A Glimpse Into The Mind Of The People’s Billionaire

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Some say passion determines career paths, while others say the need to manage a business that solves a need decides theirs. When the People’s Billionaire, Abdul Samad Rabiu, sat down with a cross-section of media practitioners for what turned out to be a scintillating interview, it was abundantly clear to all that adding value to society has been the secret of his sustainable and quite consistent career growth and business expansion that has generated well over a billion dollars in earnings over the years.

Mr. Rabiu, Founder and Chairman of BUA Group, takes us on a brief but interesting journey of his three-year projected Akwa Ibom Refinery project, and also shared his thoughts on the best approach to resolving the knotty issue of increment in cement price in Nigeria.

Citing Nigeria’s outrageous expenditure of 35 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings on importation of refined petroleum products, Mr. Rabiu was quite clear that the vision of Akwa Ibom Refinery stems from the nation’s clear need for local refining of crude oil.

Refining crude oil locally, he said, would help to ease the pressure on Nigeria’s foreign exchange revenue by minimising or obliterating costs associated with importation. He is dedicated to delivering the best of quality by-products to the local, regional and international markets at lesser costs, not sparing any resource whatsoever on the best technologies available in order to maintain quality. The project site and living infrastructure are said to be located close to each other, making commuting for the workers to and from the site easy and time-effective.

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Touching on potential competitors in Nigeria, the business mogul wisely noted Nigeria’s vast and accommodating market which offers room to various service providers. He said ‘..if you see an opportunity where you are able to get into any venture at very competitive pricing, I tell you, just jump at it’.

Nigeria being a huge consumer of petroleum and its by-products, Mr. Rabiu believes that local refinery of crude oil is more of a necessity than a choice. This ‘necessity’ culminates to a positive unburdening in expenses on Nigeria’s overall GDP, giving a much-needed opportunity to the government to adequately channel the nation’s revenues into more national development projects.

During the interview, Mr. Rabiu also weighed in on the rise in cement price in Nigeria. First stating the reason why this was so, he explained that the country lacks enough suppliers of the product in the market, with consistent high demand causing scarcity and a resultant hike in price.

The Nigerian Billionaire and Philanthropist proffered a solution to this seemingly rampant dilemma, saying that the Federal Government might need to revisit the current policies regulating the industry to enable more participants.

He said, ‘A situation whereby you have one dominant player controlling up to 50% of the market only confers on that dominant player the power to dictate the market’.

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