French President, Emmanuel Macron, has invited the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsalmad Rabiu, amidst rift with Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
The development was confirmed on Wednesday by BUA Group via its official twitter account.
According to the company, French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, handed the invitation to Abdulsalmad at the company’s headquarters in Lagos.
It said, “French President, @EmmanuelMacron commended Chairman @BUAgroup, Alhaji @RabiuAbdulSamad for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses,” the group tweeted.
“As French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, @franckriester paid a visit to BUAgroup HQ in Lagos where he handed over a personal invitation from President @EmmanuelMacron to @RabiuAbdulSamad to attend the Choose France Summit in June.”
Recently Dangote Group, the cement and sugar company have been in the news with BUA Sugar and cement company over market share.
Both men are the first and third richest in the country as Dagote has a net worth of $11.5bn, while Rabiu is worth $4.9bn, according to Forbes.
Rabiu had early this year said cement producers were profiteering at the expense of Nigerians, adding that the government favours certain big players in the industry, but Dangote Cement through its Group Executive Director, Devakumar Edwin, debunked both claims.
On January 28 this year, Dangote petitioned the Minister of Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, protesting the recent commissioning of BUA Sugar refinery in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Dangote and Flour Mills in the petition claimed they were assured by the Federal Government in 2019 that no new refinery will be allowed to operate in the country.
Nigeria’s richest man has his 650,000 barrels per day refinery which has gulped $7bn under construction in Lagos.
BUA has on Wednesday signed a deal with French energy technology company, Axens Group for its proposed 200,000 barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom State.
The refinery is projected to be operational by 2024, while Dangote Refinery will commence operation next year.
This will be two years after Dangote refinery has commenced operation.
BUA said, “The French Minister @franckriester also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between @BUAgroup and @AxensGroup for BUA’s proposed 200,000barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom.”