Nigeria's leading industrialist is pushing ahead with his refinery, which should see mechanical completion by the end of the year. He is attending President Macron's Choose France summit at Versailles on 28 June to build new links to French industry.
Abdul Samad Rabiu, the CEO and Chairman of BUA Group, has signed several major deals with French companies in recent times, from Axens as technical partner to his new refinery, to a 300tn plasterboard factory deal with French construction giant St Gobain. He intends to list a segment of his business empire on the Lagos Stock Exchange later this year.
Herbert Wigwe, the managing director of Nigeria's Access Bank, has been working on acquiring a French banking licence. It is all part of the plan to become the 'Citibank of Africa', and help plug the gaps in the global financial architecture that have left African companies shut out of financial markets.
France's President Emmanuel Macron spent a formative period in Nigeria and is now pushing French corporates to seek opportunities beyond their comfort zone. The Choose France summit of global business leaders held at Versailles on 28 June will be noticeable for a special Nigeria event, which will bring together leading Nigerian and French industrialists. Nigeria is the only country receiving this treatment at Choose France: a sign of how important France's economic diplomacy in Nigeria is to Emmanuel Macron.