Macron lauds Rabiu as BUA, Axens make progress on Akwa Ibom refinery


The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has commended the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Rabiu for his commitment to developing lasting relationships between French and Nigerian businesses.

This came as the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Franck Riester, paid a visit to the BUA Group HQ in Lagos Nigeria where he handed over a personal invitation from President Macron to Abdul Samad Rabiu to attend the Choose France Summit in June in Paris representing business leaders from Nigeria and Africa.

The French minister also witnessed the signing of a progress acknowledgement statement between BUA Group and Axens of France for BUA’s proposed 200,000 barrels per day refinery in Akwa Ibom.

During the visit, it was also announced that the Chairman of BUA Group had been appointed Chairman of the France Nigeria Investment Club.

Speaking during the ceremony, Mr Rabiu thanked the Minister and President Macron for their unwavering support in bringing BUA and French businesses together.

He further added that so far, BUA had initiated partnerships and have developed personal relationships with a few French businesses, including Axens whilst expressing confidence in the quality of expertise and technical know-how of the French companies BUA has partnered with.

In his comments, Jean Sentenac, President of Axens said that he is pleased that the project is advancing on schedule.

He also praised the very good cooperation between all the involved parties and reiterated the commitment of Axens to delivering the BUA Refinery Project on time and with the highest standards.

Represented by Franck Riester, the French Minister for Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Mr Marcon invited Abdul Samad to the “Choose France Summit” and said the French Government is ever ready to support people-oriented and developmental projects in Nigeria. “I am very pleased to see how committed Abdul Samad Rabiu is for the refinery and in the space of philanthropy.”

“I want to stress how keen you were in promoting the interest of Nigeria and its people during our meeting in Paris and how committed you were to make the economy stronger and more resilient. I want to congratulate you for the vision and ambition you demonstrate in many sectors in your will to build projects shaping the future of Nigeria. We think that we have to support long term investment of French companies in Nigeria and Nigeria companies in France and this project of refinery is a wonderful project for Nigeria,” Mr Macron was quoted to have said.

Earlier, Mr Rabiu who stated that Nigeria imports most of its crude oil consumed daily noted that BUA Refinery when fully operational will reduce the huge cost transporting crude oil offshore, refining it, and bringing it back into the country.

Mr Rabiu added that the decision to site the refinery in Akwa Ibom – Southern Nigeria was strategic due to huge availability of raw materials and its proximity to export petroleum products to regional countries.

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Mr Riester was accompanied by a high-powered delegation of Jerome Pasquier, Ambassador of France in Nigeria; Laurence Monmayrant, Consul General of France in Lagos; Quentin Teisseire, Chief of Staff, Alexis du Boisberranger, Technical advisor for export and strategic partnership; Benedicte Constans, Advisor to the Minister, in Charge of Communication; Pascal Furth, Regional Economic Counsellor, French Embassy amongst others.

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