Billionaire industrialist and Executive Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, has emerged winner of the 2016 West African Industrialist of the Year at the prestigious All Africa Business Leaders Award (AABLA) held in Lagos recently.

Rabiu was recognized as Industrialist Leader of the Year – West Africa at a regional ceremony for his enormous and consistent contributions to the growth of the Nigerian/West African economy as it aims at spreading across other African countries.

CNBC Africa has pioneered All Africa Business Leaders Awards (AABLA) since 2011to salute and recognise bold leaders and change-makers of business in East, West and Southern Africa, who through strength, innovation and foresight induce positive changes in an evolving corporate Africa.

On accepting the award, Rabiu expressed his appreciation to the organisers for the award, Daily Times reports.

He went further to thank his wife for her support and tolerance despite the demanding nature of running a large business.

He also thanked the staff of BUA Group for their passion, dedication, commitment, hard work and the confidence reposed in him which had made the recognition possible.

Abdulsamad Rabiu further added that the Group’s strategic focus remains to diversify to business areas with greater potential for export where most of the materials needed for production can be sourced locally, creating jobs, and cutting costs to ensure our people and continent remain the chief beneficiaries in our business, whether they are our workers or consumers.

He encouraged other investors to come into the country at this time Under Rabiu’s leadership, BUA Group – which he founded 28 years ago,has grown to be ranked among Africa’s largest food and infrastructure conglomerates, remaining a pivotal player in the sugar refining, cement production, real estate, steel, logistics and port operations sectors of the continent.

Industry watchers say Rabiu’s win at the keenly contested AALBA awards is an indicator to his business acumen and knack for juxtaposing tactical expansion with a strong sense of dogged determination, foresight and a dedication to innovation.

The BUA Group has over the past few years embarked on a series of strategic acquisitions, which has seen its business portfolio expand to include the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), Edo/OBU Cement, BUA Sugar Refinery, BUA Ports and Terminals, and BUA Estates, amongst other agribusiness holdings. Notably, in 2008, the Group set up the second-largest sugar refinery in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has an installed capacity of 720,000 metric tonnes.

It’s second 720,000 metric tonnes sugar refinery in Port Harcourt is set to come on stream in 2017. Most recently, the conglomerate opened talks with China’s Sinoma to build a steel plant in Nigeria and two cement plants in East Africa for $1.9 billion, a signal that greater dominance – and jobs – for Nigerians and Africa’s business climate is in the offing.

The CNBC All Africa Business Leaders Award is fast becoming Africa’s most prestigious business awards. Winners of the AABLA  exemplify the best in African leadership.

They epitomize the core values of a successful leader, strength, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight – values that are imperative to carving out powerful business in a Pan-African and global economy.        

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