“the greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it”. William James Wrote:
By Abba Dukawa
The story behind the business journey of AbdulSamad Rabiu Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BUA Group cannot be fully comprehended without looking closely at how he took over his father’s vast business empire at the embryonic age of 24 when he returned to Nigeria.
In the early 90s after learning the ropes of business with his unwavering commitment and determination, he meandered from the path of the family business and birthed BUA as a private company. His daring decision to aped out from a very already established family business turned out to be his greatest decision which has changed his life, business fortunes and the nation’s economy at large.
As the calendar page turns August 4, AbdulSamad Rabiu turns 62 years. Even though every day is worthy of celebrations, but what birthdays do, is to remind people that the clock of life is ticking; albeit unnoticed.
That is why the postulation of William James comes to bear. Knowing that life is transient, the greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it. What will keep reminding generations coming after us that we once transverse this space, will be indelible footprints we must have left on the sands of time.
The piece intends to dissect AbdulSamad Rabiu philanthropic assistance as he marks his birthday because so much has been written about his wealth and other business conglomerates under BUA Group.
Through diligence, commitment and hardworking, he had identify and harnessed opportunities across various economic sectors. To many peoples in the country and beyond when hear the name of BUA Group the quick reference to him broken monopoly in the cement and sugar industry in the country by commissioning the second largest sugar refinery in Nigeria and cement manufacturing company in sub-Saharan Africa.
Abdulsamad Rabiu decided to take the bull by the scruff of the horn in guaranteeing education, Health and social service for the people across the country. He has this passion of giving back to society, some that has endeared him to established BUA Foundation and ASR Africa Initiative, a humanitarian foundation and this has made him distinguished himself as an outstanding philanthropist in Africa.
For so long, he was fully accustomed to the lives of downtrodden and the vulnerable in the society in spite of the fact that poverty has been a distant thing for him since birth, but his relentless passion and care in transforming lives of needy in bringing developmental projects and alleviating their suffering became his cardinal principles, and that of his conglomerates business. To him wealth is not meant to be accumulated but rather distributed to the needy. This made people called him ‘Mr. Talk and Do’ because he has shown that BUA companies are not just about making money but also making available funds for advancing humanity.
Abdulsamad Rabiu through BUA Foundation made available funds for reconstruction of Jakara Primary school in Kano Municipal Local Government the school is just some stones from his late father’s residence. Funded the construction of the multi-million Naira Centre for Islamic Studies at the Bayero University. The Foundation also built 7,000-square-meter Pediatric Ward at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.
BUA Group propose pledge to construct 220-bed specialist hospital, that will cover a built up area of 15,000sqm which will have the most modern imaging and diagnostic equipment that will go a long way in alleviating the suffering of Nigerians who need medical attention and reduce dependence on Foreign Medical Tourism. Occasionally, BUA paid Hospital bills for patients while their bedsitters received N10000 each.
To cushion out the effects of COVID-19 in his home state Kano amid the fear of the pandemic. BUA Foundation, donates N2 Billion, 5 Ambulances, 20 Hilux Vehicles To the Kano State government in addition with 3-storey building along Court Road, and furnished it with state-of-the-art beds needed for a standard isolation centre.
Untirelessly, the Foundation committed over N7billion in cash, foodstuffs and medical supplies, amongst other to the federal and state governments. Abdulsamad’s purchased one million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine worth over 3m dollars through the AfreximBank vaccine program partnership with CACOVID. In addition ASR’s donated N1 billion in cash to CACOVID the private sector coalition spearheaded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and placed an order for an additional donation of equipment and medical supplies to many states in Nigeria. All these prompt action to minimise the fear of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Last year, ASR Africa Initiative were established to support sustainable development initiatives in health, education, and social development within Nigeria and the rest of Africa. Through its annual $100 million grant, $50 million would be dedicated to Nigeria yearly while $50 million would go to the rest of Africa. At the lunching of the initiative said “It is with the blessings of the Almighty, my family, colleagues, the support of my community and the backing of my conscience. ASR announced a N1 billion donation to six higher institutions in Nigeria the University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; the University of Maiduguri; the University of Ilorin; and the University of Benin. ASR initiatives awarded a $3 million education infrastructure support grant to the Ghanaian government through its Ministry of Education to eradicate ‘schools under trees’ whilst developing primary education infrastructure across Ghana. ASR Africa, also donated a $3 million development initiative to Niger Republic from its ASR Africa Fund for Social Development & Renewal.
Through ASR Africa Tertiary Healthcare Systems Support, the initiative support Ogun State Healthcare Systems with N2.5bn grant towards the construction of a Mother & Child Hospital at the state owned Olabisi Onabanjo University. Provided a grant of 2.5billion Naira to the Edo State Government towards the equipping of the New Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City. Donated three brand new fully equipped ambulances to the Ekiti State Government through the BUA Foundation Health Equipment Support Scheme as part of its commitment to Health, Education and Social Development in Nigeria. ASR handed 85 modern medical equipment to the Paediatric department of the Gwarimpa General Hospital in complete fulfilment of the ASR Africa Health Systems Support grant awarded to the hospital. Similarly, the ASR is supporting the construction of the Akwa Ibom State University Teaching Hospital with N5 billion, for which N2.5 billion was disbursed immediately to commence construction.
As part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), BUA Group take the plight of its host communities very serious and always committed to make life more meaningful for the people of it host communities. BUA Cement Company, had donated a school, hospital and other infrastructures worth N230 million to two relocated communities, Gidan Bailu and Gidan Datti in Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto. The Company also donated drugs and solar motorised borehole a school with two blocks of classrooms, an administrative block, a township mosque, a clinic, two boreholes, a 30 KVA electricity transformer, township electrification installations and a cemetery. The company had donated six units of 500KVA transformers, two security patrol vehicles to the community, in Okpella.
BUA Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) make sure clinics and hospitals in the host communities have adequate drugs. All these facilities are meant to enhance host communities people’s lives. AbdulSamad’s redefining philanthropic assistance through Corporate Social Responsibility which had greatly impact on humanity illustrated by boundless and borderless philanthropic endeavours and he has become an icon of philanthropist with a deep sense of compassion for the less privileged in Nigeria. Most importantly, ASR has acquired his reputation by good judgment, fair dealing, accurately, and virtue which constitute the essence of his good fortune. He has steadily evolved as Africa’s second-biggest philanthropist with BUA Foundation and the phenomenal Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiatives with the aim of providing sustainable solutions for generations to come.
Definitely Abdulsamad’s philanthropic and charitable gestures speaks to the depth of his humanity. May Almighty God will reward him with longer life, good health and more wisdom.
Dukawa write in from Kano can be reached via [email protected]