel Company Boosted BUA International

In 1990, about 2 years after the establishment of BUA International Limited, the company got some boost after striking a very lucrative and explosive deal with the government-owned Delta Steel Company.

BUA International Limited signed the deal to supply the Delta Steel Company with raw material for production and then get paid with finished products in return. This resulted in a windfall for BUA International as it helped the company break better into the mainstream Nigerian market, stabilizing the company.

Abdulsamad Rabiu’s Company Evolved Into BUA Group

BUA Group headquarters

Under Abdulsamad Rabiu’s leadership and steady guidance, BUA International Limited kept growing rapidly and soon started dealing in steel. The company started producing billets and constructing multiple rolling mills. It also imported iron ore in Nigeria.

Soon, BUA International Limited evolved into what is now known as BUA Group, the business conglomerate concentrating on manufacturing. Over the years, BUA Group has grown into a diversified conglomerate with several subsidiaries branching into different thriving sectors. BUA Group has interests in sugar refining, cement making, oil milling, port and terminals, and real estate, in addition to billets, steel, iron ore importation, and supplying multiple rolling mills in the country.

The Different Subsidiaries of BUA Group

BUA Group as a conglomerate has different subsidiaries under the leadership of Abdulsamad Rabiu. They include the following:

1. BUA Sugar Refinery Limited

BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, as a subsidiary of the BUA Group, was incorporated on April 13, 2005, as a private limited liability company to refine imported as well as locally sourced raw sugar. The company which now has an installed capacity of 2,000 MT of sugar every single day, was set up as a truly ultra-modern, automated plant complete with a state of the art equipment.

BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, which is 100% Nigerian-owned and 100% equity financed, uses unique technology imported from Brazil and is specially designed to actually generate its own power while it converts molasses to sugar. BUA Sugar Refinery Limited is now reported to actually produce 1,440,000 metric tonnes per annum.

2. BUA Ports and Terminals Limited

Another subsidiary of the BUA Group is the BUA Ports and Terminals Limited. The company was incorporated on 28 March 2006 to handle various cargoes and their storage in Nigeria. BUA Ports and Terminals Limited is now the concessionaire for the Port Harcourt Terminal ‘B’ of the Nigeria Ports Authority. The company became the concessionaire following a really competitive bidding process that happened under the Public Enterprise (Privatization and Commercialization) Act No. 28 of 1999.

Today, the BUA Port & Terminals Limited is in charge of managing four berths; Berths 5-8 as well as two warehouses; warehouse 5 & 7. The company handles mainly general cargoes, including bagged rice, frozen fish, and coated steel pipes. The company also handles palm kernel shells, dried wheat, bulk cement as well as Base Oil, Crude Palm Oil, Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), etc.

3. BUA Oil Mills Limited

BUA Oil Mills Limited is yet another subsidiary of the BUA Group. This company was incorporated in 2008 and is charged with producing very high-quality oil products such as Stearine, Distilled Fatty Acid, and Palm Olein.

BUA Oil Mills Limited now has two refinery plants and matching fractionation plants in Kano and Lagos States with a combined installed capacity of 700TPD. The company actually has a predecessor company called the Golden Oil Company which was bought by BUA Oil Mills and which has been in existence for as many as 20 years.

4. BUA Cement PLC

BUA Cement PLC is another BUA Group subsidiary that produces and markets cement products in Nigeria. Over the years, the company has grown to become one of the largest cement manufacturing companies in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, it is now the second-largest producer in Nigeria after Dangote Cement.

BUA Cement PLC has 3 major subsidiaries and plants in Northern and Southern Nigeria; the Obu & Edo Cement Company Limited in Okpella, the Kalambaina Cement Company Limited in Sokoto State, and Cement Company of Northern Nigeria also in Sokoto State. The company also has a terminal serving niche markets and floating an amazing 2 million metric tonnes per annum.

BUA Cement PLC, which also holds a stake in Damnaz Cement Company Ltd, has plants that actually have the immense capacity to provide various grades of cement that meet the highest standard of cement manufacturing just as is required in the local Nigeria markets.

5. BUA Estates

BUA Estates is yet another subsidiary that was formed to handle real estate in Nigeria. The company was incorporated to address the growing demands for real estate in the country. Some of the real estate portfolios of BUA Estates include different residential, commercial, and mixed-use developments spread across the major cities in Nigeria.

Specifically, the BUA Estates portfolios include BUA Hills in Abuja, BUA Kado Estates, and BUA Court in Abuja. The commercial and mixed-use portfolios include The BUA Place, BUA Towers in Victoria Island, and BUA Business Park, Abuja.

Abdulsamad Rabiu
Abdulsamad Rabiu (middle) at an event

How Much is Abdulsamad Rabiu Worth Right Now?

With all the foregoing, it is clear that Abdulsamad Rabiu has been able to rake in a lot of money over the years with his penchant for business and his tenacity to expand his conglomerate into an enviable empire spreading across different sectors. At the moment, he ranks as one of the richest men in Nigeria.

As of 2021, Abdulsamad Rabiu’s net worth has been pegged at about $4.8 billion by Forbes, making him the third-richest man in Nigeria behind Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, and Mike Adenuga, the owner of the telecom company, Globacom.

With all the business chains he has managed to establish since he set out to be an entrepreneur, Abdulsamad Rabiu’s position as one of the richest Nigerian men does not come as a surprise at all. BUA Group constantly keeps seeking to expand its ventures and so it is expected that Rabiu’s net worth will continue to increase as his conglomerate keeps breaking ground.

A Look At Companies Rabiu Owns or Is A Board Member Of

Like you may have already understood by now, Abdulsamad Rabiu is the owner of several companies in Nigeria. He is also a board member of other companies. Here is a look at the companies and Rabiu’s position in them.

  • BUA Group (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)
  • BUA Cement Plc (Chairman)
  • Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc (Chairman)
  • NOM (UK) Ltd. (Board Member and Director)
  • BUA International Ltd. (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)
  • BUA Flour Mills Ltd. (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)
  • BUA Oils Mills Ltd. (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)
  • Nigerian Oil Mills Ltd. (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer)

Abdulsamad Rabiu Loves To Give Back To Society

As is the case with many wealthy men around the world, Abdulsamad Rabiu does not just spend his whole life making money; he also loves to give back to society and he has done this in different ways over the years. The business mogul has a foundation called the BUA Foundation which he uses for his philanthropic acts and which serves his company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) purposes.

With his BUA Foundation, Rabiu has supported the health sector in massive ways by constructing medical institutions around the country. The foundation constructed a 7,000-square-meter pediatric ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital to aid ailing Nigerians. They have also donated medicine and other healthcare equipment to medical institutions around the country, including the Cancer Centre in the FCT, Abuja, and the Daniel Ogechi Akujobi Memorial Foundation in Ogun State. The Foundation has also provided free medical services like nose, ear, and throat clinical screening on school pupils in Lagos State.

In 2018, the BUA Foundation announced its plans to construct a 220-bed ultra-modern specialist hospital in Kano which would cost a whopping N7.5 billion. The Foundation also oversaw the construction of the Centre for Islamic Studies at Bayero University Kano.

Apparently, Abdulsamad Rabiu, through his BUA Foundation has impacted many lives around Nigeria with his deep-seated desire to cater to people through providing medical infrastructure.

Abdulsamad Rabiu
Abdulsamad Rabiu receives the West Africa Industrialist of the Year by CNBC award

Rabiu Has Bagged Plenty Awards and Recognitions

Abdulsamad Rabiu has become one of the most influential persons in Nigeria and has earned enormous respect with his philanthropic acts. As expected, he has bagged different awards for his noble gestures and for his contribution to the Nigerian economy.

Some of the awards and recognitions that Rabiu has won so far include:

  • Business Person of the Year Award by Sun Newspaper – Abdulsamad Rabiu won this award in 2012
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by Vanguard Newspaper – The businessman bagged this award in 2015
  • West Africa Industrialist of the Year by CNBC – Abdulsamad Rabiu was honored with this recognition at the All Africa Business Leaders Award organized by CNBC in 2016
  • Silverbird Extraordinary Business Achievement Award by Silverbird Group – The business mogul bagged this award in 2017


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